Bad Breath Pets: What To Do?

Bad Breath Pets: What To Do?

Posted by By Mike Powell, Guest Blogger and Dog lover on Sep 15th 2020

All pet parents know that feeling - arriving home and bending down to greet your lovable pup, only to be met by the breath that makes you swoon (and not in a good way).

Bad breath is enough to cause you to not want to be close to your dog, which they don’t understand and it means fewer cuddles for everyone. Apart from that, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

For everyone’s sake, it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of your dog’s bad breath and fix it before it becomes a bigger issue.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are a few things that could be the culprit in your dog’s bad breath problem. Some are easy to fix but some are quite serious, so it’s a good idea to take action as soon as possible.

Dental Disease

The most often encountered reason for bad breath is gum disease. It’s reported to be a problem in dogs from the age of 2 and upwards, but increases with age.

Solution: If your dog’s breath is bad enough for you to take notice, it’s a good idea to take him for a check-up. If it’s bad enough, the vet may prescribe antibiotics. Otherwise, regular brushing at home is a good idea, as is getting your pup a decent chew toy.

Kidney, Liver, or Pancreatic Problems

Bad breath could be caused by a medical problem completely unrelated to the mouth. Three common reasons for halitosis are kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes.

If your dog’s breath smells like ammonia or urine, their kidneys are likely to have trouble. If the smell is accompanied by yellowed eyes or gums, the liver is the problem. Diabetes isn’t “bad” breath - you’ll notice a sweet or fruity scent on your dog’s breath.

Solution: These conditions aren’t something you should be treated at home. A vet’s visit is to determine the severity of the condition, and its likely medicine will be prescribed.

What They’re Eating

You may have been told in the past that chewing kibble can reduce plaque. This is a complete falsehood and you should really know what kibble does to teeth.

Veterinarian Michael Fox claims, “Obesity and dental problems are associated with highly processed manufactured pet foods, especially those high in cereals.”

Homeopathic veterinarian Don Hamilton agrees. “High levels of sugars and simple carbohydrates provide rapidly available nutrition for oral bacteria.”

According to, bacteria in the mouth can be divided into two main categories:

  • Beneficial bacteria normally found in healthy mouths that live on the surfaces of the cheeks, tongue, gums, and teeth, and
  • Disease-associated bacteria that live in pockets in the gums. Disease-associated bacteria contribute to inflammation and gum disease in dogs.

An imbalance in the oral bacteria levels could contribute to gum disease or digestive upset, both of which manifest as bad breath. Also, dogs like to chew on random stuff they find lying around (like bird carcasses or their poop), which is hard to prevent.

Solution: Feeding your a raw or natural diet could help reduce gum and stomach problems. Providing your dog with appropriate sized raw meaty bones under supervision can also help to keep those teeth clean. Another alternative would be to test your dog’s oral bacteria using an oral health test kit and use a product like TEEF! that can be added to your dog’s drinking water. It’s a safe, easy way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy between veterinary cleanings, and it actually targets the root cause of gum disease—the overgrowth of those inflammation-causing bacteria. We do not recommend using any chemical additives or sprays to combat this issue.


Bad breath doesn’t have to be a problem! In most cases, the thing keeping you from wanting to get close to your dog is easy to fix. Even if you’re not too fussed about it, it’s a good idea to rule out any underlying conditions so your pup can live a happy, healthy life.

Believe me - both you and your pup will be happier when their bad breath is a thing of the past.

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