Bad Breath in Pets
If you are an experienced pet owner, you are probably already aware that your furbaby may not have the freshest breath. In fact, some animals are quite well known for having an unpleasant odor emanating from their mouth. While often the smell is only temporary, and usually eliminated with a quick brush of your pet’s teeth, sometimes the cause of your pet’s bad breath is something a little more sinister. If this is the case, then veterinary attention may be necessary to treat the underlying cause and to help you and your pet to enjoy a close relationship without bad breath getting in the way!
Causes of Bad Breath in Pets
The best way to eliminate your pet’s bad breath is to discover what is causing it. This is often a process of elimination, although you may need to enlist the help of our veterinarian to get a firm reason for why your pet may have bad breath. Often, the cause is something fairly innocuous, such as eating something they shouldn’t have, like garbage or a deceased animal. Nevertheless, in some instances, there could be a much more serious reason why your pet’s breath stinks.
Some of the dental and medical causes of pet bad breath include:
Periodontal Disease. This is by far the most common oral health problem affecting domestic animals and is often picked up on during your pet’s routine visits to the veterinary dentist. Periodontal disease can become serious and the effects can be irreversible. Therefore, if you believe that periodontal disease may be to blame for your pet’s bad breath, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.
Dental Decay. Unsurprisingly, decay has a real odor to it. Therefore, if your furbaby has dental decay, there is a good chance that she will experience episodes of bad breath.
Kidney Disease. Metabolic conditions such as kidney disease can cause the scent of your dog’s breath to change. In these instances, it is more likely to smell like ammonia as the waste products that are normally eliminated by the kidneys accumulate in the blood stream and affect your pet’s breath.
Diabetes Mellitus. If your furry friend’s breath smells very sweet, she could be suffering from diabetes mellitus. Just like human diabetes, this is caused when your pet’s body cannot process sugars in the correct way. Uncontrolled diabetes can also suppress your pet’s immune system, which may allow excessive bacteria multiplication in the mouth.
How You Can Help Improve Your Pet’s Bad Breath
Brushing your pet’s teeth is one way that you can help to improve her breath as this will eliminate stinky bacteria from her mouth and reduce the likelihood that she will develop dental decay. When brushing, make sure that you use a veterinary-approved toothpaste as human brands are toxic and could make your furbaby seriously unwell.
Other ways in which you can help improve your pet’s bad breath include:
- Feeding her a high-quality diet. Better quality foods are easier for her to digest, which could prevent other health issues that may cause bad breath.
- Provide constant access to fresh water. This will help wash away food and bacteria in your pet’s mouth, thus reducing their effects on your pet’s breath.
- Provide chew toys. Chewing stimulates saliva, which is your pet’s natural protection from tooth decay. If you choose an abrasive toy, it will also help to clean your pet’s teeth, preventing the accumulation of odor-ridden bacteria on her teeth.
- Visit our vet regularly. Ensuring that you stick to your pet’s prescribed schedule of visits means that potential dental problems will get diagnosed more quickly, and before they become a smelly and serious issue.
If your pet has persistently bad breath, contact us and speak to our veterinarian to schedule a dental check-up or to obtain further advice.