Your assessment results for:

Smelly or Bad Odor – Mouth

Urgency level: High priority

Contact your regular veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact your regular veterinary hospital ASAP and don’t handle your dog’s mouth

  • If your regular veterinary hospital is open, contact them now. If they are closed, it is probably safe to wait until morning.
  • If your dog is pawing at their mouth or rubbing their mouth on the ground, put a cone on them to prevent them from further aggravating the issue.
  • There’s a good chance your dog’s mouth is painful, so do not handle their mouth as they may bite.
  • Brushing your dog’s teeth at this point will not help.


Why it’s high priority

Bad breath combined with other symptoms indicate a worsening underlying condition

  • Bad breath (halitosis) has many causes of varying urgency. Based on the symptoms you’ve selected, your dog could have a condition that requires veterinary attention as soon as possible.
  • Some of the conditions we are worried about include periodontal disease, abscess, growth, and foreign body. The smell is likely arising from some sort of infection in your dog’s mouth.


Home care tips

Don’t feed your dog or give them hard things to chew in the meantime

  • Do not give your dog any food or water until you’ve checked with a vet to ensure it’s safe to do so (from the results cards).
  • Avoid giving your dog hard things to chew (ex. big kibble, hard toys or bones).
  • After addressing the current situation, talk to your vet about regular dental hygiene for your dog – preventative oral health is much less worrisome and costly than treating oral diseases.
  • Learn more about bad breath in dogs


Talk to a veterinarian now

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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.