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Why Does My Pet’s Breath Scent Like Fish? Causes and Fixes


Has a whiff of your playful pet’s breath ever left you questioning, “Why does it odor like fish?” This isn’t one thing you’d usually anticipate out of your fur child, particularly if fish isn’t an enormous a part of their weight-reduction plan. Nonetheless, what you’re noticing is way from unusual and might stem from a wide range of causes.

Like people, canine have totally different smells, and so they imply totally different factor, however a fishy odor is a curiosity, you get used to some stage of canine odor, and that sure odor from a canine’s mouth, however the fishy canine breath after they’ve not eaten fish normally will get individuals questioning. 

Pet well being, particularly oral well being, is as various and complex as that of people. What might be a benign dietary irregularity may be an early symptom of a considerable well being concern in disguise. Thus, it’s important to know root causes, potential dangers, and preventative measures on the subject of our puppies’ oral well being.

On this complete information, we’ll delve into the perplexing world of pet oral well being, discover the stunning causes behind your baby’s sudden marine aroma, and arm you with sensible options to eliminate it. So, sit tight and journey with us into uncovering the thriller of your pet’s fishy breath.

reasons dogs breath smells like fish 2
Constipation and the next licking of the butt generally is a good cause in your canine’s fishy butt odor to switch to the mouth.

Widespread Causes for Fishy Pet Breath

​Fortunately, there are some actually easy, actually not-scary causes that your pup’s foul-smelling breath. 

1. Bowel actions: that is the most typical cause we odor fish on our canine’s breath, and why it comes and goes. In younger canine, or in canine who may be struggling to poop for no matter cause, in case your canine’s breath smells like fish, its very probably that it’s to do with the actual fact they’re constipated or want a poop! This want means they’re licking their anal space to stimulate them going to the lavatory and alleviate among the discomfort too. 

2. Anal Glands: The following almost certainly cause why your pet’s breath might odor like fish might be associated to their anal glands, or anal gland points. Canines have two small glands positioned on the precise and left sides of their rectum that produce a particular, normally fishy, odor. This odor is part of their pure scent-marking course of. Usually, these glands are emptied when your canine defecates. Nonetheless, if they don’t seem to be expressed as often as they need to be, the smelly fluid could make its manner into your pet’s mouth throughout the cleansing course of, notably in case your canine has anal glad issues. This could happen when your pet cleans itself, resulting in the fishy odor of their breath. In case you discover this alongside your pet ceaselessly scooting its rear throughout the ground, it might be greatest to seek the advice of a vet for acceptable remedy. Additionally good to notice that canine homeowners of small canine breeds usually tend to expertise anal gland issues than bigger pet mother and father. 

3. Dental points: Very similar to people, canine, too, can endure from a number of dental issues. Poor dental hygiene and dental ailments might be one more reason in your pet’s fishy breath. It’s doable for meals particles to get caught between your pet’s tooth and, over time, these trapped items decay and emit an disagreeable odor. Gum ailments, corresponding to gingivitis and periodontitis, in addition to tooth decay, may also result in a smelly mouth. Common cleansing of your pet’s tooth utilizing dog-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush may help counter such points.

reasons dogs breath smells like fish 3
in case your pup is struggling to poop, this might be the rationale for a fishy odor

4. Dietary Causes: What your pet eats performs a major function in the way in which its breath smells. In case your pet’s weight-reduction plan consists of fish-based meals or treats, it’s pure for his or her breath to have the same fishy odor. Equally, feeding your pet fragrant meals corresponding to garlic or sure spices can change the scent of their breath.

5. Kidney or Liver Issues: Whereas this trigger is rarer, it’s value mentioning. Sure well being points like kidney or liver illness could cause a pet’s breath to odor unhealthy. The odor in such circumstances might resemble fish and even ammonia. It’s essential to seek the advice of with a vet in the event you suspect these circumstances, as they usually require early and expedient remedy.

