Treating bad breath in your cat or dog

Sometimes our pets have bad breath. But have you ever wondered what the cause is and what you can do about it? Here are some tips...

Have you noticed an unpleasant smell coming from your pet’s mouth? Here’s what could be the cause and what you can do to treat it.

Does your cat or dog have bad breath? Are you wondering what’s causing it and how you can treat it? Below we share some of the more common causes of bad breath (also known as halitosis) in your pet, and what you can do to treat it.

  • Unlike us, our cats and dogs don’t regularly brush and floss their teeth, so there’s more time for plaque to build up and turn into tartar, which can turn into dental infections (or periodontal disease).

  • In cats, bad breath can also be caused by diabetes. In this case, their breath may have a 'fruity' smell to it. If your cat has diabetes, it’s recommended to ask your vet to treat the underlying disease in order to treat the bad breath. Treatment options could include special food or insulin injections.
  • Cats and dogs with short noses may breathe more through their mouth, meaning their mouth dries out faster, causing bad breath. The overcrowding of their mouth doesn’t help either, as it makes it easier for plaque to build up and start causing problems.

  • Of course, bad breath can also come from your pet having eaten something less than desirable – like poop. Just like us humans have less-than-desirable breath after eating something that contains a lot of garlic, for example, if your cat or dog eats something unpleasant, you’ll know about it.

So, what are the best ways to prevent bad breath in our cat or dog?

Brush your pet's teeth! There are special brushes and toothpastes designed with your cat or dog in mind, so you can help keep their teeth clean. Start them young, so they get comfortable with the practice, and do it every day – just like you do with your own teeth.

Feeding your cat or dog dry biscuits also helps, as crunching on them helps remove some of the built-up plaque. You can also get special food and treats designed with dental health in mind.

And, of course, get their teeth regularly checked by your vet, as there may be other underlying problems that could cause bad breath that aren’t related to their teeth. However, if your vet suggests your cat or dog’s teeth need a clean, take them up on the offer and prevent further toothy trouble down the track.