Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath

Sometimes just like us, our dogs can have bad breath. I am not talking about morning breath or breath from something they ate.  Bad breath in your dog can be a sign of a serious health issue with your dog.  Why does my dog have bad breath is a topic and issue that you don’t want to leave unanswered.

why does my dog have bad breath
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Let’s look at some main reasons why your dog may have bad breath and find out if there is anything you can do to help your dogs breath.  Nobody wants their dog to have foul smelling breath.  And of course we don’t want our dogs to be in any kind of discomfort.  Making sure they are healthy and happy is our most important responsibility as dog parents.

Normal bacteria

The bacteria that is most commonly found in the mouth of our dog is called Capnocytophaga.  This is called “normal oral flora” and is also found in most cats and even humans.

Our dogs mouth develops this bacteria from what they eat and drink.  This type of bacteria feeds on the food remnants that is in our dogs mouth.  The process of the bacteria multiplying can cause our dog’s mouth to have a foul smell.  Much like our breath would be if we didn’t take care of our mouth by brushing or flossing.

Teeth and gum health

Bad breath that is to the point of a sewer type smell, that generally indicates a serious problem.  The most common cause of bad breath is from bad teeth issues or periodontal disease.  This is caused by a build up of plague and tartar on your dogs teeth that has happened over a long period.

Tooth decay and bad plague build-up cause a bacterium that is what causes that awful sulfur like smell.  When your dog has this issue, he needs to go see a Vet as soon as possible.  Normally this means that they have teeth that are rotten and need to be pulled out.

While your dog is put out for the removal, the Vet will also clean your dog’s teeth and do a check to make sure their is not other issues.

Leaving your dog’s teeth and mouth in this condition will absolutely shorten their life.  If your dog has an infection in one of those teeth, that infection can get in to the jaw bone and even into the bloodstream.  Once in the bloodstream, it can cause organ failure in the heart, liver, and kidneys.

This isn’t something that you just want to leave alone and hope that it doesn’t get any worse.  It will and in the meantime your dog is suffering in pain.  We all know what it feels like to have a tooth ache, it doesn’t feel very good. Just imagine if it is more than one tooth that is in trouble and how your dog must feel.  Very painful, I am sure.

dog dental care

Mouth tumors

One of the less common reasons your dog may have bad breath can be caused by something called oral tumors.  The tumors can be cancerous, or benign.  3 of the most commonly known type of tumors in a dogs mouth are:

  • malignant melanoma – a type of skin cancer
  • fibrosarcoma – soft tissue sarcoma
  • oral squamous cell carcinoma – a malignant tumor found mostly in the tonsils and throat

Tumors that grow inside the mouth can create small pockets of bacteria that can easily trap food.  When the food gets trapped in there, it starts to rot causing a very unpleasant and foul smell.

They can vary in size from golf ball tumors to small pea sized one.  We all know how hard it is to actually take a peek inside our dogs mouth, that never goes well.  For this reason the small tumors can go unnoticed for a long time period inside your dog’s mouth.

Your dogs breath may slowly change with this type of issue as it takes awhile to build up in these pockets.  In order to investigate mouth tumors, your Vet would need to sedate your dog to assess and test the tumor to find out what it is.

Depending on the type of tumor your dog has, the treatment may vary from easy removal to radiation or chemo,

Intestinal issues

your dog is suffering in silence with a stomach issue, you may not even notice.  A gastrointestinal issue like acid reflux can easily cause your dog to have bad breath.

The reason for this type of bad breath is due to megaoesophagus or the swelling of gullet.  With swelling and dilation, food can pool in this area and start to smell.  Much like what happens with tumors.

Any kind of gastro issue like a blockage in the bowel, kidney, liver or gastritis can cause this type of inflammation. kidney disease can cause vomiting.  This vomiting then will cause the swelling.

A dog’s diet is often the cause of vomiting and swelling in the intestines in older dogs as it can cause pancreatitis. This pancreatitis can be due to your dog diet.  As dogs get older, they tend to need a much healthier dog food than just a kibble.  Many people have opted to feed a raw dog food diet to their dog to ensure they get the best food possible.

dog dental care


Unlike us, we can brush our teeth to get rid of that leftover bacteria that can be in our mouth from eating or drinking. We even swish around some mouthwash to add even more bacteria fighting for ourselves.

