Dog Bad Breath: What To Do?

Dog Bad Breath: What To Do?

Author WDF Staff


Getting kisses from your dog can be very cute unless they have bad breath. If your dog ever had bad breath, you know that it is nearly impossible to be with them in the same room. They can easily stink up the place, and the smell is terrible.

Not only is it terrible and can make you vomit, but bad dog breath can also be a sign of several health problems. Before you decide to freshen their breath with something minty (and potentially toxic), make sure you learn a bit more about it.

Why does my dog have bad breath?

Most inexperienced owners think their dog has bad breath because they are exactly that - a dog. There is a thing called “dog breath,” and people believe that dogs just naturally have bad breath. The truth is different. Dogs indeed have a different smelling breath than humans, but bad breath is usually a sign of a problem.

puppy breath

If your dog has bad breath, it might be because of one of these reasons.

Kidney disease

Dogs with bad breath can have kidney problems. Dogs who have kidney disease have a breath that smells like urine. This might seem a bit surprising, but vets are aware of that, and it is one of the first signs they use to diagnose kidney problems.

Liver disease

Urine smell indicates kidney disease, but if a dog has liver disease, they will have a genuinely foul, rotten smell. It is impossible to miss. Awful breath usually comes with other symptoms such as vomiting, yellow tinge to their gums, and a lack of appetite. Liver disease is a serious problem, and you should visit your vet immediately.


Unlike the unpleasant and downright disgusting smells of breath from kidney and liver problems, bad dog breath caused by diabetes has a sweet and fruity smell. This is not the only symptom a diabetic dog exhibits. You can check the rest of the diabetes symptoms here. Make a vet appointment and ask for the best possible treatment for your dog.

retrievers playing

Periodontal disease and lousy hygiene

Just like in humans, bad oral hygiene can cause bad breath. Plaque and tartar will build up, and bacteria will develop and cause bad breath. If poor hygiene continues, it will lead to periodontal disease, which causes the breath to stink even more.

Questionable dietary habits

We are not trying to diet-shame dogs, but they are sometimes plainly disgusting. There is not much they won’t put in their mouths, which can directly influence their breath. Garbage, animal carcass, cat poop, other dog’s poop, or even their own poop; nothing is off-limits with them. If you ever witnessed something like that, you probably felt nausea. If you ever wondered why dogs eat poop, maybe this article can shed some light: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

World Dog Finder team

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