Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath?

A common misconception that most of us foster is that our dogs need to have ‘Doggy Breath” but that is simply not true. You may have an emotional support dog or a pet dog, but bad breath can be a symptom of another underling problem. While expecting a minty smell is not right either, bad breath can be a nuisance when you want to cuddle and play with your pet.

Trust your gut, whenever you feel that the smell has gone a little too out of hand, you need to pay attention. 

Dental Disease Might Be The Culprit

You probably brush your teeth every morning, similarly, you need to brush your pup’s teeth as well.

They usually have a self-cleaning mechanism but since they are now domesticated, there are certain aspects of their health we are responsible for. Dental issues are one of the most common issues that plague both dogs as well as cats. 

Well, now you know. So, ensure you provide them with the care they need.

It is also extremely easy to spot. Lift your dog’s lip and check out his gums. You will probably see red or bleeding gums and that is a telltale sign of dental issues. 

Kidney Disease 

Certain metabolic diseases can also be the reason behind your dog’s bad breath.  Kidney disease or failure is one of the leading causes. If your pet’s mouth starts smelling like ammonia then there is a decrease in kidney function. 

This happens because usually waste products are eliminated by the kidneys. But as function decreases the waste starts building up in the bloodstream and this directly affects the smell of the breath. 

Toxic Substances 

All dogs have different habits, just like humans. But there is a very commonly known fact that dogs usually would put everything they come in contact with into their mouth. The worst part is at times even they don’t realize that. 

There are a lot of toxic substances present in both our environment as well as our house. You don’t have to worry though most toxic substances have a smell to go along with their effects.  

So, if your dog ingests a possibly toxic substance, you will smell it. You need to make your way to a vet immediately as emergency care might be required.  


Ever heard of the keto breath? That is when your breath starts smelling different when your body enters ketosis. 

In dogs, a similar thing happens but only when they become diabetic. Specifically diabetic ketoacidosis. This gives the dogs breath an unusual, sweet almost fruity smell.

This needs attention immediately. Uncontrolled diabetes can suppress the immune system, by allowing the bacteria in the mouth to grow without resistance.   

Foreign substances 

emotional support dog

Dogs by the very nature of who they are,  tend to eat a lot of non-food related things that don’t translate well for either their body or their breadth. 

Bones, fish hooks and sticks, all of them have the potential to make your dog’s mouth smell funny. These things get stuck in the dog’s teeth and then the only way to go from there is downhill.

There are plenty of other undesirable things dogs are famous for seeking out. Though I will keep it short and mention the two I hate the most; food and dead animals. Those are probably the worst. 

Oral Tumors 

When it comes to bad breath, the contestant pool is very big. Teeth and gums are of course on top. But there is something else that can also be the culprit for bad breath-Oral tumors. 

Oral tumors grow at a rapid pace and their growth is often a little too fast for the blood vessels to keep up, in turn, causing dead areas within the mouth. The dead areas then get infested by bacteria and that is often what causes a foul smell. 

Oral tumors come in various shapes and sizes. So, if you notice any masses or discoloration then it is time to make a trip to the veterinarian.

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