Information on halitosis and bad breath in cats and dogs.
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What is Bad Breath?
Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis is a very common condition that affects our pets at some point. Animals don’t brush their teeth as we do – so it’s not surprising that they may have rather stinky breath! For some animals, bad breath is a temporary and brief concern that may only arise at certain times of the day (such as on waking), or after eating pet foods. For other animals, bad breath is a more severe and persistent condition.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Some causes of bad breath in pets include:
- Poor oral hygiene or health, including tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- A dry mouth (often caused by lack of saliva in the mouth due to certain medications)
- An over growth of certain bacteria in the mouth and digestive system
- Sinus infections
- A high protein diet
- Poor digestion
- Poor liver health
- Respiratory disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
More Information on Bad Breath
Tips for preventing bad breath:
- Encourage your pet to drink fresh water daily.
- A healthy diet is key – one that does not include too much protein. There are also natural pet foods that help reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Try not to give your pets sugary treats such as ice cream and sweetened milk – these sugary snacks will harm their teeth!
- It is normal for cats and dogs to have teeth cleanings once a year, so talk to your vet about the need for an oral check up.
- If you are up to the task of brushing your pet’s teeth, the best time to start is when they’re puppies or kittens. Lift their lip on one side and with a gauze on your finger gently brush their teeth in a circular or back and forth motion, start with the front of their teeth and eventually work your way to the back teeth, using a natural toothpaste for pets. Do not use your own toothpaste on your pet (as it could cause stomach problems).
- Feed your pet rice to help move food through the digestive tract more easily.
- Giving your dog chews regularly will help keep the teeth clean too.