When Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish – Reasons and What to Do

If you do your best your dog to have a rose smell when he breathes you are in big trouble, as the goal is hard to achieve.

The dogs are trying to explore the world with the help of their tongue. Consequently, it is actually impossible to demand fresh breath from them.

However, when a dog’s breath permanently smells like fish, you need to find out what may stand behind the odor.

Sometimes the reasons causing the fishy smell in dogs are easy to cope with. However, a source of the smell may also be a severe, underlying illness which must not be ignored.

Top Reasons for the fishy smell include:

Dog’s Anal Glands

Dogs have two anal glands. They are called glands, but structurally they are more sacs than glands, which are located on each side of the anus. The glands perform not many functions. One of their key roles is to provide the scent dogs use to mark the territories or identify other pets. If the sacs are healthy, they empty naturally when the dog defecates or marks the area.

However, sometimes the sacs fail to empty and remain full of fluid. If this happens, a dog may have the fishy odor. A dog needs to have a firm stool to exercise pressure on the sacs, to help them empty. However, when your dog has diarrhea or soft stool, the sacs are not emptied, which causes the filling of the glands with fluid.

The full sacs cause discomfort in dogs, changes in mood and licking of the anus to somehow ease the discomfort. In the process of licking some fluid may release and move on the tongue, which smells fish.

If you mention the fishy smell together with some digestive problems, you must see the vet, who will help your dog to empty the sacs. Prolonged problem with the glands may trigger some infections.

Fecal Matter

Some dogs are keen on “tasting” their fecal matter, and if a dog has no problems with defecation or any illnesses, the awkward behavior might be the source of fishy breath.

Dog’s Diet

Some food contains fish products that may be the cause of the fishy smell. To clarify the issue, you should check the product ingredients, whether it includes salmon or other fish, Omega 3 or 6. If the food does contain the elements and you want your dog without the fishy breath, you may consider changing the diet. However, you should consult with the vet about the issue, as a proper food is essential for the pet’s health. If you use fish oil for your dog, which is good for health, that may also be the reason for the smell. Caring about the dog’s oral hygiene may settle the problem.

Kidney and Liver

Kidney and liver complications may trigger the fishy breath. To exclude problems with the organs, you must see the vet. If a dog faces some issues with liver or kidney, the vet will elaborate the plan how to fight with such a problem.

Oral Hygiene

Dog’s teeth require regular cleaning; otherwise, plaque or tartar may welcome bacteria. Halitosis-chronic bad breath, Gingivitis- inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease all take roots from improper oral care in dogs. Daily brushing of a dog’s teeth will prevent the problem.

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