German Shepherd Bad Breath (Causes, Treatment, & Prevention)

If your german shepherd has bad breath, then you’re going to love this article. You’re going to find out all of the causes of bad breath, as well as treatments and prevention methods. Bad breath is normally caused by a more serious problem. So being aware of all this information is going to be ideal for keeping your dog healthy.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about bad breath in german shepherds!

What Causes A German Shepherds Bad Breath?

There are lots of factors that can cause bad breath in your german shepherd. Some of them are harmless, however, some of them can be a sign of something more serious.

Here are the most common causes. (And most importantly, remember, if you’re worried about a problem with your dog, no matter how trivial it seems, you should always take them to the vets)

Poor Oral Hygiene

By far the most common cause of bad breath in german shepherds is oral hygiene. If you’re not taking care of your pup’s teeth, then the chances are they’ll end up getting bad breath.

As the bacteria, plaque, and tartar build-up inside your german shepherd’s mouth, it’s going to begin to start smelling.

When this is left untreated, they’ll most likely end up suffering from gum disease. Once your pup has gum disease you’ll have to take them to the vets to stop the problem from getting worse.

Eating Things That Smell

Is your german shepherd the kind of dog that tries to eat anything they can? If this is the case, then it could be causing their bad breath. Trash, dead animals and even poop are not off-limit to these dogs. And if your german shepherd is one of them, then they’re breath probably smells because of this.

(Find out why german shepherds eat their own poop and how to stop it.)

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Licking Their Anus

Dogs obviously need to clean themselves, which includes licking their anus. But, if the anal glands around their anus are leaking, then they’re going to lick the foul substance which will stay on their tongue.

This is most likely to happen when the glands become impacted, meaning that the fluid can’t secrete naturally. Your pup will begin to feel the irritation and lick to try and stop it.

If you think your dog is doing this then you should take them to a vet. The procedure for removing the fluid is extremely simple and painless.

(If left untreated sometimes your german shepherd can suffer from hot spots.)


If your german shepherd is still a puppy, then their bad breath could be being caused by teething. You should check your puppy’s mouth for injuries but if you can’t see any, then you may just be able to put their bad breath down to teething.

If it is due to teething, then it should subside after a few months.


Another common cause of bad breath in german shepherds is an injury. If your dog’s mouth is beginning to smell, then you should check for injury. Have a thorough look at the roof of the mouth, below the tongue, and along the gums.

You may find a wound or small sharp object that’s pierced your dog’s mouth. On top of this, they may also have a cracked tooth that’s become infected.

Gut Problems

Sometimes, it’s not a problem with your german shepherd’s mouth, but a problem with their gut. If their stomach isn’t settled, or they’re suffering from some sort of infection then it can often cause their breath to smell.

Airway Infections

Another cause of bad breath can be airway infections. If your german shepherd has an infection in their lungs, windpipe, etc, then it can often result in a bad smell coming out of their mouth.

If an infection has gotten this bad, then it’s not going to clear up on its own. Your best bet is to take them to the vets to get them treated.


On occasion, bad breath can be a sign of diabetes in your german shepherd. If you notice that their breath smells sweet, or fruity, then you should book an appointment with your vet. On top of this, you may notice that they’re drinking a lot more and urinating a lot more as well.

Kidney Disease

Does your german shepherd’s breath smell like urine? If so, then you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible. A german shepherd who’s breath smells like urine may be suffering from kidney disease which is extremely serious.

And not only is kidney disease itself serious, but it can often be a symptom of other illnesses too.

Liver Problems

Lastly, bad breath can be a sign of liver problems. If you notice that there’s a yellow tinge to your dog’s gums, they’re not eating or they’re vomiting, then they could be suffering from liver disease.

This is not something you’re going to want to leave undiagnosed for long. Liver disease is extremely dangerous for your pup, so you’ll need to take them to the vets ASAP.

(When you notice your german shepherds breath is bad, you may also notice that they stop eating.)

How To Treat And Prevent A German Shepherds Bad Breath

Treatment and prevention of bad breath in german shepherds are very similar. So here are all the ways you’re going to be able to treat and prevent bad breath in your pup.

