Top Causes Of Bad Dog Breath

Bad Dog Breath

Bad breath is not pleasant at any time, but when your dog has bad breath, it can be more than just unpleasant. Bad breath in dogs, just as in people, can signal a range of different health issues that veterinarian may need to treat.
The good news is that a trip to our animal hospital, either as your pet’s bi-annual or annual checkup can often find the cause of the odor problems. However, if you notice bad breath with your dog between visits, scheduling an appointment with our veterinarian can help to determine what is causing the condition and how to correct or treat the problem.

Poor Dental Care

The top cause of doggy bad breath is poor dental care. Signs of yellow to dark brown buildup on the gum line is signficant plaque deposits, which is also called tartar or calculus. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria, which contribute to bad breath as well as to tooth and gum damage and possible early tooth loss.


There are some diseases that can show up in changes to the breath. A fruity or sweetish smell to the breath can signal diabetes, while a sharp, acid, or urine-like smell to the breath may be a sign of kidney disease. When there is a liver condition, the dog is likely to have a pervasive, very foul smelling breath, typically associated with vomiting and jaundiced gums. These are serious health issues, and an immediate appointment at our animal hospital is critical to your dog’s health.

Unfortunately, sometimes what dogs find tasty is also a cause of bad breath. Eating fecal material of other animals, or eating garbage or animal remains will also cause bad breath, but this tends to be very short in duration.

Call Holistic Veterinary Healing animal hospital at 240-715-6570 and schedule an appointment with our veterinarian if you are concerned about your pooch’s bad breath.