Why Your Dog Has Bad Breath—And How to Get Rid of It

Why Your Dog Has Bad Breath—And How to Get Rid of It

Find out what your dog's breath might be telling you—and what you can do about it.

Causes of dog bad breath

Close-up of a small dog, mouth open, tongue out with blurred backgroundllaszlo/Shutterstock

You love your dog. Sure. But even the best dog-owners have times when you'd rather not be the recipient of a slobbery kiss. (Let's just say those are times when you want to Google "are there doggie Altoids?") Yet bedside nuisance aside, dog bad breath can also be a sign of something deeper. "You always want to try and diagnose the reason behind it, so you can rule out anything serious," says Laurie Coger, DVM, in Albany, New York.

As it turns out, there are a variety of causes of dog bad breath…find out what your furry friend's less-than-fresh breath may be telling you.

Periodontal disease

Funny English bulldog playing on table.Ezzolo/Shutterstock

Eight out of ten dogs over age three have periodontal disease to some degree, reports Judy Morgan, DVM, in New Jersey. "Most dog-owners don't ever look in their dog's mouth and don't pay attention, then by the time they do, it's because there are problems there, which can cause dog bad breath," she says. "That's why I always advise dog owners to take one minute a day to brush their dog's teeth. Coconut oil, chicken broth, beef broth…rub them on their gums and see what they take to, get them used to having something in their mouth and then graduate to brushing." You don't need to use a brush just for dogs, either, Dr. Morgan uses an infant toothbrush, which she says is nice and soft. She formulates her own dental drops for just such occasions. "My dogs line up for it, they love it," she laughs. Here's how often you should be brushing your dog's teeth.


Brown Spanish Water Dog with lovely face and big brown eyes playing at home on the bed. Indoor portraitLucia Romero/Shutterstock

"Stomatitis is an inflammation in the mouth and it can be hard to diagnose because the teeth may look fine but it's an autoimmune reaction against their own gum tissue, where the gums are really red and painful, and it results in bad dog breath," says Dr. Morgan. "It is treatable, though."

Why Your Dog Has Bad Breath—And How to Get Rid of It, Source:https://www.rd.com/advice/pets/dog-bad-breath/