Causes of Canine & Feline Bad Breath

October 16, 2013

Many dogs develop bad breath as the years go by, and their owners assume it is a normal part of aging.  I remember being guilty of that with my Great Dane, Ginny.  Now, I know better.

Certain diseases exhibit halitosis, or bad breath, as one of their symptoms.  Some kidney or liver diseases, diabetes, cancer, and gastrointestinal diseases are just a few possibilities.  Your veterinarian can determine the exact cause.

While some serious diseases can cause bad breath, it more often occurs in dogs and cats due to poor oral hygiene.  Bad breath is not “normal.”

A dog or cat will experience bad breath when bacteria gathers under the gum line.  You may also see tartar and plaque building up around the teeth.  Fido’s and Fluffy’s teeth examination should be part of the annual visit to the veterinarian.

On a daily basis, it is up to you to take care of your pet’s teeth at home.  Pet Smart and other pet supplies stores care products to help with this task.  You can choose from rubbery “fingers” with nubby protrusions that slide onto your finger that you can use to massage your pet’s teeth and gums to brushes and toothpaste made just for dogs or cats.  There are even mouthwashes designed for them.

Most dogs and cats begin to show signs of needing a professional cleaning by ages 4-6 years.  Some never do.  Our Weimaraner, Gator, is 10 years old, and the vet has never thought it necessary to professionally clean his teeth.  That may be due to his healthy diet and daily brushing of teeth, or maybe he has good genes.  Whatever it is, we keep close tabs on his teeth and gums because of his advanced age.

Certain breeds of dogs may be more prone to dental problems.  If you own a brachycephalic cat, such as a Persian, or dog, such as an English Bulldog or Pug or Pekinese with the smushed in faces, watch carefully for signs of dental or bad breath issues.  The bacteria from plaque and tartar can spread to internal organs and cause major concerns.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

a June 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I do believe all the ideas you have offered for your post.
They are really convincing and can certainly work.

Still, the posts are too short for novices. Could you please
lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

CarolN June 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for your comments. I also wish the article had been longer. However, there really isn’t more I could add to this. I am not a veterinary professional, and it would be wrong for me to give advice. That’s why I believe that your veterinarian should decide if an animal’s teeth need help or if there is an underlying cause for the bad breath. You’ll find that most of the posts on this site are considerably longer.

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