Dog Has Bad Breath - Cover Image 2

My Dog Has Bad Breath What Should I Give Them?


You may not think you would notice your dog’s breath, but you certainly do when it smells like death!

Your dog’s bad breath can be caused by dental disease or their diet. Unfortunately, it could also be a sign of a more serious health issue that will definitely require a trip to the vet.

This article will cover the most common reasons for your dog’s bad breath and will offer you simple and easy ways to treat it in each case.

If you stick around to the end of the article, I’ll also share with you a natural dog bad breath home remedy that might surprise you.

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Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath?

Understanding why your dog may have bad breath is the first step to understanding how to treat it.

Let’s examine the top most common causes of bad breath in dogs.

Common Causes Of Bad Breath In Dogs

  1. Dental or Gum Disease
    Dental disease and bad oral hygiene are likely the main offenders when it comes to the cause of bad breath in dogs. In fact, dogs are just like humans in that they can develop plaque on their teeth over time. If this plaque is not regularly removed, it can lead to the development of bacteria which is the actual source of the bad breath. Over time, if this is not looked after, your dog could develop gum disease which could result in cavities or even tooth loss.
  2. Diet / What They Eat
    It stands to reason that what a dog eats will determine how stinky or fresh their breath is. Brace yourself, but some dogs can be prone to eating their own poop or the poop from other dogs. It’s an unfortunate condition known as Coprophagia that can result in horrific bad breath.
  3. Kidney Disease
    It’s unfortunate but it is possible that the source of bad breath could be caused by decreased kidney function. When this happens it can cause a dog’s breath to smell like ammonia. If you suspect this may be the case with your dog, consulting with a vet is the best thing to do.
  4. Diabetes
    A fruity or sweet smell to your dog’s breath can be an indication that they may have diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination or more frequent drinking. This is a treatable condition and if you suspect your dog may be showing these symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet.

Is Bad Breath In Dogs A Sign Of Illness?

The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is dental or gum disease. With that said, in some cases, bad breath could be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes when seen with other symptoms.

It’s a good idea to consult with your vet for the best course of treatment if you suspect your dog may have any of these issues.

How Do You Get Rid Of Dog Bad Breath?

Now that you understand just what causes bad breath in dogs, it’s time to start thinking about how to treat it.

Fortunately, there are some simple and easy ways to get rid of your dog’s bad breath depending on the cause.

1. Dental or Gum Disease = Vet Visit, Regular Brushing & Chew Toys

If you suspect plaque build-up or gum disease are the causes of your dog’s bad breath, the first thing you can do is schedule an appointment with your vet to have them cleaned.

Your vet will be able to thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth and depending on the situation may recommend this be done on a yearly basis or similar.

Once your dog’s teeth are sparkling clean, it’s time to start a regular teeth-brushing routine with them.

Regular brushing will ensure plaque and tartar build-up is kept at bay and ensure fresh breath.

Dog toothbrushes and toothpaste can be recommended by your vet or can be bought in most pet stores.

Finally, chew toys will provide your dog with plenty of chewing to do. Chewing is a natural way of taking care of their teeth by preventing the build-up of plaque and tartar.

It also keeps them happy and free from boredom so it’s a win-win!

2. Diet / What They Eat = Ensure Healthy Eating

We mentioned above how some dogs may have the unfortunate condition of eating their own or other dogs’ poop. While this sounds pretty horrific there are ways to prevent this and therefore restoring your dog’s breath to normality.

Taste-aversion is a simple way to prevent this from happening. The idea is to make the poop smell particularly unappealing to your dog by masking it in smells they do not like.

A simple recommendation my parents followed when their dog started this behavior was to feed Poppy some pineapple. This would, in turn, make the poop smell very unpleasant which meant she wouldn’t be inclined to eat it.

Other sprays exist too that have scents such as apple or other bitter smells but it’s important to note that some dogs may actually love the smell of apple so be sure to try it out first and have a backup available.

Another great way to prevent this is to ensure your dog properly obeys the “leave it” command or similar.

By working on this obedience command, all you will need to do is tell your dog to leave it and they should walk away.

At this point, you can quickly clean up the poop and throw it in the bin.

3. & 4. Kidney Disease & Diabetes = Schedule A Vet Appointment

If you suspect your dog may have either kidney disease or diabetes, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet.

They will be able to run various blood tests to determine the issue and will advise on the best course of treatment.

Dog Bad Breath Home Remedy

You may be wondering at this point, what is a natural home remedy for my dog’s bad breath?

A simple dog bad breath home remedy is parsley!

Parsley is safe for dogs to eat (except during pregnancy).

As well as this, it’s also an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory and of course a natural breath freshener.

Simply chop up some fresh parsley and sprinkle it over your dog’s food to enjoy the natural benefits of this herb.

To learn even more about the fantastic benefits of parsley for dogs, take a look at this great article from Natural Dog Health Remedies: Parsley Benefits for Dogs.


We were able to cover lots of helpful information in this article so let’s summarize before we end:

  • Firstly, we talked about the common causes of bad breath in dogs.
  • Next, we answered the question, is bad breath in dogs a sign of illness?
  • After that, we reviewed the best ways to treat dog bad breath based on each of the causes of bad breath.
  • Finally, I shared with you a simple, natural dog bad breath home remedy.

If you found the information in this article helpful, please consider sharing it on social media as it will help other dog lovers like you to find this info.

Also, if you have any questions about the content of this article, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on social media.

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