Bad Dog Breath in Pewaukee, WI: What You Need to Know

Something common that some pet owners in Pewaukee may experience with their dog is noticing that they have bad breath. While this may seem like something that isn’t a big deal or something that’s normal for dogs, it’s actually something that isn’t common for dogs and can be the cause of an underlying problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible by a veterinarian in Pewaukee, WI.

Bad dog breath in Pewaukee, WI

Is Bad Breath Normal for Dogs in Pewaukee, WI?

It seems like a battle that’s been forged on the front lines of veterinary medicine since the beginning of time. The argument over dog breath. Is bad dog breath normal?

The simple answer is: no. Truthfully, it’s never normal for a dog’s breath to smell bad. That’s not to say it should be minty-fresh all day every day. But more often than not, a dog’s breath shouldn’t smell like much of anything, except maybe dog kibble or the treat you just gave them.

How to Help Determine What’s Causing Your Dog’s Bad Breath in Pewaukee, WI

Since bad dog breath is not something that’s normal, it’s important to find out the reason why this is happening to your pet. You can start by doing what you can at home to determine this, but you should always consult with a vet in Pewaukee to find the true underlying cause.

Below are some things you can do at home to try and determine a possible cause for your dog’s breath.

Gently Check Their Teeth

As long as your dog tolerates it, gently lift their lips to see what the outside of the teeth look like. Are the gums bleeding? Do you see “gunk” stuck to them, or maybe some hard and crusty material? Is there hair/fur wedged between them? Any of these signs are indicative of dental disease.

If your dog has any sign of dental disease, it’s worth a trip to the vet. Dental disease isn’t reversible with just brushing or chewable bones that are meant to “clean their teeth”. Tooth brushing and dental treats are meant to prevent dental disease, not reverse it.

If your dog’s teeth are clean and you want to slow development of dental disease, visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council website for a list of approved products that have actually been proven to protect dental health!

Check the Rest of Their Mouth

If your dog’s teeth are pearly white and their gums look healthy, take a look through the rest of the mouth. You don’t have to be an expert for this, but you do need to be gentle and careful. Don’t force your dog to cooperate – that could end in an unintentional bite. Instead, be gentle, use treats, talk nicely, and take your time.

Peek inside their cheeks – make sure there’s no food material lodged deep in the pouch, and look for any injuries or ulcers. Then, if your dog is comfortable with it, try to gently open their mouth to look inside. It’s not unusual for bones or sticks to get lodged against the roof of the mouth and these foreign objects become breeding grounds for bacteria.

Because this infection can be painful, don’t try to remove any object you find in there. Take your dog to the vet in Pewaukee immediately, so they can remove it and send you home with antibiotics and pain medications.

Call a Veterinarian

If your dog has bad breath and you can’t see anything wrong, it’s time to go to the vet (really, bad breath warrants a vet visit regardless!) Your veterinarian will be better qualified to identify the cause, and they may notice oral or dental disease you can’t easily see.

If the mouth truly is fine, they can also identify the source of the bad breath.

Conditions That Cause Bad Breath in Dogs in Pewaukee, WI

In additional to plaque or tartar build up, there are also different conditions or diseases that can cause bad breath in your dog. This is another important reason why it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian to help determine and treat this problem.

Some conditions that can cause bad dog breath include:


When diabetes goes undetected for long enough, it can cause a condition called Ketosis. This happens when insulin is deficient, or the body is resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is what delivers blood sugar (glucose) to body tissues and gives them energy. When insulin is deficient, or the body is insulin resistant, that glucose can’t be delivered into tissues, and the body loses its energy source.

When this happens over an extended period of time, the body starts producing Ketones as an alternative energy source. When Ketosis exists for long enough, ketoacidosis can develop, and this causes a massive cascade of negative affects throughout the body. As Ketones build up, they can cause a change in breath odor – you might notice a metallic or acetone-like smell.

If your dog’s breath smells like that, it’s imperative to get them to a veterinarian in Pewauke, as soon as possible. Ketoacidosis and diabetic ketosis can be reversed with aggressive treatment, and future issues can be prevented with good diabetic regulation.

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are one of the primary organs responsible for filtering waste material out of the blood stream. That’s where we get urine from. Kidneys filter waste and water, which accumulates in the bladder and then passes as a yellowish liquid. Two hallmark signs of kidney disease are dilute urine and abnormal breath odor.

Because the kidneys can’t filter waste from the blood, there is less material to turn urine yellow. Due to the lack of filtration, those waste materials continue to circulate in the blood stream, and eventually build up to toxic levels. This causes the breath to develop what is called a Uremic odor (it smells like ammonia).

If kidney disease is advanced and aggressive enough, uremia can even cause oral ulcers which can compound the foul odor further.

Go to a Vet for Your Dog’s Bad Breath in Pewaukee, WI

In truth, any cause of bad dog breath warrants a veterinary visit. It won’t be fixed with tooth brushing, a new diet, or some fancy and expensive dental chews. If you’ve ever noticed your dog has bad breath, or you’ve heard friends and family comment on it, schedule an appointment with your vet.

At Pewaukee Veterinary Service, we provide comprehensive dog teeth cleaning services to help combat your dog’s bad breath. We also work to make sure we find the underlying cause of this condition so we can give your pet the care they need. Our team understands how important dental health is to your pet’s overall health, and our goal is always keep them as healthy and happy as possible.

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Since 1977, Pewaukee Veterinary Services has provided progressive veterinary medicine to pets of Pewaukee and the greater Milwaukee area. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine and alternative therapies aimed at keeping companion animals healthy and happy. Yet, if your pet is ill, there’s no better place to entrust their care. Our animal hospital in Pewaukee not only has the most advanced veterinary equipment in the area, but also the skilled veterinarians and staff to use it.