Why Does My Yorkie's Breath Smell Like Fish? Possible Causes and Solutions


Why does my yorkies breath smell like fish?

If you have noticed that your beloved Yorkie’s breath has a distinct fishy smell, you may be wondering what could be causing it and how to remedy the problem. While bad breath is common in dogs, a fishy odor can be indicative of specific underlying issues. It is essential to identify the cause and take appropriate action to improve your furry friend’s oral health and overall well-being.

Table Of Contents

One possible cause of a Yorkie’s fishy breath is dental problems. Just like humans, dogs can develop dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tartar buildup. Plaque and tartar can accumulate on your dog’s teeth, leading to bacterial growth and a foul odor. Poor dental hygiene and the lack of regular teeth cleanings are often to blame. It is crucial to brush your Yorkie’s teeth regularly and schedule regular dental check-ups to prevent these problems.

Another potential cause of a fishy-smelling breath is the presence of oral infections or diseases. These can include periodontal disease, gingivitis, or an abscessed tooth. Infections in the mouth can produce an unpleasant odor, similar to that of rotting fish. If you suspect your Yorkie may have an oral infection, it is best to consult a veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s oral health and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include antibiotics or dental procedures.

Diet can also play a role in causing a fishy smell in your Yorkie’s breath. If your dog’s food contains a lot of fish or fish-based ingredients, it can contribute to the smell. Some dog foods may not agree with your Yorkie’s digestive system, leading to an unpleasant odor. Switching to high-quality, balanced dog food with different protein sources may help reduce the fishy scent. Additionally, providing your Yorkie with regular dental chew treats can assist in maintaining oral health and reducing odor.

In conclusion, a fishy-smelling breath in your Yorkie can be attributed to various factors, including dental problems, oral infections, and diet. Paying attention to your pet’s oral hygiene, providing proper dental care, and feeding a balanced diet can help combat the odor. However, it is always recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment for your furry companion’s specific needs.

Why Does My Yorkie’s Breath Smell Like Fish?

There could be several reasons why your Yorkie’s breath smells like fish:

  1. Dental issues: One common cause of fishy breath in dogs is dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, or oral infections. These issues can lead to a buildup of bacteria in your Yorkie’s mouth, resulting in a foul smell.
  2. Dietary factors: Another possible cause is your Yorkie’s diet. Certain foods, especially those high in fish content, can cause a fishy odor in the breath. If you recently changed your Yorkie’s diet to include more fish-based products, this could be the reason for the smell.
  3. Oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to fishy breath. If you are not regularly brushing your Yorkie’s teeth or providing them with dental chews or treats, plaque and tartar buildup can occur, leading to bad breath.

To address the issue of fishy breath in your Yorkie, consider the following solutions:

  • Regular dental care: Schedule a dental cleaning with your veterinarian to address any dental issues your Yorkie may have. Additionally, brush their teeth daily using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Dietary adjustments: Consider changing your Yorkie’s diet to one that does not contain high levels of fish. Opt for high-quality dog food and discuss with your vet any specific dietary recommendations for your pet.
  • Oral hygiene products: Use dental chews or treats that are designed to help maintain your Yorkie’s oral health. These products can help remove plaque and tartar, reducing the likelihood of bad breath.

Overall, it is important to address any potential underlying dental issues and maintain good oral hygiene practices to help alleviate the fishy breath in your Yorkie. Consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and personalized recommendations for your pet’s specific needs.

Possible Causes

There are several potential causes for a Yorkie’s breath smelling like fish. It’s important to note that bad breath in dogs can be a sign of underlying health issues and should be addressed by a veterinarian.

  • Diet: A poor quality or unbalanced diet can cause bad breath in dogs. Yorkies are prone to dental issues, and food particles can get stuck between their teeth, leading to plaque buildup and eventually bad breath. Feeding your Yorkie a high-quality, balanced diet that includes dental treats can help prevent this issue.
  • Dental problems: Yorkies are prone to dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tartar buildup. These conditions can cause bad breath and may require professional dental cleaning by a veterinarian to resolve. Regular brushing of your Yorkie’s teeth and providing dental chews can help maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Oral infections: Infections in the mouth, such as gum infections or dental abscesses, can cause a fishy odor in your Yorkie’s breath. These infections may be caused by bacteria or fungi and require veterinary treatment to resolve.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Some gastrointestinal issues, such as bacterial overgrowth or digestive disorders, can cause bad breath in dogs. These issues can disrupt the normal digestion process and result in foul-smelling breath. Your veterinarian may need to conduct tests to identify and treat the underlying cause.
  • Other health conditions: Fishy breath can sometimes be a symptom of certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, liver problems, or diabetes. If your Yorkie’s breath consistently smells like fish, it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.


If your Yorkie’s breath smells like fish, it is essential to address the underlying cause to freshen their breath. Here are some potential solutions:

  1. Good oral hygiene: Brush your Yorkie’s teeth regularly using a dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. This practice helps remove plaque and tartar buildup that can contribute to bad breath.
  2. Dietary changes: Evaluate your Yorkie’s diet and consider feeding them high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for dental health. These foods often contain ingredients that help control plaque and tartar and improve breath.
  3. Regular dental check-ups: Schedule regular visits to the veterinarian to have your Yorkie’s teeth examined and cleaned professionally. A thorough dental cleaning can significantly improve your dog’s breath.
  4. Water additives: Consider adding a dental water additive to your Yorkie’s drinking water. These additives contain ingredients that help reduce plaque and tartar and improve breath.
  5. Dental chews/bones: Provide your Yorkie with dental chews or bones that are designed to promote oral health. These products can help remove plaque and tartar buildup and freshen their breath.
  6. Mouthwash or breath fresheners: There are dog-friendly mouthwashes or breath fresheners available on the market that can help freshen your Yorkie’s breath. Consult with your veterinarian to find a suitable option.

Remember, if your Yorkie’s breath continues to smell like fish despite trying these solutions, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian. They can conduct a thorough examination and determine if there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.


Why does my Yorkie’s breath smell like fish?

There could be several reasons why your Yorkie’s breath smells like fish. One possible cause is dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay, which can lead to the production of foul-smelling bacteria in the mouth. Another possible cause is a dietary issue, such as eating fish or fish-flavored food, which can result in a fishy odor. Additionally, certain health conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, can also cause a fishy smell in the breath. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the exact cause and appropriate treatment for your Yorkie.

How do I know if my Yorkie has dental problems?

There are several signs that may indicate dental problems in your Yorkie. These include bad breath, red or swollen gums, bleeding or receding gums, loose or missing teeth, difficulty chewing or eating, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, and a decrease in appetite. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your Yorkie examined by a veterinarian who can perform a thorough dental examination and recommend appropriate treatment, such as teeth cleaning or extractions if necessary.

Can a change in diet help improve my Yorkie’s breath?

Yes, a change in diet can help improve your Yorkie’s breath if the cause of the fishy odor is related to their diet. If you suspect that the fishy smell is due to the food they are eating, you can try switching to a different brand or flavor of dog food that does not contain fish. Additionally, adding dental treats or chew toys to their routine can help improve their oral hygiene and reduce bad breath. However, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to your Yorkie’s diet.

What are some other possible causes of bad breath in Yorkies?

Bad breath in Yorkies can be caused by a variety of factors other than dental problems or diet. Some other possible causes include oral infections, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal issues, metabolic disorders, and systemic diseases such as diabetes. It is important to have your Yorkie thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of their bad breath and to ensure appropriate treatment is provided. Regular dental care and veterinary check-ups can help prevent and identify potential causes of bad breath in your Yorkie.

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