Dog Bad Breath – Halitosis in Dogs, Causes and Treatment

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If you appreciate kisses from your dog, a dog bad breath is the last thing you might want to experience while you are getting personal with your pet. It is mainly so since a bad dog breath is one of the most unpleasant odors.

However, your dog’s breath often should not be unpleasant and if you realize the scent out of your dog’s mouth causes you discomfort, then this may be an indication of an underlying health problem.

Often, dog bad breath is the result of a bacteria accumulation in the stomach, lung, and mouth of your dog, but if the lousy odor occurs infrequently, it might be due to something the dog has eaten.

Dog Bad Breath

Discussed below are some of the leading causes which might result in bad breath in dogs.

Causes of Dog Bad Breath


In case your dog’s bad breath has a fruity and sweet smell to it, this might be an indication of diabetes, precisely diabetic ketoacidosis and thus it is crucial you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Despite this condition being severe, it is treatable, and other symptoms of diabetes you should be looking out for include your dog frequently urinating and drinking water.

Usually, uncontrolled diabetes results in destruction of the immune system subsequently allowing bacteria in the mouth to increase if not monitored.

Liver Disease

Symptoms such as lack of appetite, vomiting, and presence of a yellow tinge on the gums of your dog might be an indication of a liver problem.


Frequently, liver problems are usually a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Therefore, it is crucial you take your dog to an emergency clinic or veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the situation from getting worse.

Periodontal Disease and Oral Hygiene

Most dogs have bad breath due to periodontal disease and bad oral hygiene, which results from the accumulation of tartar and plaque subsequently leading to the development of bacteria in the mouth hence the bad dog breath.

Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth or having it cleaned is vital to prevent the buildup of plaque which consequently causes bad breath in your dog. Additionally, if your dog is not a chewer, the accumulation of plaque which leads to bad breath occurs.

Periodontal disease arises from poor oral hygiene over time, with the increased tartar and plaque accumulation pushing the gums from the teeth subsequently exposing new areas for growth of the bacteria.

Therefore, the dog’s gums become inflamed hence resulting in tissue destruction, infections, cavities, the formation of puss, tool loss and not forgetting a very unpleasant breath.

Kidney Illness

Occasionally, dog does eat excretion consequently resulting in the smell of defecation inside their mouths. Nevertheless, your dog’s breath smelling like urine is not an indication of your dog drinking urine, but a warning sign that your dog might be suffering from a kidney infection.

Thus, it is essential you immediately take your dog to a veterinarian since kidney disease is a severe plus could be an indication your dog is suffering from a more severe medical condition.

Unpleasant Eating Habits

Sometimes, dogs are responsible for the foul odor in their mouths, especially so if your dog tends to frequently get into the garbage disposal area and enjoy an unsupervised snack.

Furthermore, the eating of decomposing animal remains as well as cat poop, which dogs love result in a foul odor in your dog’s mouth, as well as being unsanitary.

Coprophagia, a condition whereby dogs eat their discharge or that of other dogs also results in the most dog breath.

Oral Tumors


Lastly, bad dog breath might be due to the growth of oral tumors in your dog’s mouth. The oral tumors often grow faster than the blood vessels subsequently resulting in dead areas which are then taken over by bacteria. The bacteria in these dead areas are what causes dog bad breath.

Often, oral tumors differ in size and shape, thus if you notice any discoloration and masses in the mouth of your dog, you should immediately get your dog checked by a veterinarian.

Remedies for Bad Dog Breath

Take Your Pet for Annual Cleanings by your Vet

Older dogs are the ones who frequently exhibit bad breath because of the accumulation of tartar, especially if you rarely get your dog’s teeth cleaned.

While at the vet, your dog’s teeth will be cleaned and polished as well as examined for any other problem like tooth damage or cavities.

Moreover, in case of heavy tartar, your veterinary may recommend cleaning your dog under anesthetic despite this method being risky for older dog and expensive.

Frequently Brush your Teeth

Often brushing the teeth of your dog is crucial in minimizing the buildup of tartar and plaque which results in gum infection and tooth decay.

Brushing your dog’s teeth using toothpaste developed for humans is not advisable, instead opt for specially developed canine toothpaste which has delicious flavors plus excellent brushes that are the special finger brushes.

Monitor What the Dog Eats and Drinks


Safeguard your dog never eats unsuitable substances, for instance, dog, bird and cat feces. Additionally, always provide your dog with clean and fresh water daily.

Give your Dog Something to Chew on

Through chewing, your dog is naturally cleans its teeth and subsequently improving its breath. Therefore, you should consult your vet about suitable toys for your dog to chew on as well as oral care tests.

Include Chopped Parsley to the Dog’s Food

Parsley, being a natural breath freshener, helps in ensuring your dog’s breath always remains fresh.

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