Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell? Here’s How To Get Rid Of It

We all love our dogs, and having them near us is a moment we all look forward to. However, cuddles can be quite uncomfortable when your dog’s breath smells. Not only are they uncomfortable for you, but your dog could be experiencing some discomfort from their bad breath.

The most likely cause of your dog’s bad breath is improper oral hygiene and periodontal disease. If you do not clean your dog’s teeth regularly, their bad breath could result from plaque build-up in and around their mouth. Another reason is that your dog has a bad diet or is suffering from a condition like liver disease.

We will be discussing more reasons why your dog’s breath smells in greater detail, as well as what you can do to get your dog’s breath to smell better.

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell All Of A Sudden?

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An inadequate diet and improper oral hygiene practices will cause your dog’s breath to smell. These causes create a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive and result in your dog’s breath smelling.

Oral Hygiene And Periodontal Diseases

Bad oral hygiene leads to plaque build-up causing smelly breath. Some dogs are regular chewers, and this gets bits of meats and debris stuck in the mouth, which gradually builds up around the gums and teeth.

Plaque creates a breeding ground for bacterial infections, which end up infecting the gums, causing inflammation, tooth loss, tissue destruction, and bad breath. This is known as Periodontal disease.

The best way to prevent many mouth-related diseases is by taking care of your dog and regularly giving them a mouth cleanse with either gels or toothpaste.

Bad Diet

Sometimes dogs tend to consume the weirdest of objects which can cause their mouth to start smelling. Some dogs are known to consume things out of the garbage and will not even hesitate to eat decomposing remains on the sidewalk.

Dogs that consume inedible objects regularly may suffer from coprophagia, which makes them vomit. These weird eating habits are possible causes of your dog’s bad breath.

Treatment is easy. You will need to regularly monitor what your dog consumes and brush its teeth. However, if their bad breath persists, visit your nearest veterinary for a checkupbecause it may be caused by more serious diseases like liver disease.

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Even After Brushing Their Teeth?

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If your dog’s breath still smells after you have brushed their teeth, then they might be affected by a health condition. Health conditions that cause bad breath include liver disease and diabetes.

Liver Disease

Liver diseases may lead to a variety of complications, including bad breath. The liver controls many of the vital chemical processes in the body, like digestion and removing toxins in the blood.

Liver disease is a group of diseases that cause the liver to stop performing its vital role or not perform it effectively. Since the liver is tasked with many vital roles, many other body parts will become affected.

Genetics and your dog’s environment both play a role and are known to be common causes of liver disease. Some dogs are more prone to common liver diseases like liver inflammation (chronic hepatitis) and liver cancer.

Symptoms include having a yellow tinge on gums, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Vomiting often leads to bad breath. It is vital to take your dog to the veterinarian for treatment for liver disease and bad breath, which come hand in hand.

They will be prescribed medications to stop the vomiting and inflammation.


Diabetes is a potential cause of your dog’s horrid breath. When your dog has diabetes, there is a build-up of ketone, which leads to a fruity and sweet breath. Diabetes also causes high levels of glucose which eventually leads to the saliva having high sugar content.

This saliva mixed with odor-producing food is not a good combination because it creates a horrid smell. Aside from the odor, a diabetic dog will urinate frequently, and their urine will often be dark.

Weight loss despite frequent eating is a key sign to look for before taking your dog to see the vet. Once there, they will examine, stabilize glucose levels via insulin injections and change their diet and exercise routines.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Dog’s Bad Breath Fast?

Getting your dog’s breath to smell clean and fresh is not much of a hassle. Below are five easy ways to get rid of that bad breath fast, which include using toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth, keeping your bathroom door closed, and shifting to a meat-dense diet.

Using Toothpaste To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is the best way to maintain oral hygiene and get rid of a smelly mouth fast. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week to prevent the build-up of food and plaque in the mouth.

If your dog gives you a tough time during the process, visit your nearest veterinary or dog parlor, where they will teach you great techniques on how to get your dog or pup to comply.

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Bones And Chewy Snacks

As it is well known, dogs love bones. Bones enable dogs to clean their teeth and remove excess plaque or food in between teeth as they are biting on them.

It is important that you do not purchase cooked animal bones because they can splinter inside the throat or stomach, causing severe injuries or death. If splinting bones do not sit well with you, the chewy toys are a better alternative and work well in reducing a smelly mouth.

Meat-Only Diet

Meat-only diets are a preventative measure against smelly dog breath. Foods like carbohydrates create perfect breeding grounds for bacteria to thrive. You should remove excess carbohydrates and grains from your dog’s diet.

Nutrition-wise, meat-only diets are the best to serve your dog to ensure they have good breath. It is proven that dogs who only consume meat, like they would have if they were in the wild, have better health, gums, teeth, and breath than their counterparts.

Processed foods or meats should also be avoided because they create a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. The meat’s nutrition keeps your dog strong, and the chewing motion acts like a toothbrush, scraping away food particles and plaque, which keeps their breath clean.

Keep Your Bathroom Door Closed

Dogs drink toilet water which can cause them to have bad breath. Some dogs are drawn to drinking toilet water. Toilet water contains a lot of bacteria which, when ingested, may cause an unpleasant odor in the mouth.

Make sure to keep the bathroom door closed to keep your dog out. Aside from bad breath, drinking toilet water could result in health issues such as Giardia. The consumption of cleaning detergents can also result in health issues.

What Natural Remedies Can I Use To Get Rid Of My Dog’s Bad Breath?

Herbs, spices, and vegetables are some of the natural remedies to cure a dog’s bad breath. Many of these spices and herbs are in your backyard, so you will not have to worry about spending. The best part is that you do not have to use much of it.

Some of these spices and fruit include mint, parsley, cinnamon, apples, carrots, and peppermint.


Add a small amount of mint to your dog’s water or food. Be aware that this herb contains chlorophyll so that it will leave your dog’s breath smelling fresh.


Parsley has a pleasant natural scent to it that will quickly treat your dog’s bad breath. You can add one or two teaspoons of parsley to your dog’s water, food, or homemade treats. The great thing about parsley is its chlorophyll which fights bacteria in the mouth.

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Cinnamon is great for treating your dog’s bad breath. This spice has a strong scent, so sprinkle a tiny bit in your dog’s food.

Cinnamon can break down food and plaque between the gum and teeth that act as a breeding ground for bacteria. Once these bacteria are gone, your dog’s breath will begin smelling more pleasant.


There is a wide range of fruits out there that can help clean your dog’s mouth and prevent bad breath.

Apples, hard pears, and apricots are commonly used to help your dog remove food and plaque build-up during the chewing process. Try cutting these fruits into bites sizes to make them easier to chew and prevent your dog from choking on large chunks.


Carrots are one of the best vegetables to help cure bad breath. Since carrots are hard, they too act as a sort of natural filter as it is being chewed.

Bits of stuck food and plaque that may have begun building up will be scraped away during the chewing process and eventually leave your dog’s mouth smelling much cleaner. Carrots also provide your dog with a healthy amount of vitamin A.

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Pete Decker