why do dogs have bad breath

why do dogs have bad breath


Why Do Dogs Have Bad Breath?

What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?

Just like you, your four-legged friend may experience bad breath due to a variety of reasons. The most common cause is poor dental hygiene. Dogs can’t brush their teeth like we do, and this can lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease, all of which can contribute to unpleasant breath.

Other potential causes include:

  • A poor diet
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Sinus infections

The Impact of Diet on a Dog’s Breath

Your dog’s diet plays a significant role in their overall health, including their oral health. Feeding your pet a balanced, high-quality diet can help keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh. On the other hand, a diet high in processed foods can contribute to bad breath.

Here’s a quick comparison:

Quality Diet Processed Diet
May help reduce plaque Can contribute to plaque buildup
Can lead to fresh breath Often leads to bad breath
Contributes to overall health May lead to health problems

How to Improve Your Dog’s Breath

Here’s a few steps you can take to help your furry friend:

  1. Keep Up with Dental Checkups: Regular checkups with your vet can help catch any potential problems early.
  2. Brush Their Teeth Regularly: Brushing your dog’s teeth can help remove plaque and keep their breath fresh.
  3. Provide Dental Chews: Dental chews can help clean your dog’s teeth and keep their breath fresh.

When to Be Concerned About Your Dog’s Bad Breath

While bad breath in dogs is common, it can sometimes indicate a more serious health issue. If your dog’s breath is consistently foul, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive drinking or urination, it’s time to consult your vet.


Q: Can I use human toothpaste to brush my dog’s teeth?
A: No, human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs. Always use a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs.

Q: My dog’s breath smells like fish, is that normal?
A: It can be. Some dog foods contain fish, which can cause a fishy smell. However, if it’s a sudden change, it’s best to consult your vet.

Q: How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?
A: Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily, but a few times a week can also be beneficial.

Remember, as a caregiver, maintaining your pet’s oral health is just as important as looking after their overall health. And while a dog’s breath will never smell like a bouquet of roses, a little effort can go a long way in keeping it as pleasant as possible.