Treating a Dog that has Bad Breath

Table of Contents

Overview | Other Symptoms | Prevention | Q&A


"If your dog has bad breath, it is probably caused by a dental issue. Treatment involves receiving a professional dental cleaning and then daily brushing of the teeth. A natural oral spray can come in handy (see bottom of page) as both a preventative and a quick solution to bouts of bad breath."


We've all heard of the phrase "dog breath". The causes of bad breath in dogs is usually something to do with dental health.

Food that your dog is eating gets caught in the teeth. If the food isn't removed with brushing, bacteria starts to form. Bacteria on the teeth is called plaque which in turn becomes tarter. The tarter causes the gums to become irritated which allows the bacteria to get to the tooth roots. The roots become susceptible to infection, tooth decay and loss and ultimately, bad breath.

You can check your dog for tarter buildup by pulling up the top lip and check at the base of the teeth. If you see discoloring (yellow, brown, gray) then tarter is building up. The gums themselves should be pink. If they are red then your dog might have a condition called gingivitis.

In severe cases, infection in the gums creates an opening in the dogs nose. If you see discharge from the nose, it could be that what is called an abscess has formed.

Note if the bad breath has a garlic smell and your dog could have ingested phosphorous (found in fireworks, matches, rat and roach poison) then seek immediate treatment. The "garlic breath" would be accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.

Dog Gingivitis
Dog Gingivitis

Other Symptoms

If your dog has dental disease, then other symptoms may accompany bad breath such as drooling more than normal. Your dog might have trouble eating as represented by changes in the way food is chewed and handled. Your dog might favor one side of the mouth over the other if the dental disease is localized.

If your dog's mouth has inflammation and when examining inside the mouth you see redness or what looks like holes in the lining of the mouth (ulceration) then your dog might be suffering from a condition called Stomatitis (sore mouth). Types of stomatitis include Trench Mouth (caused by bacteria, see saliva stains on legs) and Thrush (usually forms in dogs on antibiotics - causes white patches in the mouth). Treatment involves a professional teeth cleaning and antibiotics.


Their are two paths to prevention.

1. Brush your Dog's teeth every day - Dogs require the same dental care as humans. Daily brushing with a soft bristle children's brush or brush made for dogs will keep the teeth clean. So our guide on brushing dog teeth

2. Consider A Natural Herbal Spray - Colloidal silver, a safe and natural remedy, helps to naturally control bacteria in the mouth. Sprays can be used as a preventative or when a bad smell is detected. Pet Alive OralHealth Mouth Spray promotes oral health, is all natural and made expressly for this purpose.

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We will do our best to get back to you quickly (it depends on how many questions we receive each day). If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now and operates 24 hours a day.

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