My Dog’s Breath Smells Like Death

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 11/23/21 •  3 min read
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Dog’s Breath Smells Like Death

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When your dog has doggie breath, getting his kisses can be less than appreciated! While doggie breath is normal in a healthy dog, there are times when a dog may develop foul breath, which smells like death.

Have you noticed that your dog’s breath smells like death? Are you worried this could be a sign that your dog’s 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.

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

First Check This!

One of the most common causes of a dog’s breath smelling like death is an oral hygiene problem. This can include periodontal disease, which is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the dog’s mouth. The bacteria cause plaque and tartar to form, which leads to gingivitis, too. This type of issue can make it very painful and difficult for a dog to eat.

Dogs with advanced oral hygiene issues may not eat and begin to lose weight. Dogs have been known to starve due to the pain caused by this condition.

Other oral problems can also cause a dog’s breath to smell like death. These include tumors, mouth cancer, tooth decay, and more.

Other Common Problems That Can Make a Dog’s Breath Smell Like Death

In addition to oral hygiene issues, a dog’s breath may smell like death for other reasons, including:

Kidney problems: when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, they aren’t able to remove the waste products from your dog’s bloodstream. When this happens, the waste products build up in the dog’s system and can lead to foul-smelling urine and breath.

Liver disease: may also cause a dog’s breath. The liver may produce certain chemicals that build up in the dog’s body and cause very bad breath.

Foreign bodies in the mouth: can cause a dog’s breath to smell like death, too. Dogs are known for eating and chewing on just about anything that grabs their attention! This can include bones from the trash, hard dog toys that break off when chewed, sticks, and even your favorite shoes. The foreign body can become lodged in the dog’s teeth or gums and cause very foul breath.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of issues that can cause your dog’s breath to smell like death!

How to Help Your Dog

If your dog’s breath has started to smell like death, then the best way to help him is to call the vet. The vet can check your dog for any underlying health issues, including foreign objects stuck in your dog’s teeth.

The good news is that when the vet fixes the health issue, then your dog’s breath will go back to normal! While normal doggie breath isn’t pleasant, you’ll be happy to know your fur baby is healthy and happy! And you won’t mind getting close to him for those loving, slobbery kisses he loves to give you!


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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.