Dogs teeth unfortunately are not taken care of in the same way.  Brushing our dogs teeth would really help with getting rid of the bad breath dour and also provide much better oral health for them.

Very few dog parents are in the habit of maintaining their dogs teeth this way.  That isn’t to say that some people do maintain brushing of their dogs teeth.  Some do learn to do this right away with a new puppy, which is the right time to start if you are thinking of doing this.  You can start when they are older, it can just be a bit more difficult for your dog to allow you to do.

Things have changed so much in the past 10 years in dog oral health.  It is now so much easier to get dog products that we can use like tooth brushes, tooth paste and sprays.  All of these can be used to help prevent our dog from developing a oral health issue and bad breath.

Even if your dog has had mouth issues that were causing bad breath that are now repaired, it is not too late to keep that breath fresh.  If you paid for a fix, you may want to avoid another Vet bill around the corner.

One of the easiest and inexpensive ways that we can maintain our dogs fresh breath is by using a dental spray.

As I mentioned, it can be very difficult to brush our dogs teeth.  Using a dental spray in your dogs mouth is a quick less stressful way to care for your dogs breath and oral health.  The spray I am talking about is called “Spray Me” dental spray.  This spray helps control tartar buildup, maintain fresh breath, keeps our dogs gums healthy and boosts your dogs overall immunity.

Made from mixing:

  • grape seed extract
  • graperuit seed extract
  • peppermint oil
  • thyme oil
  • rosemary oil
  • neem seed oil

Why Does My Day Have Bad Breath - SPRAY Me Screen

100% all natural and holistic ingredients.  “Spray Me” is easy for your dog to digest and completely hypoallergenic, so it is good for any dog.

Improvement in your dogs teeth and breath can take from 3 to 8 weeks.  Backed with a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee, it’s a sheer bet you won’t be disappointed.

TruDog Teeth Spray Screenshot

dog bad breath cta


When it comes to dog oral health, there are many factors that contribute to our dogs developing bad breath.  Things like diet, oral hygiene, genetics and environmental exposure can all play apart.

Food as we know plays a huge role in how plaque and tartar build up on teeth.  Making sure that our dogs and especially our older dogs get a healthy well-balanced meal is key to oral health.

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Did you know that 4 of 5 dogs will get gum disease in their lifetime.  Yup!!  That is a staggering number.  Senior dogs, are obviously that much more likely to develop oral health issues than younger dogs.  But this just shows us how important it is to maintain our dogs oral health by doing everything we can to give them the best life possible.

Take a look at your dogs teeth and start fresh today. LOL!  Literally now that we know why our dogs have bad breath, and have the information of what to do, there is no excuse.

4 thoughts on “Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath”

  1. Wow, thank you for explaining this to me. I just moved in with my flatmate and his 2 dogs have some horrendous breath. I asked him what it could be and he has no idea and just chalked it up to the dog food.

    However, it seems like they may have a build up of plaque and need to see a vet asap. I will let him know once he gets home from work.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Brandon,

      That is great news that you found my post relevant and informative.  Hopefully your flatmate will listen to what you have to say, as leaving this type of issue can lead to serious problems. 

      It is a great idea to get him to take his dogs to the Vet.  I know if can sometimes be a bit costly, the alternative of leaving it could be way worse. 

      Thank you so much for being a part of my post and best of luck to you.


      • I have a four month old puppy who is losing his baby teeth and he has yucky breath….so what could be causing his smelly breath. I have started putting doggie toothpaste on my finger and attempting to rub his teeth …..dont know what else I can do….

        • Hi Anna,

          My dog Fergus is just 5 mos old , so a similar age. He is also losing his teeth right now! But he doesn’t have bad breat.

          What kind of food and treats do you feed your puppy? Food can be a huge factor if it isn’t a good quality food or treat. Table scraps are also something that can cause that awful breath.

          My first reaction would be to ask the vet as you will be going soon I’m guessing for the 4 mos vaccinations. There maybe an underlying tooth issue that could be causing it. Your dog should not have bad breathe already.

          Thanks for sharing on my post. I love hearing others experiences.
          Best of luck with your puppy.



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