Tag Archives: causes of pets bad breath

Does Your Pet’s Breath Take Yours Away?








We all love to snuggle and hug our pets. But have you ever been taken aback by their breath?  Both dogs and cats can suffer from halitosis. There are many causes of bad breath including the following;

-Dry mouth due to medications or lack of saliva

-Dental disease (affects 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over age 2 years)

-Consumption of yucky items such as feces or garbage

-Recent vomiting

-Food lodged in the mouth or teeth

-Metabolic disorders such as kidney disease

-Growths, tumors, or polyps in the mouth

-Diabetes mellitus

-Gastrointestinal disease

-Sinusitis or other respiratory diseases

-eosinophilic granulomas (also known as rodent ulcers) that occur with cats

So what is a pet owner to do to escape from this malodorous breath?  If it is mild halitosis, gentle brushing with a soft bristled brush or finger brush with rubber bristles and a made for pets toothpaste will help.  People toothpaste has detergents and flouride which is tough on an animal’s system. Most cats and dogs respond well to a poultry flavored pet toothpaste. It is best to start when your pet is young so they get used to it. Dental hygiene wipes are an alternative to brushing. There are also gentle  hygiene toys  and treats that are like brushing the teeth. Carrots are tasty and helpful in  cleaning up a dog’s breath. You can also try switching from a wet to a dry food, though there is no research to prove that dry is better than wet.  It is rare that the food itself is causing bad breath, though fishier foods can cause an odor. Natural pet foods that promote gastrointestinal health can help combat halitosis.

With severe halitosis, it is best to see your vet to rule out other factors such as dental or other disease. This is especially true if your pet also seems lethargic, lacking in energy, is drooling, or has bleeding of the gums. For dogs, a professional cleaning every year is recommended beginning at age 2 or 3 years. For cats, a professional cleaning is recommended at 18 months and yearly thereafter. Periodontal disease can result in tooth and gum infections, loss of teeth and may have a negative affect on organ function.

Remember to watch your pet’s oral health as much as you do his bodily health. It has been shown that maintaining your pet’s teeth can extend their life as much as 5 years. So start that daily brushing and hug your pet!