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Top 10 why does my dog’s breath smell like death You Need To Know

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es Bad Dog Breath & How to Get Rid of It

Written by Katie Dahlhausen, PhD

Published on February 28, 2020

What Causes Bad Dog Breath & How to Get Rid of It

Bad dog breath is a common condition that can make some pet parents hesitate when getting close to their dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association named February as National Pet Dental Health month; we’re creating awareness about it by talking about causes of bad dog breath, many of which are connected to dental health.

Some causes are rather harmless, such as your dog just ate some cat poop, while others causes could be a sign of a serious underlying health condition. While smaller dog breeds, older dogs, and breeds with short snouts are more prone to having bad breath, a healthy dog shouldn’t have chronic bad breath.

In this article, we will explain the common causes of stinky dog breath, the connection between poor oral health and disease, prevention tips, and available treatment options. Learn how to fix bad dog breath for good.

Common Causes of Chronic Bad Breath

Gum Disease

Bad Breath in Dogs - Dog with Gum Disease

Dog with Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

The most common cause of bad breath is a build up of bacteria on your dog’s teeth, called plaque. While a healthy mouth has bacteria in it, plaque promotes the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria that produce unpleasant odors, causing bad breath. If plaque isn’t removed, it can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which are the first signs of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease).

When left untreated, gum disease can be dangerous to your pet’s health. Despite gum disease being preventable with a regular oral hygiene regimen, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that roughly 80% of dogs have gum disease by age three. That’s a lot of bad breath!

An Imbalanced Oral or Gut Microbiome

Harmful bacteria can cause bad breath in dogs

Balanced gut microbiomes and oral microbiomes are both very important for your dog’s overall health. Many think the route from the mouth to the gut is a one way street, but oral health and gut health are actually quite connected. A microbiome can become imbalanced when ‘bad’ bacteria are present, overpower beneficial bacteria, or grow too numerous.

For example, an imbalanced gut microbiome can cause bad breath because an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can produce a lot of smelly gas. This gas can be absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually exhaled, causing bad breath. This suggests that some conditions related to imbalances in the gut microbiome can cause bad breath.

Alternatively, an imbalanced oral microbiome can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome. Dogs swallow a lot of saliva, which contains bacteria from the mouth, so it’s no surprise some of those bacteria end up living in the gut. Too many ‘bad’ bacteria in the mouth could end up growing in the gut, causing an imbalanced microbiome, which can also contribute to bad breath.

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Diseases or Health Conditions

Disease or health conditions are linked to stinky dog breath

There are numerous diseases and health conditions connected to bad breath, that’s why there are tests that use breath to detect the early onset of certain diseases in a non-invasive way. Of the more well known connections between disease and bad breath are diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.

  • Diabetes can cause a buildup of ketones, a byproduct from the body breaking down fat instead of glucose, resulting in breath smelling sweet, fruity or like nail polish remover. Additionally, dog diabetes can also result in high sugar levels; the increased sugar content of saliva is the best food for bad, odor-producing bacteria to thrive.
  • Liver disease can cause the breath to smell musty or like a dead animal. This is because the liver is no longer able to properly filter out toxins so stinky sulfur compounds, such as thiols, are released into the lungs.
  • Kidney disease can result in high urea levels in the body, causing the breath to smell like urine or fishy. Kidneys are also an important organ for filtering out toxins.
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While less common in dogs, bowel obstructions, acid reflux, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal issues can manifest as bad breath. This is because bad smells associated with digestion don’t move in the right direction in the intestinal tract.

More importantly, some bad-breath causing conditions can be exacerbated with poor oral hygiene. For example, bad bacteria that enter the bloodstream through inflamed gums can cause an infection. This can worsen canine diabetes by increasing insulin resistance and making it harder to manage blood sugar levels.