Get Your Vet To Clean Their Teeth

Getting a vet to clean your german shepherd’s teeth is one of the best ways to decrease a build-up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria in your german shepherd’s mouth. This, in turn, is going to reduce the chances of periodontal disease, as well as bad breath.

Fortunately, most vets allow you to schedule appointments in advance to clean your dog’s teeth. Normally, during this time, they’ll also check your pup’s mouth for any dental problem which may need treating.

Clean Their Teeth

As well as getting your vet to clean your german shepherd’s teeth every so often, you should try cleaning their teeth too. If possible, you should clean them once a day, however, if you have a busy schedule or if your pup doesn’t like it, then this can be more difficult.

But this doesn’t mean that you should stop trying altogether. Even if you clean your dog’s teeth every couple of days that’s still going to be better than nothing.

When you’re cleaning your german shepherd’s teeth, remember the following:

  • Find a dog-specific toothpaste that your pup will love. There are sometimes different flavors, so experiment to see which one your german shepherd likes best.
  • When your starting to clean your german shepherd’s teeth, just use your fingers, before moving on to a toothbrush.
  • Finally, when your german shepherd likes getting their teeth cleaned, try to do it every day as part of their routine.

Watch Their Diet

One of the easiest ways to stop your german shepherd from having bad breath is by watching their diet.

If your german shepherd eats something that smells foul, then it’s going to leave a foul smell in their mouth.

By watching your german shepherd and stopping them eating things they shouldn’t you’re going to help keep their breath clean.

(If you want to know how to stop your german shepherd from eating poop, check out this article.)

Give Them Dental Chew Toys

When your german shepherd hates having their teeth cleaned, there’s still a great alternative. Dental chew toys are going to be fun for your dog, whilst also cleaning their teeth. There are plenty of different chew toys for you to choose from as well!

So start shopping on Amazon for some new toys that will work wonders for your dog’s breath.

Home Remedies For Treating Your German Shepherds Bad Breath

If you’re interested in some easy home remedies for your german shepherd’s bad breath, then this section is going to tell you some of the main ones to look out for. Just remember, before trying any sort of home remedy you should check with your vet to make sure they’re going to be safe for your pup.

Carrots And Apples

Carrots and apples are an extremely healthy snack for your german shepherd, and they’re also good for their teeth as well.

So feeding them some apples or carrots every day is going to help keep their teeth clean. They’re also going to be able to get into spots you may have trouble reaching when brushing their teeth.

(Find out more about carrots and apples for german shepherds.)

Give Your Pup Probiotics

In most cases, the reason that your german shepherd’s breath smells is because of bad bacteria in their gut and mouth

If your German Shepherd is breathing too fast, however, then it could indicate other conditions. . By giving your german shepherd probiotics you’re going to increase the number of good bacteria in their mouth.

This, in turn, will help reduce their bad breath and help keep their mouth smelling a lot fresher.

(There are plenty of probiotics you can choose from on Amazon.)

Add Coconut Oil To Their Meal

Coconut oil is another home remedy you can use to help keep your german shepherd’s breath smelling fresh.

By adding a small teaspoon to each of their meals, you’re going to help keep their breath fresher. However, if you’re not sure whether your german shepherd can eat coconut, make sure you ask your vet first.

Try Getting Them To Drink More Water

Just like water can help freshen your breath, it can also help freshen your german shepherd’s breath as well.

So if you can, try leaving one or more water bowls out for your german shepherd to increase the amount of water they’re drinking.

This will help keep their breath smelling fresh, and also keep them healthy and hydrated as well!

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

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Now you know all the causes of bad breath in german shepherds, as well as how to treat and prevent them!

Here are some of the main things you should remember from this article.

  • Bad breath is often caused by poor oral hygiene, eating things that smell, licking their anus, teething, injury, gut problems, airway infections, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver problems.
  • To help prevent and treat bad breath in german shepherds you should get your vet to clean their teeth, clean their teeth yourself, watch their diet, and give them dental chews.
  • Some great home remedies for bad breath include giving them carrots and apples, probiotics, adding coconut oil to their meals and getting them to drink more water.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day.


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