Why Does My Dog Breath Smell Like Fish

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Fish?

We all love our furry friends, but sometimes they can have some unpleasant odors, including bad breath. If your dog’s breath smells like fish, it might be a cause for concern. Here are some possible reasons why your dog’s breath smells fishy and what you can do about it.

1. Poor Dental Hygiene: One of the most common causes of fishy breath in dogs is poor dental hygiene. Tartar buildup and gum disease can lead to bacterial overgrowth, resulting in a foul odor. Regular dental care, including brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews, can help prevent this issue.

2. Anal Gland Problems: Dogs have anal glands that release a fishy-smelling fluid. When these glands become blocked or infected, the odor can transfer to the breath. If you suspect anal gland issues, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

3. Diet: The food your dog consumes can affect their breath. Certain types of fish-based diets or treats can leave a lingering odor. Consider changing your dog’s diet or providing dental chews to help mask the smell.

4. Diabetes: Dogs with diabetes may have a sweet or fruity-smelling breath, which can sometimes be mistaken for a fishy odor. If your dog has other symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss, consult your vet for proper diagnosis and management.

5. Kidney Disease: Dogs with kidney disease may develop a fishy breath due to a buildup of toxins in their system. Other signs include increased drinking, decreased appetite, and weight loss. A veterinarian can perform tests to determine if kidney disease is the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

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6. Liver Problems: Liver disease can cause a range of symptoms, including bad breath. If your dog’s breath smells fishy and they also have yellowing of the eyes or gums, lack of appetite, or vomiting, seek veterinary care immediately.

7. Infections: Infections in the mouth, throat, or respiratory system can lead to bad breath in dogs. These infections may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A veterinarian can examine your dog and prescribe appropriate medication to treat the infection.


1. How can I prevent my dog’s breath from smelling fishy?
Regular dental care, including brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews, can help prevent fishy breath.

2. Can changing my dog’s diet help with the odor?
Yes, switching to a different diet or providing dental chews can help mask the smell.

3. Should I be concerned if my dog’s breath smells like fish?
It’s best to consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the fishy odor.

4. Can a fishy breath be a sign of a serious health condition?
Yes, fishy breath can be a symptom of various health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems.

5. Are there any home remedies for fishy breath in dogs?
While there are some home remedies like adding parsley to their diet or using breath fresheners, it’s important to address the underlying cause by consulting a vet.

6. Can dental chews help improve my dog’s breath?
Yes, dental chews can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, thus reducing bad breath.

7. Is fishy breath in dogs contagious?
No, fishy breath is not contagious, but some underlying causes like infections might be. It’s always best to consult a vet to ensure your dog’s health and the safety of other pets.

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