how to fix fishy dog breath


Having a dog with fishy breath can be unpleasant for both the pet and their owners. While occasional bad breath is normal, persistent fishy odors may indicate underlying health issues that need attention. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the causes of fishy dog breath, effective home remedies, professional treatments, preventive measures, and more to help your canine companion enjoy fresh breath and optimal oral health.

Understanding Fishy Dog Breath

What Causes Fishy Dog Breath?

Fishy dog breath can stem from various factors, primarily related to oral hygiene and health conditions. Poor dental care, dental diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis, tartar buildup, and oral infections can contribute to foul odors. Additionally, gastrointestinal issues, such as stomach problems or metabolic disorders, might also manifest as unusual breath odors in dogs. Understanding these potential causes is crucial for addressing the underlying issues effectively.

Symptoms of Fishy Dog Breath

Symptoms of fishy dog breath go beyond just the odor itself. Dogs may exhibit signs such as excessive drooling, reluctance to eat or chew, pawing at the mouth, inflamed gums, and even behavioral changes due to discomfort. Recognizing these symptoms early allows for prompt intervention and prevents the progression of oral or systemic health issues that could be causing the bad breath.

Home Remedies and Treatments

Improving Oral Hygiene

One of the primary ways to combat fishy dog breath is through good oral hygiene practices. Regular brushing using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste is essential. Aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week, focusing on all tooth surfaces and paying attention to the gum line where plaque tends to accumulate. This routine helps remove food particles and bacteria that contribute to bad breath and prevents the onset of dental diseases.

Dietary Adjustments

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining oral health and managing bad breath in dogs. High-quality dog food that promotes dental health, such as kibble with abrasive texture or dental chews designed to reduce tartar buildup, can help improve breath freshness. Additionally, incorporating crunchy vegetables like carrots or apples into your dog’s diet can aid in cleaning teeth naturally while providing essential nutrients.

Natural Remedies

Several natural remedies can complement your efforts in freshening your dog’s breath. Fresh parsley, known for its natural breath-freshening properties, can be chopped and added to your dog’s food. Coconut oil, when added to their diet or applied topically to their teeth and gums, has antimicrobial properties that combat bacteria causing bad breath. Water additives specifically formulated for dental care are also available and can be added to your dog’s water bowl to help maintain oral hygiene.

Veterinary Care and Professional Solutions

Importance of Veterinary Check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for monitoring your dog’s oral health and overall well-being. During these visits, veterinarians can conduct comprehensive dental examinations, identify early signs of dental disease or other health issues causing bad breath, and recommend appropriate treatments. Professional dental cleanings performed under anesthesia may be necessary to address advanced tartar buildup and maintain oral hygiene.

Medical Treatments

In cases where fishy dog breath persists despite home care efforts, medical treatments prescribed by veterinarians may be required. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections contributing to bad breath. Additionally, specialized dental treatments such as scaling and root planing may be performed to address severe dental disease and restore oral health.

Preventing Fishy Dog Breath

Preventive Measures

Preventing fishy dog breath begins with proactive care and attention to their oral hygiene. Establishing a regular dental care routine early in your dog’s life sets a foundation for good oral health. This includes brushing their teeth regularly, providing dental treats or toys, and scheduling routine veterinary dental exams. Avoiding table scraps and feeding a balanced diet also supports overall health and reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal issues causing bad breath.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also influence your dog’s oral health and breath freshness. Avoid exposing your dog to secondhand smoke, which can contribute to oral health problems. Providing ample opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation promotes overall well-being, which reflects positively on their oral health. Maintaining a stress-free environment and managing anxiety or behavioral issues can also indirectly support their oral hygiene.


In conclusion, addressing fishy dog breath requires a multi-faceted approach involving regular oral hygiene, dietary management, natural remedies, veterinary care, and preventive measures. By understanding the causes and symptoms of fishy dog breath and implementing effective strategies outlined in this guide, you can ensure your canine companion enjoys fresh breath and optimal oral health. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to preventing serious dental diseases and maintaining your dog’s overall well-being.

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