Bad Breath In Dogs - Stopping Smelly Doggy Kisses

Is your dog suffering from smelly breath? Read on to learn more about what causes bad breath in dogs, how to prevent doggy bad breath, and treat it so you can go back to being affectionate with your fur-baby!

A small brown dog is being held up to the camera

What Causes Bad Breath?

Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of bad breath in dogs. Up to 80% of dogs over 3 years old suffer from some kind of dental disease. That is a huge number!

Dental disease (aka periodontal disease) starts with plaque. Plaque forms on your dogs' teeth, just like humans. Plaque is caused by a combination of bacteria, food and saliva. If left for too long, the plaque build-up on the teeth can harden and turn into tartar.

If left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause:

  • Inflammation around teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty eating
  • Discolored teeth

A brown dog with long fur is lying in bed

Other causes of bad breath in dogs include dogs eating the wrong diet - not just bad food - we're talking about things they shouldn't eat like poop or rubbish! If your dog has an underlying food allergy, this can also cause troubles for your dog.

A dog with long fur against a yellow background

Your dog's breath may even give you a sign of medical problems. 

If your dog’s breath smells sweet or fruity, it might be a sign they have diabetes. The body starts to burn fat, which releases ketones and can cause the breath to smell sweet like nail polish remover or acetone.

If your dog’s breath smells like urine, this could indicate that they are suffering from kidney disease. Their breath can also smell like ammonia or chemicals.

Treatment and Prevention Time!

Rule out underlying health issues with a trip to the vet.

If your dog has bad breath, it's always a good idea to get your dog checked out by a professional vet. If your vet suspects dental disease, they may suggest having your dog's teeth cleaned while being under anesthetic. If this procedure happens, it is important to keep your dog's teeth pearly white to prevent another buildup of plaque or tartar.

If you have noticed that your dog’s breath is sweet or smells fruity or maybe it smells like urine or ammonia, a trip to the vet is definitely on the cards. Both diabetes and kidney disease should be diagnosed and managed by your dog’s veterinarian.

Brush Your Dogs Teeth

If you've never brushed your dog's teeth before, it is always better late than never! Brushing your dogs' teeth is the best way to keep them clean. Always use specialty toothbrushes and toothpaste that is specially designed for dog's mouths.

Break Your Dog's Bad Habits

If your dog rummages through your rubbish, either move the bin to a location where they cannot access it, or buy a bin that is hard for them to open.

As for eating poop... if they are prone to eating cat poop, move your cat’s litter tray to an area they cannot access or choose a covered litter tray to keep them out. 

A dog that eats their own poop is in need of a trip to the vet to rule out any medical reasons that may be causing this behavior. It can also be caused by stress or anxiety which your vet can help you manage.

Dental Food and Treats

Dental toys and water additives are also useful at preventing the buildup of plaque in your dog’s mouth. We stock Kong Dental toys, and Prozym Dental Solution water additive.

Two dogs are running down a path between tall grass