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9 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Smells Your Breath

Why Does My Dog Smell My Breath

Sometimes, dogs act in a way that makes us question…

“Why are they doing that? Is it normal?”

This time, your pup seems to like smelling your breath.

They can’t keep their nose out of your face.

You even wake up in the morning being sniffed in the mouth.

And you’re here because you’re looking for answers.

It’s your lucky day!

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • How a dog’s sense of smell can detect sickness.
  • 9 weird reasons why your dog smells your breath.
  • Why doggos like sniffing your breath in the morning.
  • How they know what you feel by simply smelling you.
  • And many more…

Why does my dog smell my breath?

Your dog smells your breath to check your health or emotional well-being. They may also smell your breath if they detect cancer, seizure, or abnormalities in your blood sugar. They also do this to show respect. Some do it simply because they love your smell.

9 reasons why your dog smells your breath

#1: Your dog is checking your health

“The dogtor is in. It’s time for a check-up.”

You know you’re sick but you don’t want to admit it.

The symptoms are there but you keep ignoring them.

But what you can’t ignore is your pup’s insistent urge to sniff your breath.

They know something’s wrong just by the way you smell.

They have amazing olfactory abilities. VCA says that they have up to 300 million sensory receptors.

And they can smell 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans.

This means they can smell things we can’t. And that includes chemical changes in our breath and sweat.

This gives them the ability to detect whether their fur parents are sick or not.

So if your pooch is smelling your breath, they’re probably just checking your health.

Although all dogs have a terrific sense of smell, there are certain breeds who excel in this.

Some of them are the following:

  • Beagle.
  • Coonhound.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Basset Hound.
  • Belgian Malinois.
  • German Shepherd.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • English Springer Spaniel.

Did you know that dogs can even warn people when they’re about to have a migraine?

One study proved this to be true. The researchers conducted a survey that was completed by 1029 adults with migraines.

About 60% of them reported that their dogs alerted them even before a migraine attack would begin.

Being close to their human was the most common alerting behavior.

Other alerting behaviors were:

  • Licking.
  • Staring.
  • Herding.
  • Barking.
  • Lying down.

So make sure to pay attention if you notice your pooch acting differently. 

Especially when they obsessively sniff a certain part of your body.

Or keep nudging you at one spot. To be safe, it may be best to get it checked by a doctor. 

Your beloved pup may also smell your breath because they want to take care of you.

Once they detect that you’re sick, they would want to look after you.

Let’s take the experience of one fur mom as an example…

This fur mom had pneumonia and a sinus infection. 

And ever since she got sick, she noticed that her Great Dane had been extra clingy.

And that all the pooch wanted to do was smell her breath.

Her dog would even immediately go close to her mouth when she’s coughing.

She basically has her own doggy nurse keeping an eye on her.

And the best bud that won’t leave her side until she’s well.

#2: Your dog is detecting cancer

“This is doggo, your friendly scent analysis.”

Dogs don’t only have the ability to sense simple illnesses. They can also alert you to life-threatening diseases.

One disease they’re commonly known to detect is cancer.

They can smell the presence of this disease just by smelling your breath.

In one study, 5 dogs were trained to pinpoint cancer based on breath samples.

They were able to identify 55 patients with lung cancer and 31 patients with breast cancer.

This showed a 88-97% accuracy rate of the dogs detecting cancer.

Researchers even found they can accurately sniff cancer from blood samples with almost 97% accuracy.

They can also detect prostate and bladder cancer by smelling urine.

How amazing is that? They can practically save a life just by using their nose.

An example of this is the story of a pet parent and her Hound.

She said that her dog kept on sniffing a “pimple” in her nostril.

The Hound was so persistent that she eventually decided to have it checked.

The “pimple” ended up being a form of skin cancer.

Once she had it removed, her dog started behaving normally and stopped sniffing her face.

#3: Your dog is inspecting your blood sugar

“Hooman, it’s time to eat some sweets.”

Do you have diabetes? If you do, your pooch could be smelling your breath due to abnormalities in your sugar levels.

They’re able to detect a chemical called isoprene. Which is found in the human breath that rises when the blood sugar is low.

A study showed that at least 65% of their respondents indicated that their dog showed a reaction during their hypoglycemic episodes.

And 35% of the dogs warned their humans even before they were aware of their blood sugar levels.

They also mentioned that the behavioral responses from each dog varied.

Check the table below for the following results:

Behavior ResponsePercentage 
Running away5.1%
Jumping or Staring30.4%

There are even dogs who are trained to do this. And they become assistance dogs to diabetic patients.

Their main job is to let the person know if their blood sugar has spiked or dropped.

According to WebMD, the following are some of the benefits of getting a diabetic alert dog:

  • Improved quality of life.
  • Fewer risk of passing out.
  • The blood sugar level is more controlled.

But keep in mind that it’s still up to you to manage your condition.

Watch this video of how a Labrador checks his fur mom’s blood sugar levels:

#4: They’re alerting you of a seizure

“This scent smells like danger, gotta warn my hooman.”

Dogs are so incredible they can even detect the scent of seizures.

They may be smelling your breath to warn you of the attack.

Researchers found that dogs can predict seizures before they occur.

They exposed 19 dogs to the odor of seizures. And discovered that all of them reacted to the odor by showing behavioral responses.

