Causes For Dog Bad Breath

Table of Contents

Overview | Treatment


"Bad breath in dogs is usually the result of dental or periodontal disease. Controlling bad breath involves a professional teeth cleaning, daily tooth brushing and if the condition is frequent a natural mouth spray."


Causes of dog bad breath are usually due to some type of dental problem. The odor itself comes from bacteria that forms on food deposits in the mouth that were not removed, particularly if you do not brush your dog's teeth.

If you see blood after your dog chews something or bad breath is a persistent problem, then your dog probably has periodontal disease.

Note: The poison phosphorous will cause "garlic breath" and comes from the ingestion of rat poison, fireworks or matches. This condition is usually accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting and requires immediate veterinary care.

Bacteria in the Mouth Causing Bad Breath in Dogs

As mentioned, food that is not removed causes bacteria to form on the teeth. The bacteria combines with the minerals in saliva and turns into plaque. The saliva in your dog's mouth hardens the plaque into a brownish substance called tarter.

As it hardens around the gum line, it begins to irritate the gums causing a condition called gingivitis. The resulting irritation provides opportunities for bacteria to reach to roots of the teeth. Gingivitis is reversible if treated immediately. As time progresses the bacteria grow and the condition worsens.

The teeth begin to loosen and form abscesses which can even create holes that connect the nasal cavity. The condition can spread to the eyes and cause jaw fractures. If you see frequent mucus from the nose accompanied with bad breath this is probably the case.

By age 2, 80% of dogs have periodontal disease.

Treatment for Dog Bad Breath

To remove the causes of bad breath you need to improve the dental health of your dog by adhering to the following steps:

  1. Professional Cleaning - It starts with a professional dental cleaning performed in your veterinarians office or at the office of a pet dentist.

  2. Dietary Change - There are dog foods that promote dental health in dogs. Food such as Hill's® Prescription Diet® and Canine t/d® are clinically proven to reduce levels of plaque, tartar, and gingivitis. It is a myth that dry food alone keeps the teeth clean.

  3. Daily Dental Care - Brush your dog's teeth with a Flavored Toothpaste made for dogs.

  4. Natural Mouth Spray - A mouth spray can come in handy to help prevent bad breath, eliminate bad breath when you smell it and to improve the health of your dog's mouth. PetAlive OralHealth Mouth Spray is worth researching as it is all natural, from a reputable company and is made for this purpose.

  5. Carry Dog Breath Mints - There are Breath Mints that you can carry that might be a quick fix for bad breath. They are all natural and also promote dental health.