How to Prevent Bad Dog Breath

Prevent bad breath by  brushing  dog's teeth

Gum disease is the most common cause of bad breath in dogs, so taking care of your dog’s oral microbiome with these good oral hygiene practices is the first line of defense for preventing bad breath:

  • Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth with dog-specific toothpaste and brush is the most effective way to remove plaque buildup around your dog’s gumline.
  • Providing your dog with lots of chew toys is also an effective way to improve oral health because the gnawing process knocks off plaque and can increase saliva production to wash away bacteria.
  • Routinely check your dog’s teeth for signs of gum inflammation or worsening of gum health to know if you need to make changes to your dog’s oral hygiene practices. This article does a great job explaining and showing the different stages of gum disease so you know what to look out for. The good news is that the early stages of gum disease are reversible with positive changes to oral hygiene practices. An annual mouth checkup and/or dental cleaning with your veterinarian can help you stay on top of your dog’s oral health.

A healthy and balanced diet can help prevent smelly dog breath.

For example, certain ingredients in your dog’s food and/or treats could be negatively impacting your dog’s digestive system, resulting in bad breath due to an imbalanced gut microbiome. Furthermore, nutrients missing from your dog’s diet can also negatively affect your dog’s oral health.

For example, it has been shown that deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin B9 (folic acid) are associated with early signs of gum disease. Therefore, it may be necessary to supplement your dog’s diet with a multivitamin or more liver, fish, and bananas (a great treat!).

Learning about your dog’s oral health and ways to promote a healthy oral microbiome are also important for preventing bad breath. The Oral Health System can provide detailed insight into the health of your dog’s oral microbiome by identifying bacterial imbalances and noting the presence of bacteria known to contribute to gum disease.

The system also includes a prebiotic, called TEEF!, to add to your dog’s water. This prebiotic can provide the healthy bacteria in your dog’s mouth with all the nutrition they need to thrive. This can treat and prevent gum disease by reducing the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria in your dog’s mouth that also contribute to bad breath.

If maintaining good oral hygiene practices and a healthy lifestyle doesn’t seem to alleviate your dog’s bad breath, it is time to talk with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out an underlying health issue, help recommend dietary changes, and may suggest professional dental cleaning.

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What Causes Bad Dog Breath & How to Get Rid of It

What Causes Bad Dog Breath & How to Get Rid of It

  • Author: shop.animalbiome.com

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  • Sumary: In this article, we will explain the common causes of stinky dog breath, the connection between poor oral health and disease, prevention tips, and available treatment options.

  • Matching Result: Liver disease can cause the breath to smell musty or like a dead animal. This is because the liver is no longer able to properly filter out …

  • Intro: What Causes Bad Dog Breath & How to Get Rid of It Written by Katie Dahlhausen, PhD Published on February 28, 2020 Bad dog breath is a common condition that can make some pet parents hesitate when getting close to their dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association named February as National Pet Dental Health month; we’re creating awareness about it by talking about causes of bad dog breath, many of which are connected to dental health. Some causes are rather harmless, such as your dog just ate some cat poop, while others causes could be a sign of a serious…
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Why Your Dog's Breath Smells Like Death + What to Do About it

Why Your Dog's Breath Smells Like Death + What to Do About it

  • Author: mypetchild.com

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  • Sumary: Does your dog’s breath smell so bad that it smell likes death? Learn what might be causing your dog to have such a smelly odor.

  • Matching Result: Various dental conditions could cause your dog’s breath to smell like death including tartar buildup and gingivitis. Tartar buildup happens when plaque has been …

  • Intro: Why Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Death + What to Do About it Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt. Have you ever noticed that your dog’s breath smells so rotten and bad it smells like death? This is a very concerning situation for dog owners because it’s a sign that something is very wrong. Here is a list of the biggest reasons behind your dog’s breath smelling like death and what…
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Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here's What You Need to ...

Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here's What You Need to …

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  • Sumary: When your dog has bad breath, it’s hard to ignore – and you shouldn’t ignore it. There could be some serious underlying problems causing bad dog breath.

