5 Reasons Your Doggie Has Dragon Breath


Dogs aren’t shy - spend just a few minutes with one, and typically you’ll catch a whiff of their breath! This can range from fresh, to neutral, to downright unpleasant.

When your dog’s breath is bad, it’s important to remember it’s not just unpleasant for us, but it is usually an indicator of something serious for your pet.

Here are some of the common causes of your doggie’s “dragon breath” (known medically as halitosis) and what you can do to make it better.

A healthy mouth = a healthy pet!

Dental or Gum Disease

A dental condition - from gum disease, infection, or even tooth decay - can cause bad breath in your pet. While some issues can be seen (like red, inflamed gums) some issues (like cavities below the gum line) will not be visible to the owner. We will look for signs of dental disease during your pet’s dental exam.

Kidney Disease

This culprit of bad breath may not be obvious at first, but metabolic diseases like kidney disease or failure can cause foul-smelling breath. Why? Waste products that usually would be processed and eliminated by the kidneys begin to build up in the bloodstream, and the smell seeps out of your pet’s breath.


If you smell a sweet (almost fruity) scent coming off your dog’s breath, this could be an indication of diabetes. When uncontrolled, diabetes can suppress the immune system, which allows bacteria to multiply in the mouth.

Foreign Or Toxic Substances

We can all agree that sometimes dogs can get into unusual (and undesirable) thingas. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, there is always a possibility they have gotten into feces or rotting animals, which can get stuck in their teeth and contribute to nasty-smelling breath.


When it comes to food and treats, your pet will likely have their own unique needs for fresh breath - what works for one pet may not work for another. If there is an underlying food allergy, this can also exacerbate your pet’s bad breath as well.

Here are just a few common reasons behind your doggie’s dragon breath - we can explain even more in clinic or over the phone.

July is Dental Month at Sunrise Veterinary Clinic!

Come in for your FREE Dental Exam, and receive 20% off sedative-only pet teeth cleaning for the month of July.

Remember… getting your dog’s teeth cleaned is NOT a big ordeal, but cleaning prevents tooth loss and dental surgery… which IS a big deal!

These dental appointments fill up quickly, so be sure to call today to book your spot: (250) 339-6555

Thanks for reading!

From the desk of Dr. Stacey Gastis