Petriage Clinical Insights

IMPORTANT: This article, which is provided for educational purposes only, is based on published veterinary data and decades of work with pets and pet parents. The information provided here is not designed to be comprehensive but to help you avoid the pitfalls of online misinformation and most importantly, to frame the conversation you should have with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian’s perspective may differ from what is expressed here. Always consult with your veterinarian.

Bad Breath

Bad breath can develop from infected teeth, dental disease, underlying systemic disease, or genetic predisposition. Puppies have distinct, sweet smelling "puppy breath" that is completely healthy and normal. In some dogs, foul smells can indicate an infection in the lower lip fold. Unfortunately, this hard-to-find infection can be mistaken for bad breath. 


If your pet's breath has a distinct fishy or ammonia-like smell, see your vet immediately. This "uremic breath" occurs in very sick pets with chronic kidney failure.


  • If your pet has otherwise healthy teeth, you may try a water additive, tooth brushing or dental chews, available at pet stores. 
  • If bad breath is a reoccurring problem, consult with your vet.