What Causes Bad Dog Breath in Peoria, IL?

It’s not too hard to tell when your dog has some pretty bad breath. In general, dog’s breath isn’t exactly minty fresh. And, unfortunately, they aren’t exactly shy about getting in your face. The problem is, bad dog breath, or halitosis, isn’t just a nuisance for you, it could mean trouble for your pup.

Bad dog breath in Peoria, IL

If the bad breath is chronic, aka it’s not going away, it’s time to take your dog to a veterinarian in Peoria, IL and see what the underlying issue is.

Main Causes of Bad Dog Breath in Peoria, IL

There are a number of things that could be causing your dog to have bad breath, and all of them should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Some of the most common causes of bad dog breath include:

Plaque or Tartar Buildup

One main cause for bad breath and it’s the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, also called periodontal disease. After your dog’s teeth have been cleaned, the minute they start to salivate, plaque begins to build up again. Within just a few days, that plaque build up turns into tartar. The more it builds up, the more problems it causes.

Once the build up is fairly significant it can cause your dog’s gums to become inflamed, which is called gingivitis. This then leads to periodontitis, and the bad bacteria can destroy the teeth and cause tooth loss.

The bad breath is caused by the bad bacteria which is resulting in decay and creates sulfur compounds that are not pleasant to the nose. If you have a smaller breed or one with a flat face, your dog is more likely to experience periodontal disease. This is because their teeth are closer together and owners feed them soft food. Dry food provides some level of protection because the rough surface scrapes off some of the plaque and tartar.

It’s estimated that about 80% of dogs have some level of gum disease by the time they’re three years old.

How to Prevent Bad Breath from Happening

The best way to prevent halitosis from periodontal disease is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Some say twice a day is best, but three times a week should do the trick. Just make sure to stay consistent! It’s an often-overlooked piece of caring for your dog.

Make sure to start when he’s a puppy so that he is used to it. If things have gotten a little out of control, it might be best to have your veterinarian in Peoria do a deep teeth cleaning for your dog to get things back on track. It’s a simple procedure, but your dog will have to be put under anesthesia. The vet will also be able to determine during the teeth cleaning if it would be beneficial to have any of the teeth removed.

Kidney Disease

Kidney diseases and other metabolic diseases can also cause bad breath in dogs. This is because waste products like urine are usually excreted, but if the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, there will be a build up in the blood and you will be able to smell it on your dog’s breath. If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, the breath will also likely smell like ammonia. If that’s the case, it’s time for a visit to your vet in Peoria.


Dog’s with diabetes also have bad breath. Their breath usually has a sweet, sort of fruity smell that’s quite distinctive. If your dog hasn’t been diagnosed with diabetes but you can smell that sweet undertone, it’s best to take them in for a visit and confirm what’s going on.

Consumed Something Foreign or Toxic

Another reason for bad breath could be that your dog ate something foreign or toxic. If a bone or stick or something else gets stuck in between your dog’s teeth, bacteria will start to grow, and your dog’s breath will become rank.

If your dog’s breath smells like a toxic substance, for instance rodenticide, it could very well mean that your dog got into rat poisoning. You need to immediately call Poison Control and your veterinarian in Peoria if that’s the case. He may need immediate, emergency care.

Oral Tumors

Oral tumors also cause halitosis in dogs. These tumors grow extremely fast, and often, the blood vessels can’t keep up and cause dead areas. These dead areas allow bacteria to thrive and that’s what causes bad breath in dogs.

If you smell consistent bad breath, you should check your dog’s mouth for any discolorations or masses. Those are good indicators of an oral tumor and should then be checked by your vet.

Liver Disease

If your dog has liver disease, her breath will likely smell like a dead animal and musty. This is result of the liver not being able to process toxins and sulfur compounds are then released into the lungs.

Certain Types of Food

Finally, food can cause bad breath in dogs. Some dogs don’t react well to certain foods. It impacts their digestive system and allows too much bad bacteria to grow in their microbiome. This can also happen if the food is deficient in some nutrients.

Once you know what’s missing you can add supplements like vitamins or a prebiotic to help get your dog back on track. It may also be as simple as changing the food you’re feeding with. Once the microbiome is back in balance, you should see an improvement in your dog’s breath.

Treating Bad Breath in Dogs in Peoria, IL

After you and your vet in Peoria have discovered the underlying cause of the terrible breath, you can work on treating it.

If the cause is disease, the key is to treat the actual disease and your dog’s breath should eventually go back to normal.

If the cause is periodontal disease, it’s time to take better care of your dog’s mouth. Some options could be switching up food, creating a better brushing routine, or adding more chew toys to your dog’s play time. Chew toys promote the removal of plaque and tartar build up. It’s also a good idea to have your vet do a professional cleaning every year or two. This way you know the cleaning is being done properly.

Schedule a Visit with a Vet for Your Dog’s Bad Breath in Peoria, IL

Oral health is such an important part of overall health. It affects your dog’s mouth, gastrointestinal system, and bloodstream. By creating a brushing routine and practicing good oral care, your helping your dog live a long, happy, and healthy life.

At Whitney Veterinary Hospital in Peoria, we’ll find the cause of your dog’s bad breath and develop the best treatment plan to help them. Whether your dog needs regular teeth cleaning or something more complex, our veterinarians are here to make sure your pet stays as healthy as they can be for the rest of their life. Call us today to get help for your dog’s bad breath!