Bad breath in dogs or in technical terms halitosis, which is fancy for bad breath, can be a little hard to handle, especially if they want cuddles and kisses.

So why does your dog have bad breath?

There are a few reasons that we will go through which will help determine why your dog has bad breath.
I’ve been through this with Harley. Her breath was starting to stink, and I didn’t know why. I thought I was doing everything right. I had toothpaste and would brush her teeth thinking maybe it was the plaque?

After a vet consultation to find out what was going on, I discovered that it wasn’t Harley’s fault. It was her mumma, and no I don’t mean my breath. 🙂

It was what I was feeding Harley. Harley has always been a bit stubborn when it comes to food, never really into eating biscuits. I’ve always stayed away from supermarket food as it upsets Harley’s stomach.
Which meant that I was giving her all home cooked meals, such as chicken, rice, vegetables, red meats, raw meats, all the right stuff.

But what do these healthy foods have in common?

They are all soft food.

Harley was getting a full balanced diet to suit her nutritional requirements and not affect her sensitive stomach, but none of it was helping her teeth or in between her teeth where the soft food would get stuck.

She needed to have some biscuits in her diet to help break down the plaque and clean in between her teeth at the same time.

So now we have solved the bad breath mystery with Harley, below may help you discover why your furbaby has bad breath. Also, if you don’t think any of these especially relates to your dog, speak to your vet as there could be another issue leading to your dog’s bad breath.

4 Common Signs of Bad Breath in Dogs


Gingivitis is very common in humans as it is in dogs. Having old food stuck in between teeth and plaque build up can lead to bad breath and also red puffy gums.

It’s the bacteria in the plaque build up that creates the gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis.

Signs of gingivitis

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums when chewing or eating hardy foods

(Similar to when humans brush their teeth, and you find you’re spitting out saliva and blood or blood on the toothbrush.)
Lift up your dog’s lips and take a look. Remember to be gentle and calm, so your furbaby is not worried. If the area around your dog’s gums are red and look puffy, then there could be plaque build up and will need to be treated. Speak to your vet about suitable options for your furbaby.

Foreign Objects

Have you had a good look in your dog’s mouth lately? There could be a foreign object stuck in your furbaby’s gums, inside the mouth or in between their teeth.

Bad breath in dogs can happen when they chew on objects that can split. Sticks and bones are common for splitting off and getting lodged into dog’s teeth or in the flesh on the side of the mouth.

Open your dog’s mouth and carefully run your fingers along their gums and around the inside of the mouth and feel for little bumps as it could be food or another type of foreign object.


Bad breath in dogs could be caused by the food you are feeding them. If you know that their teeth are clean and haven’t been chewing sticks or bones, then consider their diet.

Take a look at the ingredients section and see if anything sticks out, for example, if 80% ingredient is fish that could be the problem. Take out the ingredients you think could be the issue and see if your dog’s breath improves.


We never want to see our furbaby’s in pain let alone coping with a disease. Here are the six common signs your dog is in pain to help better understand our furbaby’s.

Having regular vet check ups and taking note when your furbaby is not acting themselves will help your furbaby live a happy life.

To name a few diseases that could cause bad breath in dogs are:

  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Cancer
  • Oral tumors
  • Bacterial infection in mouth/throat
  • Fungal infection in mouth/throat
  • Periodontitis Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease

If you are at all concerned about your furbaby’s breath, speak to your vet and find out the cause and get a treatment plan.

Over to you: Has your furbaby had a case of bad breath? Would like to add any other causes of bad breath in dogs?


Gina and Harley

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