How To Deal With Dog’s Bad Breath

Dog with bad breath

We are love sleeping next to our dogs, but how many times you had to look the other way? Or regret kissing him? And think that your dog has eaten garlic behind your back?

I had the same problem. While for me, the reason that my dog has been an excessive eater who ate anything off the road, there might be other reasons that can cause this bad breath. And every reason has its independent solution.

In my case, it was to train her to stay away from the garbage. But what other reasons that can cause bad breath in dogs? How can you deal with your dog’s bad breath?

Dog’s Bad Breath is a very annoying problem that happens for a variety of reasons. How can we fix them:

Reasonhow to fix it
Dental ConditionBrush your dog’s teeth
Unsupervised SnackingPrevent garbage snacking and smell will go away on it’s own
Upset stomach/Bad dietA healthy food is important for your dog. Give him the proper diet he deserves
DiabetesConsult your vet for a check
Kidney/Liver diseaseConsult your vet for a check

Tracking down the reason will be your key to identify how to treat bad breath, which will most likely require a vet’s consult.

Reasons For Bad Breath

As I always say, “If we determined the root of the problem, we could take it down quickly.”

The reasons for dog’s bad breaths aren’t that broad, and that’s because all of them lie in the medical zone. That makes a quick vest to the vet is one of the most effective solutions to cut this problem off.

However, a dog’s bad breath can happen due to a variety of reasons, including:

1- Dental Condition: 

80% of the dogs that have bad breath are most likely having it due to dental conditions. Gum diseases are pretty common in dogs, according to VCA, “Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease.”

Another common name for dental conditions is Oral Tumors, unhealthy Oral Hygiene, etc. The most common reason for dental diseases in dogs is Periodontal disease. 

You know, in humans, sometimes you see that some people, especially heavy smokers, have a layer of thick yellow substance on their teeth. This layer is called tartar

Dogs have the same issue, accumulation of tartar, which can lead to Periodontal disease. tartar accumulates when you are not brushing your dog’s teeth regularly or not providing your dog with any chewing toys.

By collecting tartar, it stars to create some gaps between the dog’s teeth, which can allow some bacteria to enter and stay inside those gaps, and hence you have the dental disease and the awful breath smell. (We will cover the treatment in the next section.)

2- Kidney/Liver Diseases

Kidney failure or any problem within the dog’s liver accompanies many side effects like yellow poop, vomiting, bad breath, a decrease in dog’s appetite.

So if your dog shows many problems in addition to bad breath, I believe running a test is the best option. However, if your dog doesn’t show any signs besides bad breath, then please don’t overreact. 

I understand that you care about your dog, and so do I. However, I was always panicking whenever I see my dog vomits or shows any weird signs, and I always ran to the vet to run some tests, which cost a lot of money.

The result is always negative (luckily). I am not advising you to ignore your dog’s illness, but I am recommending to panic at the right time and don’t follow my steps.

3- Upset Stomach/Bad Diet:

Over 1000 available different kibble types, a wide variety of fresh food besides the regular doggy treats, what is the most suitable diet for your dog?

A bad diet will not only cause bad breath but will have a severe impact on your dog’s overall health. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, potty accidents & much more. That’s why you have to consult your vet to know the most suitable diet for your dog based on his overall health and his allergies.

Checking this article from AKC will help you, as it’s the best article that talks about the dog’s diets.

4- Unsupervised Snacking:

Don’t you hate it that when you leave your dog for a few seconds and return to find him playing in the garbage can? This is my worst nightmare. I had to prevent my dog’s access to any garbage can because I am sure that once I turn around, I will find her playing with it.

Not only playing in the garbage makes your dog smells terrible, but it can lead to more severe issues over time.

If your dog loves to have some gross snacks, then his breath smell is most likely due to the unhealthy snacking. However, take care that these snacks can lead to more dangerous diseases if you didn’t take care of them immediately.

A potential issue that might happen is that something could get stuck in his throat, and I strongly recommend our article to know better how to deal with a situation like that.

5- Diabetes:

Bad breath can be a result of diabetes. However, just like Kidney & Liver Diseases, diabetes has many more signs. A dog with diabetes might have those signs:

  1. Excessive drinking
  2. Weight loss
  3. Depression
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Dehydration

So if your dog doesn’t show any of these signs, exclude this option from your list. However, if you are suspecting that this might be the problem, make an appointment with your vet, and cut-off carbohydrates and sugar until you know the results of the tests.