Naturally, your pet’s well-being needs to be your prime precedence. Whereas the odor of their breath, most often, will not be an alarm for vital well being issues, you must at all times seek the advice of with an expert vet if the difficulty persists or in the event you discover different worrisome signs.

6. Coprophagia or scavenging: in case your pet is consuming poop (their very own poop or different poop) it may additionally clarify your pu[‘s bad smelling breath, and also if they’re scavenging dead animals could explain that too! 


How To Combat Fishy Breath

Fishy breath is one of those things we just don’t want to deal with, but it is a really common problem from puppies to adult dogs. So here’s how we should be dealing with it, and of course, it does depend on the reason, but here are your main solutions to get rid of that foul smell.

1. Regular toilet breaks: Regular toilet breaks can help ensure your puppy has more opportunities to empty their anal glands naturally. Remember, problems with anal glands can be a primary reason behind the fishy odor. Having more frequent toilet breaks can help keep their anal glands healthy. If you’re curious find out how long pup can hold their poop!

2. Maintain good oral hygiene: A key to managing and preventing fishy breath in your puppy—or any bad breath, for that matter—is maintaining good oral hygiene. This involves regularly cleaning your puppy’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Doing this at least once a week can significantly help in preventing the buildup of plaque and bacteria that typically are behind the foul odor.

3. Adjust your puppy’s diet: The dog food your puppy consumes can directly influence your dog’s bad breath. i.e. if they’re on a fish based food, or you’ve treated with fish skins or sprats, it could be possible they they’re the reason your puppy’s breath smells of fish! It’s also good to note that your dogs diet can also help to naturally empty your dog’s anal glands

Note: Parsley, Apples, and carrots can help freshen breath. Actually, even feeding a raw diet can really help clean up those stinky puppy breath smells!

4. Utilize dental chews toys and treats: There are numerous dental toys and chew treats available in pet stores designed to combat bad breath. They can provide a fun way for your puppy to naturally reduce tartar and plaque buildup, which are significant contributors to bad breath and prevent periodontal disease.

5. Consistent vet visits: Make it a habit to schedule regular vet check-ups, checking for dental disease and even the occasional dental cleaning to ensure your dog’s teeth are heathly. This is the best way to monitor your puppy’s overall health, dental conditions, and promptly address any hidden health issue potentially causing the persistent fishy smell.

6. Consult a veterinarian: If your puppy’s fishy breath continues to persist despite your efforts, it would be worth consulting a vet and discuss things like anal sac disease. The issue could be an indication of serious concerns related to dental health or anal glands, and early professional advice and treatment can be crucial.

The reasoning is simple: a happy puppy makes a happy owner. By taking these steps, you can ensure you enjoy every moment with your puppy – without the fishy breath!

reasons dogs breath smells like fish 1
eating fish is a pretty common reason for smelling like fish!

Other Smells

Your dog’s smell is actually a really great way to read some of their health, so being aware of how they naturally smell is a good thing. If it’s not a fish-like smell you’re catching, you could be smelling yeast infections, bacterial infection, or even an oncoming season. Suffice to say that a new smell is usually a good indicator to underlying issues. 

Bring Back Sweet Puppy Breath!

In conclusion, it’s quite common for pet owners to notice a fishy smell from their puppy’s breath. While this can be concerning, it’s often not a cause for alarm. Regular dental care, diet adjustments, and vet visits can help prevent and treat most cases of bad breath. However, it is always recommended to consult a vet if your pup’s fishy breath persists, as it could be a symptom of a more serious health issue and you’re in need of a vet visit.

Keeping track of your puppy’s health shouldn’t feel like a chore. For the latest tips and guidance delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our Pupdates! Keep your puppy happy, healthy and fragrant, one Pupdate at a time.

Remember, in the journey of pet parenting, you’re never alone. So why wait? Sign up for Pupdates today!

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!

Thanks to for the images!




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