Why Does My Puppy’s Breath Smell Like Blood?

Your puppy is likely teething if its breath smells like blood. Bleeding gums often accompany teething, which brings with it the smell of blood. There is also the possibility that the puppy has an oral wound. Puppies tend to chew on anything and everything, including sharp objects.

Welcoming a new member to your family is an exciting and heartwarming time. After preparing for the arrival of your new fur baby, you may have several expectations, hopes, fears, and concerns, all of which are perfectly normal!

Once your new addition has come home with you, you may have questions about their health and wellness, especially if you notice that your new companion’s breath has a metallic scent that smells like blood.

It’s important to be aware of the possibilities why your puppy may have developed this metallic smell to their breath. It can range from minor oral or dental issues to more serious medical emergencies.

If your pet has suffered trauma of any kind, or you believe there is a serious medical emergency, you should, of course, seek medical attention from an emergency vet immediately.

Why Does My Puppy’s Breath Smell Like Blood?

One common concern with new fur baby parents is that their puppy’s breath smells like blood. With the metallic scent of blood, there are always concerns that your furbaby could be sick or injured, but there are several reasons there is a smell of blood in your new friend’s breath.

Oral Wounds

The first thing to consider is whether or not your puppy has been chewing on anything recently that could be the culprit of scratches, lacerations, or punctures to the inside of the mouth.

If it had a very hard puppy treat, rawhide, or bone, it’s possible that the inside of your fur baby’s mouth is bleeding, which could lead to the smell of blood in its breath.

Carefully check your puppy’s tongue, gums, between their teeth, and the roof of the mouth for any signs of irritation or blood.

If you find signs of tears or cuts inside the mouth, it would be best to take a trip to the vet to ensure that there is no sign of infection. The vet will also show you the best way to keep the wounds clean to help speed up the healing process.

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The smell of blood could likely emanate from these irritations, but could quickly turn into the foul smell of infection if not properly cared for and cleaned.

The vet can also recommend the safest solution to help you get rid of the odorous breath without exasperating the cause.

Dental-Related Issues

Aside from open wounds, a puppy could have an infection in the gums, a dental abscess, a rotting tooth, or other dental issues that could lead to foul-smelling breath.

Again, the vet can assist you in dealing with these issues and getting rid of the subsequent odor of blood.

Proper dental hygiene and care are imperative for your puppy to maintain their teeth and gums and help prevent cavities, plaque build-up, and tartar.

Brushing your puppy’s teeth and gums can make a huge difference in not only their breath, but in their overall oral health… and that’s something you can both smile about.

Teething Phase

Bleeding gums often accompany the teething phase, which brings the smell of blood along with it.

A teething puppy needs to be able to chew and gnaw to aid in the teething process. Make sure you have age and size-appropriate chew toys available for your pup to discourage chewing on inappropriate or dangerous objects, like sticks that can splinter and cut the gums and mouth.

There are also several brands of dental chews available that can aid with breath while also providing a safe chew for your puppy’s mouth.

More Serious Causes of “Metallic” Breath in Puppies

Stomach Ulcers

Several serious diseases could also be responsible for a metallic smell from your puppy’s mouth. For example, stomach ulcers may cause an odor some people identify as smelling like iron or blood.

While easily treatable, a bleeding stomach ulcer can also be dangerous to your new friend. It should be diagnosed by your veterinarian if suspected.

Your vet can treat your puppy for the ulcer, which should take the metallic scent away from their breath.

Anal Gland Issues

If you notice your pet is licking himself (or herself) often, it could be that they are experiencing an issue with the anal glands. At times, these glands become full and can transfer their less than pleasant odor to your fur baby’s breath.

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While some pet parents have described this odor as “bloody” or “metallic,” others have described it as “fishy” or just “gross.”

Although it’s not uncommon for this to be attributed to the offensive smell lingering on your friend’s breath, it should still be taken seriously, and a trip to the vet is the best bet for resolution.

Your vet will want to make sure that there are no serious issues with the glands that are causing them to become or stay full and will advise you on the proper course of treatment to get rid of the bad breath accompanying it.

Kidney Problems

Kidney problems cause an accumulation of toxins and waste in your puppy’s body, which could naturally lead to odors coming from their mouth.

Again, not all pet owners have identified the smell of their dog’s breath as smelling like blood because of kidney problems, but many have said that after noticing an increase in drinking and frequent urination, their little buddy’s breath began smelling strongly of iron or blood. Others have felt the smell was more like ammonia.

Kidney problems can be fatal, so getting a diagnosis from a professional is absolutely necessary and should not be put off!

Actual Blood – Internal Bleeding

Last but certainly not least, you must consider that the smell of blood on your little one’s breath could be coming from just that: blood.

Internal bleeding would cause a strong smell of blood emanating from your puppy’s mouth. Especially if you don’t see any other obvious reasons for a prominent stench.

Make an emergency vet appointment immediately if you have reason to believe this is a possibility. The smell could accompany bloody stool or vomit, indicating an internal injury that can only be treated by a vet.

This is an absolute medical emergency for your pet. Please do not hesitate to get your animal to an emergency clinic immediately. Like kidney disease, this is a very serious and potentially fatal problem that needs immediate medical attention.

What Can I Do About The Smell Of Blood On My Puppy’s Breath?

So what can you do about your puppy’s bad breath? As mentioned before, the best options are to ensure that your puppy has both age and size appropriate chew toys that are safe for them and not likely to splinter or have jagged or sharp edges to prevent lacerations and cuts to the inside of the mouth.

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Avoid sticks, plastics, and other such items as regular chew toys. Discourage your puppy from chewing on anything you haven’t provided for them specifically for that purpose.

Dental chew sticks are available that are both safe and provide fresh or minty scents that will make your puppy’s breath smell much better, especially if they are experiencing dental problems of any kind or have lacked dental hygiene.

Lastly, make sure that you regularly brush your dog’s teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for its specific size and breed. By brushing daily, you not only prevent bad breath odors, but promote good dental health. It also gives you the opportunity to check your companion’s mouth for any potential issues on a regular basis.

Just remember that if you’re uncertain of the cause of your puppy’s breath suddenly smelling like blood, the best option is to seek expert advice from your vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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