Jul 11 2018

Why Your Dog Has Bad Breath | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat


You love your furry friend’s wet kisses, but recently his breath really stinks. What could be the cause of this icky breath? Winslow Animal Hospital provides you with some possible explanations.

Possible Causes


Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is the most common reason for bad breath in your pet. This is an umbrella term used for dental conditions where plaque builds up and causes gum inflammation. The build up of bacteria in gums can cause that bad breath you are waking up to every morning. This includes conditions such as Gingivitis. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can harden and turns into tartar. A dog’s dental status is graded on a scale of 0 (meaning no tartar) to 4 (extreme tarter, pain, and officially Periodontal Disease). Once tartar has built up, your dog’s teeth must be professionally cleaned. If untreated, it could lead to tooth loss. 

Oral Disease

 Besides Periodontal Disease, there is other stuff that can go wrong in your dog’s mouth that causes bad breath. For example, tumors (which can be cancerous) can grow in the mouth, which in turn causes bad breath. 

Lip-Fold Dermatitis

This most commonly effects breeds such as: Setters, Bulldogs, Spaniels, and Bassets. There is increased bacteria production in the lower lip folds due to a mixture of extra moisture, hair, and food build up. The areas get irritated and creates bad breath for your pup.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

These can cause bad breath much for the same reason that acid reflex causes bad breath in humans. However, this is not as common as Periodontal Disease.

Metabolic Disease

Metabolic disease can cause bad breath in your furry friend. This is due to toxins being released into the body. The most common metabolic disease that causes bad breath is kidney disease. 

How to Fight Against Bad Breath

While these other diseases can cause bad breath, it is more likely to be Periodontal Disease. You can take these steps to prevent it:

  • Brush your pet’s teeth. This should be done daily with a toothpaste made for your pet (please do not use human toothpaste).
  • Give them treats that help clean teeth. Such as: Greenies and pigs ears.
  • Get regular dental checks every 6 months.
  • Get regular dental cleanings through your veterinarian.

To help against the other possible concerns, make sure you are visiting the vet regularly. 

If you do notice bad breath, please schedule an appointment with a veterinarian.

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