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  • Intro: Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here’s What You Need to Know | Central Broward Animal Hospital Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here’s What Plantation, FL Pet Owners Need to Know Bad breath in your dog could be periodontal disease, but it could also signify a serious or even life-threatening health issue. You should always brush your dog’s teeth regularly for healthy teeth and gums. If that does not hinder the bad breath, you should watch for specific symptoms that may indicate a disease. If your puppy has bad breath, it may well be from kidney or liver disease….
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dogs breath smells like death Archives - Delicate Care

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  • Sumary: Are you sick of your dog’s bad breath? Don’t worry; you are not the only one suffering from the effects of your four-legged friend’s awful smell. Halitosis or bad breath is prevalent in dogs. As a pet owner, you must have dealt with bad breath. There are many causes behind it. Diabetes, kidney problems, lung […]

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  • Intro: dogs breath smells like death Archives – Delicate Care Dog Has Bad Breath – Why and What To Do? Are you sick of your dog’s bad breath? Don’t worry; you are not the only one suffering from the effects of your four-legged friend’s awful smell. Halitosis or bad breath is prevalent in dogs. As a pet owner, you must have dealt with bad breath. There are many causes behind it. Diabetes, kidney problems, lung […] Read More
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Understanding Bad Dog Breath - River Landings Animal Clinic

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  • Sumary: Bad dog breath is very common and dog owners simply get used to it. But it should not be that way. Most times, canine halitosis is a sign of poor periodontal health. The term “doggy breath” is normally used in a condescending way to refer to people who have stinky breath. You’d think that this is b

  • Matching Result: If your dog’s breath smells like rotting cheese or toxic fumes, it could mean that they have consumed a poisonous plant. It’s normal for dogs to …

  • Intro: Understanding Bad Dog Breath — River Landings Animal Clinic in Bradenton, Florida Bad dog breath is very common and dog owners simply get used to it. But it should not be that way. Most times, canine halitosis is a sign of poor periodontal health.The term “doggy breath” is normally used in a condescending way to refer to people who have stinky breath. You’d think that this is because a dog always has bad breath, but this really couldn’t be farther from the truth.What does a dog’s stinky breath smell like?Usually, a dog’s breath is known to stink of fish, poop,…
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Sometimes it's not teeth - other causes of bad breath in pets.

Sometimes it's not teeth – other causes of bad breath in pets.

  • Author: vethelpdirect.com

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  • Sumary: What can cause bad breath? Bad breath, or halitosis, is very common in dogs and cats; however, there are a wide range of possible causes. Some are simple to treat; others less so – but bad breath is almost always symptoms of an underlying problem. There is one, harmless cause of halitosis – eating something rotten or smelly (much more common in dogs than cats)! Some dogs love eating faeces or rotting food; this may be habit, or greed – but in a small percentage of cases is due to a condition called pica. This is when the animal will eat pretty much anything, whether or not it is actually food-like, and may be due to mineral or vitamin deficiencies or certain brain diseases. In most cases, however, eating rotting or smelly things isn’t due to a disease condition (although it may well lead to a nasty episode of vomiting and diarrhoea!). Metabolic diseases can also cause bad breath – especially diabetes and kidney failure. These conditions are both associated with changes in urination and drinking, and often weight loss. If untreated, both are potentially fatal. In diabetes, the breath may smell sweet (because of the excess sugar in the bloodstream); sour (because of increased bacterial growth, as the bacteria feed on the sugar); or musty (as yeasts grow in the mouth). In kidney failure, the breath may smell metallic (due to a build-up of toxins and waste products that the kidneys aren’t filtering). Diseases of the respiratory tract such as sinusitis, nasal infections, and nasal tumours may also lead to bad breath…

  • Matching Result: That might be a mouth infection or a bad tooth – or even anal gland disease (commonly a cause of that fishy smell). Hope all goes well at the …

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My Dog's Breath Smells Like Death? - Bestie Paws

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Your Dog's Breath Smells Like Dead Animal? Here's Why!

