My Dog’s Breath Smells Like a Fish Tank

By Tom •  Updated: 08/04/21 •  3 min read
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Just like humans, a dog’s breath can change over time. It may smell like normal, and then all of a sudden become foul! Normal dog breath is just that—dog breath. But if a dog’s breath becomes foul, then this may be an indication of an underlying health issue.

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Has your dog’s breath started smelling like a fish tank? Are you worried this could mean your dog is sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog develops this type of symptom.

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In this article, we’ll take a look at what can cause a dog’s breath to smell like a fish tank and how you can help your dog. Let’s get started!

First Check This!

The first thing to check is what your dog has been eating recently. A change in his diet could cause your canine companion’s breath to smell like fish!

Have you changed your dog to new dog food that contains fish? Have you given your dog fish to eat? Could he have gotten fish out of the garbage and eaten it? These are some of the most common reasons a dog’s breath may smell like fish.

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If that’s the case, then brushing your dog’s teeth should help with the smell. Be sure to monitor his breath over the next several days, too. See if the fishy smell remains or seems to go away. If it remains, then the smell could be caused by something else altogether.

Other Causes of Fish Tank Breath in Dogs

A dog’s breath can smell like a fish tank for the following reasons:

Anal glands: dogs have two anal glands, one located on each side of the anus. These glands may be expressed when a dog licks them, which can cause the dog’s breath to smell like a fish tank. In addition, the anal glands are naturally expressed when a dog poops. And there are times when the glands can become infected, which can cause a dog to lick his rear and/or glands more often. This can also cause a fishy smell.

Dental problems: another common cause of fish tank breath in dogs includes different types of dental problems. This can include the development of plaque, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and more.

Kidney & liver problems: any type of kidney and liver problem can also cause a dog’s breath to smell like a fish tank. This can include kidney stones, kidney/liver infections, and more.

How to Help Your Dog

If you’ve determined that your dog hasn’t eaten any fish, then his fish tank breath could be caused by an underlying health issue. For this reason, it’s best to make an appointment with the vet. They will be able to make a diagnosis and treatment plan to help your dog.

The good news is that not only will your dog feel better, but he’ll also have better-smelling breath!

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Tom

Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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