5 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Has Bad Breath + 3 Tips

If your schnauzer has bad breath it can make their kisses, cuddling or being close to them in general quite enjoyable. You might be wondering, why does their breath smell so bad? Is something wrong or is this normal for schnauzers?

Why Do Schnauzers Have Bad Breath:

A schnauzer will have bad breath because their owner doesn’t maintain their oral hygiene. Without frequent brushing or taking preventative measures to reduce plaque build up, a schnauzer will have bad breath. Dental treats, water additives and consistent brushing help with bad breath.

In this post you’ll discover the 5 most common reasons for a schnauzers breath to smell bad (you’ll be shocked at how often #4 happens to dogs!) as well as the top 3 ways to keep their bad breath at bay.

Let’s jump right in.

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Has Bad Breath

1) Poor Oral Hygiene

Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for a schnauzer to have bad breath is because of poor oral hygiene.

You likely don’t think twice about brushing your own teeth. Everyday since you were a child you’ve brushed once in the morning and another time before bed.

But when it comes to your dog’s mouth you may not have given brushing a second thought.

And forgetting to give your schnauzer’s mouth a good brushing is likely what’s causing their breath to stink.

If you’ve ever tried to talk to someone who hasn’t brushed their teeth one day, their ‘morning breath’ is quite noticeable. 

It’s pretty hard to continue the conversation with them.

So if you haven’t brushed your pup’s teeth, well, ever, then it’s understandable that their breath would be smelly.

PetMD says in addition to bad breath you may also notice gum inflammation or weight loss/loss of appetite. 

If brushing their teeth everyday is the last thing you want to do, our second and third tip below are perfect for you.

2) Ate Something They Shouldn’t Have

If your schnauzer’s breath is more off-putting than usual today, they may have eaten something they shouldn’t have.

Whether it’s some old garbage they got into, eating another animal’s poop (or their own), or something they found on one of your walks.

Eating out of the garbage or a piece of trash on their walk are more simple to avoid.

But when it comes to eating poop, the reasons for this behavior can range from underlying health issues or they’re simply bored.

It’s a good idea to take them to the vet to make sure it’s nothing health related.

If they’re simply eating poop to get your attention, they’re feeling anxious, or they want to avoid punishment, it’s important to discourage this behavior.

Not only will this make their breath smell absolutely terrible, but there’s bad bacteria or even parasites in poop that could make them sick.

Sometimes this behavior can be challenging to stop but there are dog chews available that are designed to discourage it.

3) Teething

If your schnauzer is still just a pup, they’re likely teething.

And teething is quite a painful/uncomfortable experience for all pups. Their baby teeth are becoming loose and will soon be replaced by their permanent, adult teeth.

During this period, it’s quite common to find their mouth bleeding from time to time as their teeth fall out.

Considering their mouth is constantly under repair while they’re teething, you may notice their breath smells rather bad.

This is however just a part of growing up and not a big deal. So long as you’re maintaining their oral hygiene.

It’s even more important to brush during this time because there are holes in their mouth until their adult teeth come in. Which means infections can happen more easily when food isn’t brushed away.

Also, it builds the habit when they’re young so they won’t make as much of a fuss about having their teeth brushed as they get older.

4) Periodontal Disease

Shockingly, studies have found that almost 90% of all dogs will have some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach age 2.

Periodontal disease, according to PetMD, is when your dog has excess bacteria in their mouth. This causes damage to their gums, bones and other supportive structures in their mouth.

And unfortunately, the smaller your schnauzer is, the more susceptible they are to getting periodontal disease.

This is because each dog has the same number of teeth, but smaller dogs have less room between teeth because of their small mouth.

Less room between teeth means increased plaque and tartar build up.

Because of this, the most common symptom of periodontal disease is bad breath.

The danger of periodontal disease is that it doesn’t simply cause bad breath and that’s the end of it.

It increases the risk of organ damage such as liver disease, kidney disease, or even heart disease.

So while smelly breath is definitely a reason not to neglect your schnauzers teeth, it’s also important for their overall health.

5) Infection

If there’s enough bad bacteria buildup in your schnauzers mouth it could cause one of their teeth to become infected.

A tooth that’s infected will be quite noticeable based on its color. It will be a significant different color than the rest of their teeth.

You may also notice them refusing to eat all together because of pain, or only eating on one side of their mouth.

If your pup’s breath smells more off-putting than usual, they may have a tooth infection.

And if this is the case it’s important to take them to the vet to have it treated.

Top 3 Tips To Help Keep Your Schnauzer’s Bad Breath Under Control

1) Brush Their Teeth

The least favorite but hands-down most effective way to keep your schnauzer from having bad breath is to brush their teeth. And to brush them often.

A study done in Sweden in 2020 looked at dental home care in dogs. They found that while periodontal disease is one of the most common health issues for dogs, it was the easiest to prevent.

And the way to prevent it was through tooth brushing. Not only would it benefit the health and wellbeing of your schnauzer, but also reduce veterinary costs for you.

They claim that being proactive with a dog’s oral hygiene can eliminate most cases of periodontal disease.

Which makes total sense if you think about your own mouth.

If you weren’t to brush your own teeth for a week, month or even a year, you’d expect to have bad breath. Along with some other issues likely.

Without properly cleaning away the leftover food in between their teeth and gums they’re likely to have mouth issues.

If you want a sure fire way to keep your schnauzers breath from smelling bad. Frequent brushing is what they need.

2) Water Additive

One way to help prevent build up of plaque and tartar that requires much less manual labor is using a water additive.

Water additives are quite a popular choice because you simply mix it in with their bowl of water.

While they’re drinking as they normally do it’s working at cleaning their mouth.

Water additives have been proven to help prevent gum swelling, bad breath, and even periodontal disease while whitening their teeth.

If the thought of brushing your schnauzers teeth everyday sounds like a nightmare to you, water additives are a nice alternative.

If your pup has a sensitive stomach, anything new to their diet might make them feel off.

In this case it would be a good idea to start off with less than the recommended dose.

Gradually, over a few days or weeks work your way up to the recommended daily amount.

Based on what we’ve found, this Fresh Dental Water Additive is one of the best you can get.

3) Dental Treats

Another great way to help keep their bad breath at bay is with dental treats.

Dental treats like Dentastix or Greenies can help reduce plaque and tartar build up while your schnauzer simply thinks they’re getting a treat.

They also help remove stains on their teeth and leave a much more pleasant smell to their breath.

Dental treats are a win-win really. Your pup gets a treat. And you get a doggo with a clean mouth.

Final Thoughts

The easiest way to prevent bad breath in your schnauzer is to brush their teeth daily.

Not only will this prevent them from giving smelly kisses, but it will help maintain their overall health and wellbeing.

If your pup is rather fussy when it comes to having their teeth brushed, water additives or dental treats can work wonders.

So long as their mouth gets some attention toward becoming cleaner, their breath should improve.

Other posts you might find interesting:

11 Reasons Why Schnauzers Shake, Shiver & Tremble So Much

9 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Grunts & Groans + 3 Tips

7 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Eats Everything + 5 Tips

17 Surprising Reasons Why Schnauzers Lick So Much + Tips


Dental home care in dogs

Bad Breath (Chronic) in Dogs

Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Dogs

5 Consequences of Rotten Dog Teeth

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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