Why Do Yorkies Have Bad Breath? 7 possible reasons

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All dogs can develop bad breath, including Yorkies. While dogs’ mouths are really stinky, it’s not normal for them to have extremely bad breath.

why do yorkies have bad breath

So why do Yorkies have bad breath? We have to look into the possibility of dental problems, metabolic issues, diet problems, and more.

The vet is always the best person to call for proper diagnosis and treatment. Also, a proactive approach will help save your pet from further discomfort.

Why do Yorkies have bad breath? Here are some of the reasons

do yorkies have bad breath

Your Yorkie’s bad breath will say a lot about its health. You should never dismiss bad breath as a minor problem. It’s crucial to have these potential problems ruled out:

1. Teething

Just like any dog, Yorkies will undergo the teething process. This will cause their puppy teeth to shed, which can lead to a bad odor.

You have to watch out for decaying milk teeth, which is a common problem among Yorkies in the 6 to 7-month age. You can also make dog toothpaste for this purpose.

The mild halitosis should subside after the removal of the concerned teeth. However, if the bad breath of your Yorkie persists, you should ask the vet for further examination.

Aside from rotting teeth, your Yorkie’s mouth will have a sour smell because of spoiled milk.

2. Dental problems

An adult Yorkie with bad breath is usually suffering from a form of dental problem. Experts found that Yorkshire Terriers are more likely to suffer from dental problems than other dogs.

Yorkies have small teeth, which is why it’s difficult to spot an infection. And as the teeth rot, it will infect the gums and cause bad breath.

Your Yorkie may develop gingivitis that could progress to periodontal disease. All of these dental problems could potentially slash a Yorkie’s lifespan by three years.

Take note that dental problems will not go away on their own. Your Yorkie’s breath will just get worse as days go by. It’s essential to immediately bring your dog to the vet to combat the potential complications of dental problems.

3. Kidney issues

Your Yorkie’s bad breath could also be due to kidney issues which may lead to kidney failure in dogs. This is a more serious condition that needs immediate attention.

When the kidney fails to filter out the toxins on a Yorkie’s body, it will accumulate and cause bad breath. Yorkie’s with kidney problems will have urine or ammonia-like smell.

yorkies with kidney problems

Aside from bad breath, Yorkies suffering from kidney issues will have decreased urination and poor appetite. You may also notice frequent accidents despite the dog being fully housebroken.

When it comes to kidney disease, acting quickly is the key to saving your Yorkie’s life. Proper treatment is the only way to treat the dog’s bad breath and prevent other complications of the condition.

4. Liver problems

Another thing you should watch out for is liver problems in your Yorkie. Like kidney disease, liver problems can also cause bad breath.

This is due to the liver’s failure to filter out the toxins in the dog’s body. As it piles up, the wastes will produce a bad smell on your Yorkie’s breath.

One of the common liver problems among Yorkies is a liver shunt.

This is a congenital defect that makes the Yorkie’s liver unable to filter out toxins from its body. Aside from bad breath, the accumulated toxins will also put your dog’s life at risk.

5. Digestive problems

Dogs like Yorkies often explore the world through their mouths. In the process, they will swallow foreign objects that may cause blockage in their digestive system.

This can also cause bad breath until the foreign matter is removed. A bacterial infection in the gut area can also be the culprit to bad breath.

Also, the ingestion of chemicals may cause an acidic smell to your Yorkie’s breath. This must be considered an emergency, so you should bring your Yorkie to the vet.

6. Diabetes

Canine diabetes is also one of the serious causes of bad breath among Yorkies. A dog with diabetes will have increased ketones in its bloodstream.

This can lead to bad breath, but with a fruity or pear-like scent.

Also, Yorkies with diabetes have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, which will contribute to bad breath. This is due to the body’s reduced ability to heal.

7. Respiratory problems

Lastly, you should also get respiratory problems ruled out on your Yorkie.

Any lung infection like colds and asthma can potentially make your Yorkie’s breath smell bad.

If you notice these problems in your dog, you should bring them to the vet immediately.

Be wary of signs of respiratory distress in your dog because any form of respiratory distress can put your dog’s life at risk.

Why does my Yorkie’s breath smell like fish? 

A fishy smell on a dog’s breath might be an indication of gingivitis. However, if your Yorkie’s gums are in the pink of health, dumpster diving might be to blame.

Yorkies are curious dogs, and they can get their mouths on some trash. If you happen to have some fish leftovers in the bin, your doggo will snack on it. The result is a fishy smell.

The good news is that this can be fixed with a good tooth brushing session. If the fishy smell didn’t go away after brushing, it’s best to consult the vet.

How to make your Yorkie’s breath fresh?

How to make your Yorkie’s breath fresh

While bad breath can indicate a more serious problem, there are ways to reduce your Yorkie’s risk of having halitosis.

To manage the stinky problem, you must do the following:

  • Regular brushing. Just like with any dog, regular brushing will help reduce the risk of dental problems dramatically.

However, since Yorkies’ teeth are small, you should be gentle at all times. You should also use the right dog toothpaste and toothbrush for the job.

  • Dental checks. Aside from brushing, it’s also important to bring your Yorkie to the vet for routine check-ups.

This will allow the vet to spot any cause of bad breath before it becomes life-threatening.

  • Encourage chewing. A chewing dog has fewer chances of having bad breath. You should get chew toys suitable for small breeds.

Avoid very stiff ones because it will damage your Yorkie’s small daggers. You can also switch to dental chews to promote better gum health and to reduce bad breath.

  • Change the dog food. Sometimes, your Yorkie’s dog food might be causing the digestive problem, leading to bad breath.

A gradual change in diet will help reduce the stinky breath of your pet. However, make sure that your Yorkie doesn’t have allergies to the ingredients of the food.


Why do Yorkies have bad breath? Like any dog, they can be suffering from dental problems, kidney disease, liver issues, and so on.

What matters here is you get the doggo checked for immediate treatment. Being proactive in this case can save the life of a canine.

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