Bad pet breath is never nice to smell from your dog. The dangers of pet breath are more than just rotten teeth or dental problems. Bad breath from your pet dog could be a sign of bacteria in the lungs or gut. In some cases, bad pet breath can indicate a liver or kidney problem.

A common reason for pet breath

The most common reason for bad breath (or, halitosis) is a buildup of bacteria in your pet’s oral cavity. Plaque or tartar on the teeth can lead to gum disease or decaying teeth.

To prevent bad breath in your pet dog, it’s important to clean your furry friend’s teeth regularly. Your local vet will give your dog’s teeth a check over as part of the regular examination to look for signs of decay of gum disease.

Other dangers of pet breath

If you notice strange or unusual smells from your dog’s mouth, it could indicate a more serious problem. This is especially true if your four-legged friend has persistent halitosis.

Bad breath can be a sign of kidney disease

If your pet’s breath smells of ammonia or has a urine-like whiff to it, it may be a sign of kidney dysfunction. The smell originates when the kidneys can’t eliminate waste products effectively.


If you notice a sweet odor from your dog’s breath, it may be a sign of diabetes. The fruit-like smell is caused by a condition called “diabetic ketoacidosis.” To check for diabetes, your vet can take urine or blood samples.

Eating non-food items

Some dogs are in the habit of consuming items that are not food items. For example, bones, sticks, or fishing hooks can become lodged in their teeth and cause a buildup of bacteria. Or, you dog could have eaten disgusting things like dog poop or dead animals.

Dog food

If you have had your dog’s health checked over and your pet still has bad breath, it could be due to the dog food they have. Some dog’s breath is affected by dry food or wet food. Your vet may suggest other healthy alternatives that meet your pet’s nutritional needs and help to eliminate pet breath.