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How to Control Bad Breath in Pets: Tips & Tricks

How to Control Bad Breath in Pets
What’s the Best Way to Treat Bad Breath in Pets?

1. Brush your pet’s teeth daily. Brushing is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth free from bacterial buildup and help control bad breath.
2. Give your pet  safe chew toys to gnaw on. The natural process of chewing will help clean your dog’s teeth.  
3. Make sure your pet is on a healthy diet. There is one diet, Hill's T/D, that is formulated to help reduce tartar.
4. Schedule regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian. Be sure your pet has his teeth cleaned at least once every year.  Anesthesia is required to do a good job of evaluating the entire tooth, and dental x-rays are needed to evaluate the tooth roots and surrounding bone.

There’s nothing fun about getting a slobbery wet kiss from a dog or a cat with bad breath! Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is generally caused by excessive build-up of odor -producing bacteria inside your pet’s mouth, lungs, or even gut. While most cases of bad breath can be traced back to poor oral hygiene, in some cases, bad breath could be symptomatic of a more serious health problem.

Treating bad breath starts by identifying the cause and taking steps to correct the underlying problem. Other than dental disease, causes of bad breath are oral tumors, tonsillitis, or foreign material in the mouth or voice box area.  Even systemic diseases like kidney disease and diabetes can cause a change in the odor of the breath.

However, bad breath in dogs and cats is most commonly linked to the build up of bacteria in the mouth due to poor oral hygiene. In fact, bad breath is the most common warning sign of  dental disease. Periodontal disease starts out as plaque. Plaque is a biofilm that contains bacteria which causes gingivitis. Over time, plaque hardens, forming a substance known as tartar. Plaque and tartar lead to swollen, inflamed gums, along with bad breath.

Abscessed teeth are also common in dogs. These can result from bad periodontal disease, or from a fractured or worn tooth that allows bacteria to move up the canal in the middle of the tooth to the tip where it causes an abscess to form. These abscesses can also cause bad breath.

The best cure for bad breath is to prevent it before it happens. In order to best keep your pet’s breath under control, schedule a yearly dental check-up with your pet’s veterinarian. Veterinary organizations recommend annual dental exams and cleanings for pets. 

Additionally, veterinary dentists recommend that pet owners brush their pet’s teeth on a daily basis. Brushing teeth is the best way to cut back on tartar buildup and help control bad breath.

Finally, give your pets access to safe chew toys. Chew toys not only help reduce your pet’s stress level and eliminate boredom, but these toys can help to reduce tartar buildup. Be sure to use a chew toy approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Chew toys that are too soft are a danger because pieces may be swallowed causing an obstruction. Chew toys that are too hard, such as nylon, bones, and antlers break teeth. Rope toys can cause threads to get caught between the teeth.
 
Source:

American Animal Hospital Association, “AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.” 2014.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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