Is Bad Breath Concerning?

Generally, yes, it is.

While bad breath may happen due to eating some grass while playing, it can also be an indicator of a more severe problem, such as a problem in the dog’s liver. Therefore, tracking down the reason for bad breath is very important for your dog’s health.

Treatment Of Dog’s Bad Breath

Home Remedies and online DIY stuff works. However, it depends on the cause of the dog’s bad breath.

If your dog shows yellow teeth and has a dental condition, then your vet will most likely start running some tests and will give him an anesthesia to start the dental cleaning process. 

If you suspect that your dog has had a lousy garbage snack, then the smell will most likely go on its own.

If you believe that there are some of the signs that we covered in the previous section, this may be an indicator of another disease; then you have to schedule an appointment with your vet.

Diabetes, liver, or kidney diseases are not impressive, and the earlier you discover them, the better the outcomes will be.

As I said Home remedies might be great but don’t follow them without knowing the cause, don’t believe anyone saying, “REMOVE DOG’S BAD BREATH IN 5 MINS” because it doesn’t make sense. Always read and understand the impact of those remedies before giving them to your dog.

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your teeth is essential to keeping your dog’s breath smells good.

How to bursh your dogs teeth

Watch the video to see how you can start brushing your dogs teeth. You have to start training your dog to teach him how to stay while you brush his teeth:

  1. Test your dog’s reaction: Before starting the training, try to grab your dog’s gum very nicely to see how he will react. If he is very cool, then you can begin training him. If he showed any aggression issues, then you have to make him used to grab his gum by doing it regularly and giving him treats after each time.
  2. Prepare your tools: A toothpaste designed for dogs is essential. Don’t use human toothpaste as it may harm your dog’s stomach. Dog’s toothpaste contains flavors that get your dog stimulated and will not harm him if he swallowed them. Grab a soft toothbrush that will not harm his gum and a bunch of treats.
  3. Add toothpaste on your hand: First, let your dog sniff the toothpaste to make sure that he is stimulated and that he adores the smell.
  4. Start introducing the toothbrush: Your dog will try to bite it, it’s pretty normal. Try to keep it in the upper part of his mouth around his gum and give him treats every couple of seconds so he doesn’t try to bite it.
  5. Now start brushing: Add some toothpaste and start brushing gently. Make sure that the toothbrush moves in circular motions around the tooth, and you are not hurting his gum. 
  6. Try to focus on the back teeth: The back teeth are usually the teeth that get affected by plaque. That way, you will never need to worry about tartar accumulation. 
  7. Set up a schedule: You don’t need to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Three days a week will be more than enough to keep your dog’s teeth clean and good looking. 

Preventing Dog’s Bad Breath

Generally, you have to brush your dog’s teeth regularly (will cover how in the next section) and provide him with chew toys as much as possible. Chew toys help prevent the accumulation of the tartar on the dog’s teeth, which will keep your dog’s teeth clean and will prevent the bad breath.

Dental chew toys as well offer a fantastic alternative chew toy that can help your dog’s teeth. It works by emitting a specific toothpaste for dogs after each bite.

This toy can help you if your dog doesn’t like to have his teeth brushed. The dental chew toys are stimulating as well because they offer toothpaste in different flavors, which will make your dog ready 24/7.

Dog Diets

Having a proper diet is the key to have fantastic health.

While I am not an expert in dog nutrition, I always suggest talking with your vet about the best food for your dog. Facebook and Google are full of different opinions; however, what works for another person might not work with you.

Your dog may be allergic to certain types of food or has a different schedule that might not work well with the recipes on Google. That’s why I always recommend planning the diet that is characteristic of your dog.

Smaller vs. Larger Dog Breeds

Smaller dog breeds usually have weaker teeth, and most of the time, they are most likely prone to bad breath. You need to take extra care of your small dog because tartar accumulates at a much higher rate on smaller breeds’ teeth than larger breeds’ teeth. 

Also, smaller breeds might not have accessibility to a variety of chew toys. That’s why I recommend buying them a set of dental chew toys to help them keep their breath smelling good.


A dog’s bad smell is very frustrating, and I know it myself.

However, following the recommendations in this post will be more than enough to help your dog. Don’t follow remedies that you aren’t aware of as they can damage your dog’s stomach. And always refer to your vet whenever you feel something is wrong!

Let us know how you got over the dog’s bad breath.

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

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