Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes & Remedies

Cuddling with your dog can be pretty intense if they suffer from smelly breath. But what makes their breath so smelly? Here, our vets at Marcello Veterinary Hospital discuss the causes behind your dog's bad breath and what you can do to help treat stinky dog breath.

Why does my dog's breath smell?

While a certain amount of stench on a dog's breath can be normal, you may be wondering 'Why does my dog's breath smell so bad?'. While it's perfectly normal for your pup to have some smell on their breath from eating, playing with toys and just generally living their lives, this smell can sometimes grow into a stink that repels all but the bravest pup parents.

Many pet owners just deal with the smell assuming that it is normal for their furry friends. This is not the case though Usually it is caused by an underlying medical condition. There are a number of different possible causes of bad breath in your dog, but the most common are kidney disease, liver disease and oral health issues.

So what causes bad breath in dogs? Read on to find out.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease in dogs is characterized by the smell of poop on their breath.

If your pup's bad breath smells like feces or urine, it may be a sign that they have recently eaten poop (which is something you should look into on its own) or a symptom of kidney issues. 

If your dog's kidneys aren't working properly to filter and process toxins and waste materials, their buildup in the pup's body may be contributing to the bad smell of their breath on top of harming your dog's health! 

Liver Disease

If your dog is experiencing any condition affecting their liver they could have smelly breath along with experiencing vomiting and diarrhea.

Oral & Dental Health Conditions Affecting Dogs

If your dog has bad breath it is likely that they could have a dental health concern such as gum disease. Regardless of the precise cause, bacteria and food debris build up over time in your pooch's mouth if not regularly cleaned away, creating plaque and a persistent smell. 

If you are beginning to notice the signs of stinky dog breath, you should consider that they may be developing a dental issue. However, if they are left unchecked, the smell will become much stronger and your pet's oral health and well-being will continue to decline. 

How can stinky dog breath be treated?

The reason why your dog has bad breath will largely influence the kind of treatment they will require. Since bad breath is a sign of an underlying health condition rather than a health problem itself, it should dissipate once the underlying problem is successfully treated.

That being said, whenever you notice a change in the smell of your dog's breath you shouldn't assume its cause or that it is normal. Bring your pup to your vet as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis, since a number of causes of bad breath can be very serious health issues. 

Treatments at your vet can range from prescription medications, specialized diets, therapies and even surgeries to help treat your pet's condition depending on what part of their body it affects and its severity. Your vet will be able to advise you on what the best course of treatment is for the health issue underlying your pup's bad breath. 

What can I do at home for my dog's bad breath?

While you aren't able to treat kidney or liver disease at home, one way you can help to treat or prevent bad breath in your dog is ensuring your pup gets the routine oral hygiene care they need every day in addition to annual professional dental cleanings.

You should have a focus on at-home oral health care including daily teeth brushing. By spending the time performing oral health care when they are young you can help them get used to the experience of tooth brushing.

In addition to this or if you aren't able to train your pup to tolerate brushing, instead of brushing, there are also a wide variety of dental chews and dog food designed to promote oral health available.

Your vet can also recommend dental health products such as dental chews to help combat your dog's stinky breath

When it comes to preventing internal organ failure or disease affecting your dog's liver or kidneys, there are also a couple of easy measures you can take to help your pup avoid these causes of bad breath.

Some human medications, common houseplants and foods that are safe for our consumption are actually quite toxic for our pets. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of substances you have in your home that could cause organ disease or failure in your pooch and keep them out of reach as much as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have to keep a safe distance from your dog's face or risk the wrath of their smelly breath? Contact Marcello Veterinary Hospital to book a dental examination for your pup.

New Patients Welcome

Marcello Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Louisiana companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us