Your Dog's Breath Smells Like Dead Animal? Here's Why!

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  • Sumary: Are you also sick of being greeted by your dog’s breath which smells like a dead animal? This blog post will tell you all the reasons why.

  • Matching Result: The reasons that result in your dog’s breath smelling like a corpse can include dental problems …

  • Intro: Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Dead Animal? Here’s Why!Are you sick of being greeted by your dog’s breath which smells like a dead animal?Are you also unable to sit with your four-legged companion because of its dead animal-like breath that fills your nostrils?Worry not, for this is a common problem in dogs.In America, almost 84% of pet owners complain that their dog’s breath gives off an awful odor.A dog’s rancid, death-like breath can be due to multiple reasons.Unfortunately, most adult dogs, or dogs older than three years, are victims of halitosis, and every 8 out of 10 dogs encounter this…
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Frequently Asked Questions About why does my dog’s breath smell like death

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic why does my dog’s breath smell like death, then this section may help you solve it.

Why does my dog’s breath smell rotten?

The most common causes of bad breath in dogs are bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Just like in humans, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

How do you fix rotten dog breath?

Add up to a teaspoon of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar to Fido’s water bowl.

  1. The acidity in lemon juice helps neutralize bacteria & fight the buildup of odor causing plaque and tartar.
  2. Lemon acts as a natural deodorizer creating freshly scented breath with every drink of water!

What does liver failure smell like in dogs?

Liver Failure If your dog is suffering from liver disease, they may have bad breath because of the reduced functioning of the liver. If it cannot filter out toxins, the result is bad breath. Dogs with liver failure often have breath that smells like a dead animal.

Why does my dog’s breath smell like rotten eggs?

“The most common cause of halitosis in the dog is periodontal disease arising from plaque (biofilm) and tartar build-up.” The primary cause of bad breath in dogs is bad bacteria causing decay that creates smelly sulfur compounds.

Can Stomach problems cause bad breath in dogs?

Stomach Issues

Bad breath can also be caused by a bacterial imbalance within a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. In addition to bad smelling breath dogs with these kinds of issues may have smelly farts and loose stools.

Do dogs breath stink when they get older?

Pups often have bad breath especially as they age. While it’s quite normal for your canine companion to have different smells on their breath sending on what they’ve recently eaten or what toys they’ve been playing with, but their breath can become stinky enough to repel all but the bravest dog owners.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is made from just apples and water, making it completely safe for dogs. It is slightly acidic, with a pH of 3.1 to 5, which gives it properties that can soothe a dog’s overly alkalized digestive tract. Add a teaspoon of ACV to your dog’s water bowl and see if he’ll drink it!

What does it mean when a dogs breath smells like fish?

Abscesses or cavities in the mouth and teeth often cause fishy smelling breath. Plus, foreign objects ? like food or sticks ? can also get lodged in the mouth and cause a foul smell. Sadly, it’s estimated that 80% of dogs by the age of two are affected with some degree of dental disease.

What does a dog’s breath smell like with kidney failure?

Bad breath – Breath that smells like an outhouse can be seen in the advanced stages of renal failure in dogs. This is a result of the toxins that build up in the blood.

What does kidney breath smell like in dogs?

If your dog’s breath smells strongly of ammonia or urine, it could be a symptom of kidney disease. The logic behind this is that if the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, urea in the dog’s body isn’t being eliminated.

Why does my dog suddenly have terrible breath?

Most often, it’s caused by dental or gum disease, and small dogs are especially prone to plaque and tartar. However, ongoing bad breath can indicate medical problems in a pet’s mouth, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract or organs.

What diseases cause bad breath in dogs?

There are a number of different possible causes of bad breath in your dog, but the most common are kidney disease, liver disease and oral health issues.

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