Bad Breath In Canines

by Nancy Boland

Does your dog’s bad breath almost bowl you over when you lean in for a kiss or catch him mid-yawn? We all know that bad breath smell. Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is the result of a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or gut. Persistent bad breath can indicate that your dog needs better dental care or that something is wrong in his gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidneys.

What Is Bad Breath Caused By?

Usualy bad breath in canines is caused by dental or gum disease, and lots of dogs are prone to plaque and tartar. However, persistent bad breath can also indicate larger medical problems in the mouth, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, or organs.

How Can I Determine the Cause of My Dog’s Bad Breath?

Your veterinarian is the best person to pinpoint the cause. A physical examination and blood tests may have to be performed if your dog’s issue is more than just bad dental health.

When Should You See A Vet??

If your dog’s breath suddenly has an unusual smell, please consult your veterinarian. It could mean the following;

  • Diabetes, particularly if your dog has been drinking and urinating more frequently than usual.
  • Breath that smells similar to urine can be symptomatic of kidney disease
  • Teeth that need removing

brosser les dents de son rottweiler


Treatment depends on your vet’s diagnosis. If plaque is the culprit, your dog might require a scale and polish. If it’s an issue of diet, you might have to change your dog’s regular food. If the cause is gastrointestinal or an abnormality in your dog’s liver, kidneys, or lungs, your vet will advise the best treatment.


  • Bring your dog in for regular checkups to make sure he has no underlying medical issues that may cause halitosis.
  • Make sure your vet monitors and tracks the state of your dog’s teeth and breath.
  • Feed your dog a high-quality, easy-to-digest food.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth frequently – with a canine friendly tooth paste.
  • Provide hard, safe chew toys that allow your dog’s teeth to be cleaned by the natural process of chewing.
  • Give your dog well-researched treats formulated to improve breath odour.

Bear in mind that these products will only mask bad breath and do not treat underlying medical problems.

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