Bad Dog Breath in Charleston, SC and How to Get Rid of it

While no dog’s breath is going to smell nice, constant bad breath is both unpleasant and a sign of potential problems. It’s hard to enjoy your dog face to face when your dog’s breath is hard to bear. Luckily, there are some easy solutions out there that can help both you and your pup.

It’s important to realize that bad breath isn’t just a sign of your dog being gross; it can also be a red flag for a more severe health problem. Understanding the causes of bad dog breath is critical not only for your comfort but also for your dog’s health.

Causes of Bad Dog Breath in Charleston, SC 

It’s often hard to fix something without understanding what’s causing it. It’s especially important to figure out what’s causing your dog’s foul breath because it’s sometimes a sign of a health problem.

Plaque Build-Up and Poor Oral Hygiene

Similarly to people, a common cause of disease is tartar and plaque build-up. The build-up of plaque and tartar can cultivate bacteria and cause bad breath in your dog’s mouth.

Dental Diseases

Dental diseases such as gingivitis do a lot more than simply cause bad dog breath. Periodontal disease can cause horrible breath. It pushes the gums away from the teeth and makes room for more plaque and bacteria build-up. Periodontal disease can lead to various painful symptoms such as infection, cavities, tissue destruction, and pus formation.


The truth is dogs can get into some gross stuff. They don’t have as many taste buds as us and will sometimes eat dead animals and dig through the trash. If you have a cat, make sure your dog isn’t going upstairs to eat their poop. Dogs also might eat their own poop, so be mindful of what your dog does throughout the day.


If your dog’s bad breath has a fruity tang to it, try and make an appointment with your veterinarian. Diabetes is a severe condition that requires immediate care. Other symptoms to keep an eye on when it comes to diabetes include frequent drinking and urination. Thankfully, while diabetes is serious, it’s usually treatable if caught in the early stages.

Kidney Disease

A symptom of diabetes is sweet or fruity breath, and a sign of kidney disease is breath that smells like urine. Kidney disease is very serious, so it’s essential to get your dog examined by a vet immediately if you suspect your dog is suffering from it.

Liver Disease

On top of the bad dog breath, if your dog is vomiting, not eating, and has a yellow tinge to her gums, they may have liver disease. As with kidney disease and diabetes, it’s a serious condition, and it’s vital to get your dog into the vet in Charleston, SC immediately.
Bad Dog Breath in Charleston, SC

Solutions for Bad Dog Breath in Charleston, SC

Here are a few solutions to help with your dog’s bad breath.

See a Vet

This is a must-follow solution when your dog has extremely bad breath. If your dog’s breath is extreme or smells like something is rotten, it’s likely something worse than just bad dog breath.

When you’re at the vet in Charleston, SC, you can discuss the types of foods and treats you feed your dog to see if they could be the cause. Even some of the treats that claim to be great for your dog’s teeth might make things worse. All dog breeds are different, and some breeds respond differently to them than others.

The only person who will truly know what treats, toys, and chews are best for your dog’s mouth is your vet, so there’s no harm in asking.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

When you brush your dog’s teeth, you help prevent bad dog breath in the short term and in the long term. Because bad breath can be a sign of an unhealthy mouth, brushing your dog’s teeth will make it less likely to happen again. Try and brush your dog’s teeth daily. It may not be the most fun activity for your pup, but it’ll prevent far worse discomfort in the long run. The younger your pet is when teeth brushing is introduced the greater likelihood of conditioning your dog to actually enjoy it!

If it’s really difficult, try giving your dog a treat after cleaning so they’ll associate the process with something positive. Make sure you’re soothing and supportive instead of forceful during this process. Only brush with a toothpaste made for dogs.

Certain breeds like Shih Tzu and dogs with flat faces should have their teeth brushed much more frequently. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian in Charleston, SC what’s best for you and your dog.

Properly Chosen Dental Chews

While it’s true that dental chews don’t always work and can even exacerbate the problem for some breeds, dental chews can help when you pick the right one. We recommend that pet owners look for dental chews that carry the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) label. Some recommend chews are C.E.T. Veggiedent Fr3sh chews and OraVet Chews. Make sure that the chew won’t make the problem worse and that the treat is the right size and type for your dog.

Control the Snacking

If your dog’s bad breath is from an unsavory diet, make sure you make everything they could get into inaccessible. Secure your trash and put the litter box out of your dog’s reach (while it’s still easy to access for your cat). Try and monitor your dog when they go outside.

Bad Dog Breath in Charleston, SC is not 100% Normal

While all mammals experience bad breath to some degree, prolonged and horrible breath isn’t healthy or normal. Remember, the priority when it comes to your dog’s bad breath is making sure they’re okay. Always take him to the vet if you fear the bad dog breath is a part of a more significant issue.

Proper care of your dog is vital to their health and well-being. Brushing their teeth and looking after their oral hygiene will benefit both of you in the long run! If you are unsure if the bad dog breath is something to worry about reach out to your vet at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic by calling 843-571-7095 or book an appointment online.

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West Ashley Veterinary Clinic in Charleston, SC offers a full range of veterinary services to keep your pets happy and healthy through all stages of life!