Why Does Puppy Breath Smell Like Skunk? 5 Common Causes

If you’ve recently gotten a new puppy, you might have noticed that their breath smells similar to a skunk’s odor.

Even though it’s not a pleasant smell, it’s actually quite normal for puppies to have breath that resembles that of a skunk.

The good news is, this smell will go away as your puppy gets older, usually around eight weeks of age.

So, why does a puppy’s breath smell like a skunk?

The reason for this is the presence of certain substances called digestive enzymes in the puppy’s mouth. These enzymes are there because the puppy’s body is still growing and developing.

This smell might be caused by issues with these enzymes, or it could happen when there’s a problem with the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

This tube problem can cause gases to escape through the mouth, creating a skunk-like odor.

However, if you notice that your puppy’s breath smells more like fish and it’s not going away, there might be a more serious health problem.

In such cases, it’s best to consult a vet who can figure out if it’s a problem with the enzymes or something more concerning.

Dogs can also end up having bad breath if they eat foods that have strong and unpleasant smells. Actually, some dogs have a habit of eating foods that can make their breath smell worse.

Unlike humans, dogs have a strong ability to eat all sorts of things, even things that smell bad, and this can lead to their breath developing an unpleasant odor.

The good news is, there are ways to deal with this common issue of bad breath in dogs.

If you’re curious about why a puppy’s breath smells like a skunk, keep reading this article.

What is Actually Stinky Breath in Puppies?

You might know that yucky breath can show there’s a problem with a puppy’s teeth. But sometimes, puppies have stinky breaths for different reasons.

For example, some dogs get a stinky smell because they eat certain foods that don’t sit well in their tummy.

Unlike us, dogs don’t have as many taste buds, so they might gobble up foods that smell really strong.

There are other reasons for a puppy to have smelly breath. One of them is problems with their diet or health.

Some dogs get bad breath because they eat their own poop or another dog’s poop. There are also health problems like diabetes or kidney issues that can make a puppy’s breath stink.

Teething is another common cause of bad breath in puppies. This is when a puppy’s new teeth are coming in.

If your puppy’s breath seems really strong during this time, it’s a good idea to tell the vet.

Otherwise, your puppy might have a problem with their teeth.

Why Does a Puppy’s Breath Smell Similar to a Skunk’s?

There are a lot of reasons why your puppies’ breath might smell unusual.

Some usual causes are teething, getting hurt in the mouth, having a tummy ache, or eating things they shouldn’t.

If you sense an odd smell from your puppy’s breath, it’s a good moment to take them to the vet.


The big reason why a puppy’s breath smells like a skunk is because they are teething. Teething means new teeth are coming in.

When this happens, puppies might chew more, drool a lot, and sometimes even throw up small bits of food. They might also get tired.

This is normal for dogs when they are teething, but it’s important to stay calm and help your puppy feel at ease.

·Injured Mouth

One more reason why puppies can have smelly breath is if they hurt their mouth or have an infection there.

Some usual causes of mouth problems are allergies to food or drinks, gum disease, or trouble with new teeth growing in. If your puppy has this issue, it’s a good idea to go to the vet for help.

·Puppy Eating the Wrong Stuff

One of the first things you might notice if your puppy has bad breath is a yucky smell. Even though this smell won’t last forever, it might mean that your puppy has a tummy problem.

If the smell only happens now and then, a vet can figure out why and help fix the bad breath.

·Stomach Upset

Although puppy breath usually gets better by 8 to 10 weeks, some people notice their puppy’s smell lasting until they’re about six months old.

Bad breath in puppies usually comes from something called Volatile Sulfur Compounds. These are two things mixed together that make a smell like fish or rotten eggs.

A couple of other reasons for a puppy to have bad breath are gum disease or tummy problems.

·Gum Infection

If you’ve noticed your puppy’s breath smelling similar to a skunk, it could be a sign of a possible gum problem.

Although dogs having bad breath is common, it can also be a sign of a big problem.

If you see that your puppy’s breath is stinky, it might mean they have a more serious gum disease. This can make their teeth wobbly and even make them lose teeth later on.

How to Eliminate Bad Breath in Puppies?

While many pet owners might think of smelly dog breath as just “puppy breath,” there are ways to actually treat this issue for good.

Remembering these tips can help you discover the best methods to get rid of the unpleasant smell in puppies’ breath.

Sometimes, bad breath could be a sign of a bigger health problem like diabetes, so it’s important to ask a vet for advice.

Coconut oil is a really good natural solution for bad dog breath. It helps your dog’s immune system, how their body uses energy, and their digestion.

You can add a bit of coconut oil to your puppy’s food every day. Dogs usually like the taste of coconut oil, and some even use it to clean their teeth.

There are some common reasons why dogs have smelly breath. One of them is dental problems.

If your puppy has issues with their teeth, it might be because there’s a sticky layer on their teeth called plaque. This plaque can make bacteria grow and that’s what causes the bad smell.

Sometimes, bad breath in puppies can mean more serious problems like liver or kidney disease. To stop these big health issues from happening, talk to your vet.

Another reason for smelly dog breath is related to food. If your pup ate something recently, that might be why. Giving them good food will fix this problem.

In a day or two, their breath will be fine. But if you give them bad food, it could lead to other problems like blockages in their tummy and even throwing up.

If your puppy’s teeth are not very clean or if they need regular cleanings, you can follow some simple steps to make their teeth better.

Brushing your puppy’s teeth is really important to keep their teeth healthy and stop stuff like plaque and tartar from sticking to them.

The easiest way to brush your puppy’s teeth is to use a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste, or you can even use your finger. This will help get rid of bad breath in puppies.


Understanding why a puppy’s breath may smell like a skunk involves considering various factors that contribute to this phenomenon.

While puppy breath is a normal part of their development, it’s important to differentiate between typical puppy odors and those that might indicate underlying health issues.

By staying attentive to their oral health, diet, and overall well-being, puppy owners can ensure that their furry companions enjoy fresh and healthy breath.

Regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate care practices will help maintain not only good oral hygiene but also the overall health and happiness of the puppy.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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