How to prevent bad breath in pets

Understanding Bad Breath in Pets

Your pet’s bad breath comes from a disease called Halitosis. There are ways to prevent this and also treatments for the disease. It is important to understand the underlying problem causing the halitosis. The following are several possible causes:

Gingivitis (Inflammation of the gums)

Abscessed tooth or teeth

Oral Ulceration

Oral Neoplasia (tumors of the mouth)

Lung diseases, such as lung cancer

Severe kidney disease

Foreign bodies in the mouth, such as hair or plant material

There are several methods available to prevent and treat your pet’s bad breath. This doesn’t replace the need for veterinary care. If your pets gums are red or bleeding or your pet is showing signs of illness, a trip to the vet is of utmost importance. However, if you just want the kisses you receive from your puppy to be a little fresher, there are several options to help you out.

Breath Fresheners

Commercial pet stores now carry several breath fresheners for your dog or cat. Having offered these as treats to our pets, we’ve received a positive response. The favorite product, voted on by 10 of our cats, is a product called Pit’r Pats Cat Breath Fresheners. This is available from Petsmart Online at uct/index.jsp?productId=275157 1.

Another favorite is Feline Greenies Dental Treats. The unique teeth-cleaning shape of Greenies are clinically proven to help reduce tarter and plaque. These are available in five flavors.

There is a wider range of breath fresheners available for dogs. There are breath mints, breath sprays, breath tablets and breath paste as well as a variety of bones and toys that are marketed for freshening breath.

There is also a new product, Nutri-Vet Breath Fresh Oral Rinse for Dogs and Cats. This product is intended to add to your pet’s drinking water to help eliminate canine and feline bad breath.


There are dental kits available for pets in pet stores. There are dog-safe and cat-safe toothpaste and you can purchase a special tooth brush. A beginner’s choice could be the Petrodex Finger Toothbrush for dogs and cats, which is sold for around six dollars.

Dental Rinse

Another Petrodex product is a dental rinse that you can spray in your dog or cat’s mouth between brushings to prevent tarter build-up and freshen breath.

Dental Chews

A great product by Nylabone, a favorite of our Boston Terrier’s as well as other pets, is called Nylabone NutriDent Edible Dental Brush Chews. This dog treat helps your dog clean his teeth and freshen his breath.

Dental Wipes

Another product available for dogs are dental wipes. This is marketed to be a convenient and effective way to provide good daily hygeine. These are flavored to provide fresh breath.

Options for Other Pets

Kaytee has a line of dental bites for small animals such as rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas. These dental bites promote dental health by using fortified food for tooth control.

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