Whether eating poop, getting in the trash, or drinking from the toilet, our pets seem to love getting into nasty things! As pet parents, we know from experience that our furry family members don’t mind getting a little stinky.

Perhaps this is why we seem to accept foul breath as “part of the package”. Considering all that our pets’ mouths get into, stinky breath doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. However, it’s far from normal; a foul odour is actually a sign that your pet may be ill and even in pain.

Bad breath an easy-to-dismiss symptom, especially because our furry family members have an amazing ability to hide pain from us. This survival instinct makes it difficult to know when they need our help, so bad breath is often one of the first ways that their body tells us that something is wrong.

Usually, it’s a sign of dental disease. Dogs and cats suffer from gingivitis and periodontitis, which are conditions with similar equivalents in human dentistry. When we have dental pain, we can call the dentist and make an emergency appointment. However, our pets rely on us to act on their behalf.

Bacterial infection, which causes the smelly odour, is not only painful but dangerous too. When left untreated, it can spread throughout the body, affecting organ function and overall quality of life.

Although dental disease affects many, many pets, it’s almost entirely preventable! A brushing regime is always recommended, but there are also treats and diets for our pets that are designed to keep dental discomfort and bad breath at bay. Additionally, your vet can perform regular dental cleanings to treat plaque and tartar, clean below the gum line, and use X-rays to check for issues under the surface before they manifest into larger complications. For dental disease, prevention is the best cure!

If your pet has smelly breath, don’t delay in contacting your veterinarian to create a treatment plan and to rule out kidney disease, diabetes, and tumours, which can also cause pungent smells.

A healthy mouth is not only important for your pet’s overall health and happiness, it means fresher puppy kisses and kitty snuggles for the family, and most importantly, more years to enjoy that love. Now that’s a breath of fresh air!

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com.  Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.