Taking too long? Close loading screen.
puppy finder

Are you a top breeder? Get Listed for Free

Home Insights When Should I Be Worried…

When Should I Be Worried About My Dog’s Breath?

When Should I Be Worried About My Dog’s Breath?

A dog’s breath may not always be pleasant. But in most cases, you have nothing to be worried about if your pup’s breath is a little stinky.

However, persistent and particularly foul smelling breath can be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue. Here, we’ll show you what you should look out for if you are worried about your dog’s bad breath.

Bad Breath: The Basics

Bad breath, called halitosis, is usually not the sign of a more serious health issue. Often, it’s simply caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, and can be dealt with by a simple cleaning.

Dental Or Gum Disease

However, sometimes bad breath can be a problem. Bad breath can be a sign of a more serious oral health issue for your puppy. If you notice bad breath that won’t go away, lift your dog’s lips and look for any inflammation around their gums or plaque buildup on their teeth.

If you catch this early, it won’t be too much of an issue, and can be dealt with quickly. However, if left alone the smell will only get worse over time, as the plaque can begin to cause tooth decay. And inflammation can cause further oral health problems if not addressed.

The best way to keep your dog’s gums from getting inflamed and avoiding plaque buildup is by regular cleaning. This can be done yourself, or you can take your dog to a groomer or the vet, if you want a professional to handle it.

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are responsible for removing toxins and and other waste from your dog’s blood. If they aren’t working like they should, this can cause a wide range of health problems. Sometimes, dogs will develop bad breath that smells like ammonia if their kidneys aren’t working properly.

If you notice this, call your vet, as kidney problems can be life threatening if left untreated.

Something Stuck In Their Mouth

Dogs like to chew on just about anything. Sometimes, things will get lodged in their mouth. This can cause inflammation, which can lead to bad breath. Or the object that’s stuck may itself begin to smell.

Open your dog’s mouth and have a look around. Remove the object, and try to keep your dog away from objects that can get lodged in their mouth. Try to keep your dogs from chewing on sticks. Although this is a cute habit, it can be a dangerous one, and cause a wide range of healthy problems. Give them a safe toy to play with instead.

Oral Tumors

The tumors often grow quite rapidly, so fast that the blood vessels in the mouth can’t keep up. That means part of the tumor doesn’t receive blood, and the tissue dies. This dead tissue can begin to smell, causing your dog to have bad breath. If you notice persistent bad breath, you should get your dog checked for growths.

Diseases in the digestive tract can lead to disruption of the healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut. Although bad breath is not a common symptom of this, it can occur in some cases.


Food can be another source of bad breath. If your dog continues to have bad breath, it may be due to something in their diet. Check and make sure that your dog’s diet doesn’t have any toxic foods in it, and that you’re getting the dog food from a reputable brand. Speak with your vet about your dog’s diet and see what changes they recommend.


If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, or is in the early stages of the disease, you probably won’t notice anything different about your dog’s breath. But when diabetes is left uncontrolled, it can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis. When a dog has ketoacidosis, their breath will smell sweet.

Make sure that your dog isn’t picking anything up in the yard. Dogs have a tendency to eat and lick certain things that they shouldn’t, and this can cause


Dogs may also lick their rear frequently, causing bad breath. If you notice that your puppy can’t stop licking their rear, this could be a sign that they have a medical issue, such as impacted anal glands. Speak to your vet about the problem.

Sometimes you may be able to deal with it yourself. However, in more serious cases, you should take your dog to the vet.

Breathe Easy

Doggy breath usually isn’t something you should worry about. But if you notice that your dog’s breath is suddenly worse than usual, you should check for signs of an underlying medical condition. And a quick call to the vet may be worth the peace of mind.

Don’t have the perfect pup yet? Head over to our puppy finder page and you’ll have your dream companion in no time.

Uptown Puppies Puppy Finder

Puppies available!

Click to browse available puppies from 5 Star Breeders.

See Available Puppies puppyfinder by Uptown Puppies