While dogs are not known for having minty fresh breath around the clock, it's important to monitor any unusual change to your Yorkshire Terrier’s breath that could signal a potential health problem. Practice touching your Yorkie's mouth and face regularly so he becomes familiar and comfortable with this type of examination. This makes regular dental care easier on both of you and helps you identify any oral or dental hygiene problems or mouth-related health issues that develop.
If you recently changed your Yorkie’s diet, you may notice an unpleasant or unusual change in his breath. Low-quality dog foods with multiple animal fillers can result in foul-smelling breath and feces. A new dog food may also not agree with a Yorkie’s sometimes sensitive digestive system, which could manifest itself in foul breath. Yorkies can be prone to vomiting and diarrhea if they eat something that disagrees with them, and bad breath may be a sign your Yorkie has throw something up. Any time you introduce a new food, slowly blend it in with whatever he was eating before to ensure you limit the challenges to your pup’s gastrointestinal tract.
Your Yorkie’s bad breath may be stemming from a broken, impacted or rotting tooth, or from periodontal disease. Just like people, dogs that don't have their teeth brushed regularly and have mouth and gums examined by a vet run the risk of poor oral hygiene. According to PetMD, small breed dogs like Yorkies are especially susceptible to mouth and dental problems because their teeth are small. Make an appointment to have your dog’s oral hygiene checked by your veterinarian for signs of damage or disease. Your vet may recommend a deep cleaning followed by regular cleaning or may recommend removing teeth that are beyond repair and run the risk of becoming further infected and painful for your dog.
Various Yorkie health problems can present symptoms including foul breath. Conditions such as diabetes, sinus infections, bacterial or fungal infections, or even cancer can be accompanied by bad breath. Yorkies are also be susceptible to liver problems, which can present with unusual breath odors. Your Yorkie may also have something lodged in his throat or sinus cavity that is causing the bad breath, or may have sustained an internal injury. Consult a trained animal medical professional to help determine the cause of the problem.
After your Yorkie’s bad breath has been diagnosed and appropriately treated, introduce a regular regime of good oral health for your pet. Yorkies have small mouths and small teeth and many don't tolerate anesthesia as well as other breeds, so good oral hygiene from a young age is important to avoid complex dental procedures. Regularly brush your Yorkie's teeth or have it done by a groomer or vet. Yorkie teeth can be sharp, so if you're shy about putting your hand in his mouth, seek professional assistance. Periodically check the inside of his mouth for cuts or abrasions, broken teeth or swollen gums, particularly if you notice him chewing on one side, losing weight or drooling. Feed your pup a diet that includes dry kibble, which can help remove plaque another food buildup. Ask your vet for recommendations on appropriate chew toys that can help your Yorkie maintain good oral hygiene and pleasant breath.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.