Bad Breath

Information on halitosis and bad breath in cats and dogs.

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  1. What is Bad Breath?
  2. What Causes Bad Breath?
  3. More Information on Bad Breath

Picture of a Pug Dog

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
  • Constipation
  • Poor liver health
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Tonsillitis
  • 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.
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