Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (2023)

Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (1)

HeunormalPuppy breath, which has a distinctive odor...

...and then there issickthe puppy's breath, meaning the puppy has something wrong that's causing an unusual odor in the mouth.

Very young puppies have a distinctive odor on their breath affectionately called puppy breath. It is usually described as having a sweet smell that many people like.


If you give your puppy at a very young age, e.g. B. at the age of 6 weeks, you probably know this specific breath smell.

The puppy's breath will begin to fail between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Although I associate a puppy's strong breath odor with something difficult to smell at 12 weeks, some people think it can linger for up to 6 months.

Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (2)

Why I'm not a big fan of Puppy Breath

Whether or not normal puppy breath is comfortable is a matter of debate. man has onegenetic predispositionhow their noses interpret certain smells like a puppy's breath.

I personally don't really care. My nose smells a strong sweet and sour skunk smell which is not at all pleasant when the adorable little puppies are trying to lick my face.

Lots of other people experience ita sweet and pleasant smelland they are sad when the puppy outgrows the puppy breathing stage.

In fact, if you search "puppy breath" online, you will find many unscientific opinions stating that puppy breath existsMaking people fall in love with puppiesand don't abuse them. If only that were true.

Factors responsible for puppy breathing

The scientific explanation is also somewhat unscientific.

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While we don't fully understand puppy breathing, most veterinarians and experts conclude that a number of factors are responsible for puppy breathing:

  • Sometimes referred to asmilk breathPuppy breath is most noticeable during lactation and just after weaning. However, this is an insufficient explanation as puppies will hold their breath for several weeks after weaning.
  • Puppies' mouths are clean and healthy and do not harbor any of the oral bacteria common to older dogs.
  • The gastrointestinal tract of puppies contains different bacteria and plants than adults.
Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (3)

Why does my puppy have bad breath?

Even if you're not a fan of regular puppy breath, it certainly doesn't smell bad or sick.

If your pup has onereally badsmell of your breath, here are 6 possible reasons for the smell:

1. Teething

By far the most common cause of uncomfortable, bad, or variable puppy breath isDentition.

This is more noticeable in some puppies than others. As the puppy moves away from weaning and into the actual teething phase, the quality of the breath will change.

Here is a timeline of a typical puppy tooth eruption:

  • Milk teeth (milk teeth) begin to erupt by week 2 or 3.
  • The 28 milk teeth are in the 5th or 6th week.
  • Baby teeth start falling out between 12 and 16 weeks.
  • Permanent teeth appear at 6 months.

When a puppy cuts teeth, there may be an infection that carries an odor. Sometimes a tooth has a hard time cutting it, a puppy tooth can crack, or the puppy chews on toys or treats so much that it causes severe pain in the gums.

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Due to bleeding gums, some people think that puppy teeth have some kind of metallic odor.

try to avoidextremely hard bones or toysif your puppy is very young and teething. These tiny teeth break easily, making the loss of baby teeth and the normal eruption of permanent teeth difficult. Vets often recommend KONG toys and similar rubber toys that you can load with food or treats.

Cold towels are better than ice: chewing on ice can cause tooth fractures.

2. Injuries in the mouth or difficulty cutting teeth

Dogschew anything and everything, so it is common for them to injure their mouths while teething and waxing.

Although minor injuries heal quickly because the oral cavity heals quickly, astrange bodyB. a piece of stick or a toy, it can get stuck in the oral cavity and cause an unpleasant odor.

If your pup's breath smells bad, you should consult your veterinarian. Most puppies get avaccination seriesIt is during these months that most puppy teeth questions can arise during your wellness/vaccination appointments unless you believe there is a serious and acute problem.

However, a very bad odor or a puppy showing mouth pain or difficulty chewing will require a visit to the vet sooner rather than later.


3. Nutritional errors in puppies

"Dietary indiscretion" is a gentle term used by veterinarians to describe puppies' undemanding appetites. It's another way of saying that puppies will eat almost anything they can sink their teeth into,including feces.

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Breath can smell bad after a meal like dog poop, cat poop, trash, rotten leaves, etc.

After a heavy garlic meal, think about yourself: Everything you ate this morning may upset your friends and family for the rest of the day!

With a careful nose, you may be able to tell what your pup has eaten. Cat feces are usually easily identifiable.

If you think your pup's breath is smelly from a recent disgusting meal, the good news is that breath should improve within a few hours to a day.

Try to control what your puppy eats. Bad breath is unpleasant, but indiscretion in nutrition can cause much more serious problems, such as: B. heavyvomiting and diarrheao einsintestinal obstruction.

Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (5)

4. Indigestion

Does food cause bad breath? Probably not. Most veterinarians agree that food does not cause bad breath.

That being said, it's possible that certain puppy foods aren't good for your pet and are causing them some level of digestive upset.

If a particular food causes heartburn or is not easily digested, you may be confusing "bad breath" with an odor from the gastrointestinal tract.

A foul odor from the gastrointestinal tract may also be accompanied by excessive belching,pass gas, or vomiting and diarrhea. Ask your vet about feeding options.

Your pup may need a bland diet for 1-2 weeks to get over the indigestion. Then you can gradually change the diet over a week or so to see if the symptoms improve.

5. Periodontal disease

Young puppies rarely have true dental disease. Problems related to gum disease or serious dental problems do not usually appear before the age of 3.

However, it is important to get your pup used to itBrush teethat a young age.

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  • Start brushing your teeth at the age of 6 months or even earlier if possible.
  • Brush teeth at least 3 times a week when your dog is young.
  • From the age of 3, brushing your teeth daily is the best way to prevent periodontitis and dental disease.

6. Metabolic disease

Rarely, due to a metabolic condition such asrenal insufficiency.

The puppy may show other signs and symptoms of illness. Your veterinarian will recommend blood tests as the first diagnostic tool in these unusual cases.

On a much lighter note, check out this fake ad for a new fragrance that will appeal to people who love puppy breath:

Final Thoughts on Puppy Breath

The puppy stage is magical. It's also challenging.

If you love puppy breath, enjoy it, it won't last long. But if you think your young pup hasOrtBreath that does not go away, contact your veterinarian.


  • Bellows, Jan, DVM, DAVDC. "Halitosis in Dogs and Cats". Veterinary Information Network. June 21, 2016.https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951287.
  • Fuelle, Jan, DVM, DAVDC.Dental equipment, materials and techniques for small animals. Wiley. 2019.
  • Lobprise, Heidi B., DVM, DAVDC.Wiggs Veterinary Dentistry: Principles and Practice. Wiley. 2018.

Why does my puppy have bad breath? (Here are 6 possible reasons.) -Petful (6)This animal health content was written by a veterinarian,dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD. It was last checked on January 14, 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your veterinarian, who can best care for your pet's health and well-being. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. SeeFurther information.

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