What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs

There could be many different factors making your dog’s breath smell hauntingly bad. In most cases, a routine change (time or quantity of feeding) or diet change (change of food) may make the biggest difference. But in some cases, halitosis, or bad breath, can be a sign of something more.

Check Your Dog's Mouth

To check the health of your dog’s mouth, gently but firmly hold their head in one hand and use your free hand to gently lift up each cheek. 

Look for:

  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Swelling or bleeding of the gums
  • Tooth discoloration and plaque buildup

Most Common Cause: Periodontal Disease

Just like humans, dogs can get bacterial diseases from plaque buildup on their teeth and gums. And, just like humans, the best way to prevent these diseases is by regularly brushing your dog's teeth.

Small Breeds and Short-faced Breeds

Small breeds as well as brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed, flat-faced breeds like the Pug, Pekingese, Boxer, Boston Terrier) are more prone to gum and mouth diseases than larger, longer-faced dogs. Because their face and jaws are small, their teeth are much closer together, making it easier for plaque buildup to occur.

When to See a Veterinarian

If you notice discoloring on your dog’s gums or the base of the teeth, or if your dog is acting sensitive to touching around the face, contact your veterinarian for a more thorough examination.

Breath Freshening Dental Treats

GREENIES™ Dental Chews are proven to clean dogs’ teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Designed for daily treating, GREENIES™ Dental Chews are a treat your dog will love.



Our #1 vet-recommended dental chew* is clinically proven to clean teeth and freshen breath.



These dog dental chews help support a lifetime of healthy joints and deliver a total oral health solution.


Buy GREENIES® Original and Allergy Formula PILL POCKETS®  for Dogs

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