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Pandora's avatar

Why does my dogs breath smell like feces?

Asked by Pandora (27056points) November 4th, 2010

Let me start with the fact that he has a vet appointment next Wednesday but I’m trying to figure out why is he smelling that way.
I’ve checked his ears and anal glands. They are fine.
He had a full dental work up last year and his teeth look fine. I will brush his teeth and the smell will leave for a while but then the smell will be back the next day.
His diet hasn’t changed.
He also doesn’t get into feces, so not a problem there.
He is also bathed regularly and I comb him regularly.
He is getting old, so I wonder if that may be it or maybe he has a gum infection.
Even then I don’t understand why a gum infection would smell like his feces.
Oh, yeah, about that. His feces are smellier than normal.
Really smelly.
I’ve noticed dogs seem to get this way as they age. Is it just an age thing?

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14 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

My dogs’ breath has always gotten a bit that way as they have gotten older. not quite so bad as you describe, but somewhat. With the older ones I have had some (limited) success with minty stuff (it settles their stomachs a bit as well as the obvious mint scent thing.) Now there a a bunch of mint chewy things on the market that there weren’t around with my last old dog, maybe trying them would help?
Ask your vet about trying a homemade diet, I’ve heard that can make a difference, as well. Gotta love those smelly old boys!

BoBo1946's avatar

Yes, it’s an age thing. Spunky, who lived to be approx 12, got that way. Now Sadie, she is probably one or two years old…her breath is fine. There is a spray at Pet’s Mart that stops that stuff….Spunky loved the taste of it. I will get you the name if you want it @Pandora !

BarnacleBill's avatar

Maybe he’s not digesting his food properly, and what you’re smelling is from his stomach.

crisw's avatar

Good thing that you are getting the vet appointment, as a number of disorders can cause really foul breath- gum disease, as you mention, kidney disease, and quite a few others. Sounds like you are doing what you can to get it checked out!

squirbel's avatar

Gum disease.

I adopted a schnauzer two years ago [my lovely Klaus!], and the family told us he was 4 years old. We took him to the vet, and mentioned to her his awful breath. She examined him, and told us he was in fact 8 years old, and his gum disease was so far advanced we had little hope for causing it to abate. She showed us where he was missing teeth, as well.

Look for black on the gums, or exceptionally dark [not pink] gums. Klaus’ are solid black :(

crisw's avatar


Just to clarify, black gums isn’t in and of itself a sign of gum disease; many dogs have pigmented gums.

squirbel's avatar

I’m only saying what my vet advised. She said that dogs’ skin matches their gums, so unless your dog’s skin is black, his gums should not be.

Pandora's avatar

@BoBo1946 Yeah, let me know. It will be nice to kill the smell a little till the vet sees him.

cockswain's avatar

It’s storytime! Once we were camping and we’d been drinking shitty beer and eating those Carl Buddig lunchmeats for dinner. Next morning my buddy went and took a big, messy, uber-growler a little ways from our site and kicked some dirt on it. A little while later his dog came happily running up to him and started licking his face. My buddy quickly realized the dog had gone and lapped up some of his Carl Buddig deuce. Oh how we laughed at his face.

crisw's avatar


Eeeewwww… there’s a reason you’re supposed to bury it!

cockswain's avatar

he was really hungover and a dirtbag

rooeytoo's avatar

@cockswain – you are such a class act, thank you for sharing such a lovely and intellectually enlightening story

I agree the vet check is a good idea, probably blood work is in order. If all is well and teeth and gums are okay I would consider a change of diet. BARF or Raw are good choices. Raw meaty bones keep the teeth and gums in good condition. I have a pair of 13 year olds, both have bones daily and the akita has excellent teeth and gums and has never had his teeth cleaned. The little terrier type does have some problems despite the bones. Her teeth were last cleaned about 5 years ago and there is some plaque buildup but at 13 I hate to have her put under so I just brush them every couple of days. Both have reasonably sweet breath.

dealrrr's avatar

it’s normal, some people have this very same problem.

scwilliams's avatar

My female Chihuahua is only a year old her teeth are fine her diet is fine she is strictly an inside dog she does not go out eating weird stuff in the woods lapping up strange piles of anything I know what she gets into what she does not she is a service dog for me so I know what she does at all times. So I’m really not sure what’s going on but I am going to take her to the vet because I’m very interested and concerned about it. I do Brush are teeth that’s how I know her teeth are fine. But I’m wondering if maybe she has a blockage and if that could be causing it?

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