Bad Breath in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s bad breath.


Infectious disease: Periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Distemper, leptospirosis, and other diseases that cause oral ulcers or inflammation of lips, mouth tissues, or tongue.

Foreign bodies: Plant awns, fiberglass, bones caught between teeth.

Tumors: On gums, palate, or tongue.

Non-infectious/Acquired disease: Kidney disease, which can cause oral ulcers, or diabetes.

Irritation/Inflammation: From plants (dieffenbachia) or chemical agents.

Toxicity: Pesticides (metaldehyde, phosphorus).

What to do: Most cases of bad breath are not emergencies, but your dog still needs veterinary care. Call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog is unusually distressed or shows signs of illness that seem to be getting worse.

Disclaimer:’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Have a health question about your dog? Ask our 
vet expert or ask other dog owners on our forums.

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Article Categories:
Dogs · Health and Care

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