Dog Bad Breath (What to do When Dog has Bad Breath)

dog bad breath

The Dog’s bad breath, also known as the condition of halitosis. There could be several reasons for the dog’s bad smell. Bad breath in dogs is generally caused by the bacteria present in their mouth. Bad breath in a dog can also be a sign of significant health issues. Minor mouth smells can be treated at home. However, the frequent or extreme wicked can be a symptom of health problems. So, whenever you smell the strong odor from your dog’s mouth, take him to the vet. Underlying illnesses such as kidney problems and diabetes can cause a bad smell in animals. Diet and food allergies also cause halitosis in dogs.

Dogs Breath Smells Like Fish (Dog Bad Breath):

Many owners have observed that their dog’s breath smells like fish though the reason behind it is not a fish. Many owners’ lives miles away from lake or sea, and still, their dog’s breath smells like fish. A fishy smell can be the result of secretion from the anal glands.

Anal glands, also called anal sacs, are located on either side of the dog’s anus. These sacs contain specialized sweat glands that create an unpleasant smell that also acts as a scent marker for the dog. The scent is passed on through the dog’s poop.

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Fishy Dog Breath (Dog Has Bad Breath):

Dog’s fishy smell can be treated through proper examination and treatment. The vet needs to discharge or express the dog’s anal gland manually, which should resolve the smell. Small dog breeds generally require anal glands to be shown regularly.

Compacted anal glands required assistance from the vet because they had to be carefully treated. The vet may use a softening agent or the saline rinse to treat the dry anal sac. After the compacted anal cyst is removed, the vet may suggest a high fiber diet for the dog that will help him to express the anal sacs naturally.

Infected anal sacs are cleaned with an antiseptic and then treated with antibiotics. If swelling is suspected in the area, the vet will recommend a hot compressor, which may take few cleansings for the infection to resolve.

More About Dog Bad Breath:

In some instances, the dog’s anal glands had to be removed. The Diseases caused by the anal sacs cannot be resolved, and anal sac tumor, which cannot be dealt with surgery.

Preventing anal sac diseases-

  • Feed the dog with an appropriate amount of fiber.
  • Observe the dog’s stool.
  • Keep a check on the dog’s weight and provide him with regular exercise.
  • Provide the dog with plenty of fresh and clean water.

What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?

Following are some dog bad breath causes

Oral hygiene and periodontal disease-

It is the most common causes behind the dogs bad breathe. Just like, humans build-up plaque and tartar in their mouth, which leads to the development of bacteria that cause bad breath. If the dog’s teeth are not brushed regularly or cleaned frequently, he is most likely to build up plaque. Excess build-up of plaque and tartar can push the gums away from the teeth, which gives more space to develop bacteria. This will not only irritates the dog but can also lead to cavities, tissue destruction, tooth loss, infection, and even pus formation.

Dietary Habits

Sometimes the bad habits of the dog also lead them to smell bad breath. If the dog regularly gets into the garbage or eats the poop of other animals, then this can result in bad breathes. Some dogs love to eat their poops, which is not only smelly but also unhygienic.


Sweet and fruity breath from the dog’s mouth is a symptom of diabetes. Diabetes is treatable in dogs by visiting the vet. The other symptoms of diabetes in dogs are excess urination and frequent drinking.

Kidney Disease-

Dog’s breath sometime may smell like urine, but that doesn’t mean the dog is drinking urine. The reason behind this is that the dog is having a kidney problem. Kidney issues in dogs can be treated by consulting a vet. If the problem is ignored, it can lead to serious medical issues.

Liver Disease-

Like a kidney problem, liver disease can be a symptom of a serious condition. If the dog’s breath truly stinks and he is also vomiting, loss his appetite, displays a yellow tinge to his gums. All this is a sign of liver problems and the dog needs to visit the vet immediately.

Foreign Substances-

We all know dogs eat plenty of non-veg food that are not good for their body and breath. Fish-bones, sticks and fishing hooks sticks in the dog’s mouth or teeth.

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Dog Bad Breath Home Remedy:

Here are some effective home remedies that are the best thing for dogs bad breath

Coconut Oil-

Coconut oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which helps in reducing the bad breathe of dog. Also, coconut oil has other benefits such as it improves the dog’s digestive system, immune, and metabolic system. It is also useful for a yeast infection to keep the dog’s skin, brain, and bones healthy.


Lemon contained citrus property and had its own strong and sweet smell. It stops the bacteria from growing inside the dog’s mouth and prevents the bad smell.


Carrot is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidants as it contains beta-carotene. It is also a rich source of vitamin and plays a vital role in maintaining a dog’s health. Carrot protects the body from radical injuries.

Brown Rice-

Brown rice is rich in fiber and also suitable for digestion, it is full with powerful anti-oxidants which prevent the dog from various diseases such as diabetes, and tumor, etc. Metabolism plays a vital role in dogs bad breathe.


Parsleys mostly use to control dog’s bad smell as these green plants contain chlorophyll, which helps in neutralizing the odor.

Brushing Dog’s Teeth-

Oral hygiene is equally vital for animals as it is essential for humans. Regular brushing the dog’s teeth will give him a fresh smell and reduces the cavities.

Teething Puppy Bad Breath:

Just like a human child grows following through a series of stages, animal puppies also went through these stages. One of the phases is the teething phase. The first set of baby teeth or milk teeth grow in between 3 to 4 weeks of age. And when puppies are around 4 to 5 months old, these teeth will fall out to make space for the permanent teeth. By the period of 5 to 7 months, their adult teeth will grow up.

When puppy teeth fall out, some puppy can have bleeding gums and even bad breathes. A significant side effect of teething in puppies is a bad smell. This happens because of the puppy’s bleeding gums, and the warm, moist environment of his mouth forms bacteria to thrive. After the teething stage, the bacteria in the puppy’s mouth reduces, and his bad breath will decline.

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