Why Does My Pugs Breath Smell? A Look At The Causes

You likely notice some raunchy smell coming from your Pug’s breath, especially when your dog kisses you. Bad breath can be unpleasant, but it is also a sign that something is wrong with your four-legged friend. Sometimes it may be as simple as brushing your Pug’s teeth, but other times it could be more serious. So why do pugs breath smell so bad?

Why Does My Pugs Breath Smell Bad?

Halitosis in Pugs can occur when your dog is suffering from gum disease, tooth decay, kidney disease, eaten something toxic, has something stuck in their teeth, your dog’s food, and a couple of other reasons. Without proper hygiene, your Pug will experience bad breath. 

As pet parents, it’s up to us to find out what’s causing the problem before treating it. We’ll share the most common reasons Pugs experience bad breath. Once you know what’s causing the issue, we’ve shared some tips on how to get rid of bad breath in Pugs, using preventative and natural remedies.

why does my pugs breath smell

9 Reasons a Pug Has Bad Breath

Most pet owners are quick to dismiss their Pug’s bad breath, but there are a few reasons behind the odor you should be aware of.

A big percentage of the time, your dog’s bad breath or halitosis will be from a bacteria that has grown in their mouth. This bacteria is caused by the foods that they eat.

However, here are some other possible reasons your Pug has stinky breath.

#1 Periodontal Disease and Oral Hygiene

The most common causes for bad breath in canines is bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Like humans, your pet’s food causes plaque and tartar buildup, which causes bacteria and produces that bad breath smell.

Giving your Pug something to chew regularly and brushing their teeth is one of the best ways to control that plaque buildup. If your Pugs breath has started smelling suddenly, it is likely a sign of a medical issue that requires medical attention. 

Without proper oral hygiene, the chances increase that your pup will suffer periodontal disease. It can eventually lead to tooth loss, cavities, infections, and other oral problems.

#2 Dietary Habits

Dogs are NOT the cleanest pets. They are continually licking their butt (this can lead to that fish smell), getting into the garbage, eating poop (Mindy did this sometimes), and eating things you and I would never eat.

Both wet and dry dog food can cause havoc on your dog’s breath. All dry dog food can cause dental disease in dogs, regardless of what the label says. Wet food, Wet food has more water but can still be the culprit causing the bad breath. 

Pugs love eating, and if not properly trained, they will eat unsupervised snacks that you would never approve of.

#3 Diabetes

A sweet fruity dog breath smell is one of the symptoms of diabetes. You will want to make an appointment with your veterinarian. They will be able to help you deal with canine diabetes and bad breath issues.

#4 Teething

Puppies tend to have bad breath during their teething process. It starts happening around the 4-month mark and will last around five months.

As your pup starts losing its teeth, it produces a sour milk smell that produces smelly breath.

Caution: This is a natural process of growing up, and there is not a lot you can do. You want to make sure that your puppy is at least six months old before you start using a doggie toothbrush.

The best thing you can do if your puppies breath is stinking is to give them something to chew. Teething and chew toys will help stimulate the flow of saliva and help minimize the odor.

#5 Food Stuck In Their Teeth

If your Pug’s mouth stinks like garbage disposal, there’s a good chance that they have rotted dog food stuck in their teeth. Like humans, dog’s food can get stuck in between their teeth.

The best thing to do is ensure that you’re replacing their kibble regularly. Avoid feeding them stale food that can break apart easily into fine particles.

We used to buy Mindy’s food in bulk, and it took her forever to eat a bag of food. Make sure that you’re putting your Pug’s dog food in an air-tight container so it will stay fresh longer.

#6 Kidney Disease

If your Pug eats poop, there’s a good chance that their breath smells like poop. However, if their breath smells like urine, there’s a chance that they are drinking pee. Dog breath that smells like urine is a warning sign of kidney disease.

It’s essential to make sure that your Pug has access to freshwater daily. Here are some bowls for your Pug’s food and water.

This condition will require you to contact your pet’s veterinarian as it can be a sign of larger problems than just stinky breath.

#7 Stomach Issues

Pugs are known for having stomach issues such as bile, acid, and lots of gas. It can cause that bad breath because those smells travel up the esophageal tube, which eventually leads to the throat and stomach.

Stomach issues usually result from switching your Pug’s diet. 

It’s not uncommon for Pugs to suffer from stomach issues if they eat too fast. We bought Mindy the DuraPet Slow Feeder Bowl to help slow her down while eating.

#8 Tumors

If your Pug has terrible breath regularly, even after brushing them, it could be cancer. A dog’s mouth consists of several different cells, which can replicate themselves and result in malignant growths.  

According to Blue Pear Vet, malignant tumors are the 4th most common cancer in canines. They are more common in male dogs than females. Breeds that are more susceptible to oral tumors are boxers, Weimaraner, golden retrievers, chow chow, and miniature poodles. 

Symptoms to watch for are:

  • Loose teeth
  • Increased salivation
  • Weight Loss
  • Bad breath
  • Food falls out of the mouth
  • Pin
  • Facial Swelling

#9 Liver Problems

Liver disease can cause an unusually foul odor in your dog’s mouth. If your dog has kidney issues, its breath will smell like urine, accompanied by vomiting.  

If any medical issues are the cause of the bad breath, you need to contact the veterinarian. The sooner you seek medical attention, will help your dog get the care they need before it’s too late. 


If your Pug has bad breath, it’s likely one of the reasons above. In most cases, regular brushing will help remove some of the bad smell. However, if your dog’s breath smells like death or has just suddenly appeared, you want to contact your schedule an appointment with the veterinarian.

Your Pug’s breath is not a topic to be ignored. Hygiene is as essential for dogs as it is for us. Hopefully, this helped you understand some of the causes of Pug’s bad breath. 

If you know, there’s nothing medically wrong with your Pug, then it’s time to take some steps to freshen their breath.

No one wants a dog with stinky breath!

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