Bad breath is bad breath, whether it’s coming from a human or an animal. February is Dental Health Month, and we’re here to help your pet get their bad breath in order! All it takes is a little bit of work from you and some maintenance from the Beaches Animal Hospital staff.
First, let’s talk about the causes of bad breath.
- If you have a puppy or kitten at home, you have a lot to worry about when it comes to their dental health. The teething period can be a time where you start to notice their breath more often because bacteria collects at the gumline as their baby teeth are pushed out by adult teeth. However, this is a great time to get them into a dental health routine. The habits you create early on will stick with you and your pet, leading to better oral health later in life.
- There are a number of oral diseases that can cause your pet to have bad breath. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70% of adult cats and 80% of adult dogs show symptoms of oral disease. The most common oral disease presented in pets is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth form a substance called plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Subsequently, minerals in the saliva harden the plaque into dental calculus (tartar), which is firmly attached to the teeth.
- Stomatitis – inflammation of the oral cavity
- Oral Masses – both cancerous and benign growths
- Gingival Hyperplasia – a condition where the gums overgrow, creating bumps and holes for bacteria to gather
- If your pet is experiencing stomach issues or has a gastrointestinal disease, expect some bad breath! If the stomach and intestines are sick, you’ll probably be smelling it in their breath.
How do you fight back against bad breath? We have some tips for you.
- Brushing your pet’s teeth is a great start to beating bad breath! Like we said before, starting dental health care at a young age will create healthy habits for your pet. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily, and at least once a week.
- There are treats that help your pet with plaque reduction and bad breath. It’s best to consult your veterinarian first to find the right treat for your pet.
- Recently, more companies have some out with water additives that help with pet oral care, helping with their breath as well. We would love to work with you to find the best fit for your pet.