Some become more vocalized. While some made eye contact with their dog parents.

They also mentioned that the dogs in the study had no prior training.

Some of the pups even had a 100% accuracy rate of sniffing the scent.

This is especially helpful for people with epilepsy.

Their canine companion can alert them before the condition is about to happen.

And they will be able to call for help or go to a safe place before it happens.

#5: Your dog is acknowledging you

“How are you, hooman!”

The fact that dogs are socially motivated pack mammals explains a lot of their behavior.

In the wild, it’s normal for dogs to sniff the breath of their pack leader as a form of greeting.

Domesticated dogs also do this with other canines. And they even do it with their humans.

So if you’re not sick and don’t have any of the mentioned conditions.

Then they could be sniffing your breath to acknowledge you as part of the pack.

And as part of the doggo family, they want to take in your special scent.

Dogs also smell each other as a form of bonding.

So they may also be doing it with you to strengthen your bond.

It’s their little way of asking you how you’ve been. And what you’ve been up to.

#6: Your dog is sensing your emotions

“Doggo wants to know if hooman is okay.”

According to research, our furry friends know how we feel by simply sniffing us.

They can detect the rise and fall of our hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine.

So they could be smelling your breath to check your emotional well-being.

Sometimes, they’re even the first to know that we’re feeling down.

And you’d notice how they’ll be eager to do things to make you feel better.

They may curl up next to you. Or give you lots of sloppy kisses.

They’ll do all these heartwarming acts to boost your mood.

But did you know that our mood can also affect them?

Another study found that there’s a link between a human’s scent and emotions to dogs.

The dogs reacted to the feelings of their humans by smelling them.

And whatever the dog parent was feeling, they’ll adapt to it too.

If they smell sadness, they’ll feel sad too. If they smell fear, they will be terrified too.

This is why it’s also important to pay attention to our mood.

Because what we’re feeling can also affect how our dogs are behaving. 

#7: They love the smell of your breath

Your Dog Loves The Smell Of Your Breath

“You’re my hooman! Doggo is gonna sniff you forever.”

Sometimes, your pooch could be smelling your breath simply because they love it.

As mentioned a lot of times in this article, a dog’s sense of smell is exceptional. 

By smelling your breath, they can gather information about you.

They’ll know the insights of your day. And what food you’ve been eating.

They can also smell last night’s food even if you brushed carefully in the morning.

Let’s take these experiences of different fur parents for example.

For one fur dad, he said that his dog would sniff his mouth every time he eats something.

And he got so used to this that he would always gently blow a breath to his pooch just for them to both get over it.

While for another pet parent, her dog smells her after brushing her teeth.

She says that her pooch does this maybe because they love the minty scent.

#8: It’s a morning greeting

Waking up in the morning with your dog’s wet nose so close to your mouth is probably a surprising sight.

But a dog’s need to sniff their fur parent’s breath is actually a common activity. 

Smelling you as you wake up is their way of saying…  “Good morning, hooman!”

Sniffing you is also their way to do a quick inspection of your health and mood.

Plus, it’s a chance to shower you with some affection.

So if they do this, don’t get annoyed. They’re just showing you some TLC (tender loving care).

#9: They’re just curious

Your pooch smelling your breath in the morning could simply mean they’re curious.

Maybe they can smell food in your mouth and want to get a whiff of it

Or they can smell a certain odor in your face that’s interesting to them.

Your breath may also smell unusual and they want to know why.

Whatever the reason, they’re doing it because they’re intrigued.

And nothing will stop these curious creatures from sniffing everything they find fascinating.

Aside from sniffing, your pooch will also show other signs when they’re curious.

These are:

  • Alert.
  • Staring.
  • Pawing.
  • Barking.
  • Ears up.
  • Tails up.

Although you can’t stop they’re curiosity, there are things you can do to manage this.

The following are simple tips on how to handle a curious dog:

  • Keep a close eye on them.
  • Don’t let them sniff anything harmful.
  • Prevent them from being too excited.
  • Make sure they know their boundaries.

BONUS: You’ve encouraged the behavior

Dogs being creatures of habit would reinforce a behavior depending on how you react to it.

So if they smell your breath in the morning and you respond to them with affection, they’re more likely to do it again. 

“Can I discourage this behavior?”

You can but first, consider if it’s something you can tolerate.

If not, one thing you can do is close your bedroom door so they won’t be able to go there in the morning.

However, letting your pooch smell your breath has actually a lot of benefits.

It may be uncomfortable for some but it could be helpful.

Through their nose alone, they can help detect early signs of some serious health conditions.

Plus, sniffing is also a great sensory experience for them.

According to RD, here are some fascinating things dogs can smell that humans can’t:

  • Drugs.
  • Weapons.
  • Bed bugs.
  • Ovulation.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Explosives.
  • Natural disasters.

Why does my dog smell my breath every morning?

Your dog smells your breath every morning to greet you. They also do this to catch your attention and show affection.

Some do it because they smell something unusual in your face.

Smelling your breath in the morning is a natural instinct to your pooch.

They put their nose close to your mouth to take in as much information as they can.

And you being their special person, it’s important for them to be able to recognize changes in your scent.

They like to be the first to know how you’re doing and if you wake up okay.