In Part 1 of our post, we discussed the possible causes of your pet’s bad breath. We also discussed the importance of monitoring your pet for other signs/behaviors that might indicate a more serious issue. Today, we’ll be discussing ways to both combat that bad breath and prevent further periodontal and more serious issues from occurring.
Prevention & Care
Treatment for bad breath relies on a combination of routine at-home dental care and professional veterinary teeth cleanings. Both methods can keep your pet’s dental health in great shape and potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in costly dental procedures.
What You Can Do at Home
At home, here are some ways to help keep Fido or Whiskers in tip-top teeth shape and keep bad breath at bay:
- Brush your pet’s teeth daily (if possible). This seems like a pretty obvious one, but brushing a pet’s teeth is often easier said than done. This routine is the most effective way to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings. The best way to incorporate tooth brushing into your dog or cat’s daily/weekly routine is to train them early on to accept simple tooth brushing.
- Provide your pet with appropriate dental chews and treats. Plaque-reducing treats and dental toy chews can sometimes help, but make sure to check with your veterinarian for the best options for your pet.
What Your Vet Can Do at the Office
At the veterinarian’s office, here are some procedures your vet may perform to determine the cause of your pet’s bad breath:
- Ask about the pet’s history of bad breath. Most vets start by asking questions to understand your pet’s history of bad breath. Your vet will ask when you first noticed your pet’s bad breath and if they’re otherwise acting normally.
- Perform a physical examination. Your veterinarian will likely perform a full-body exam, including a detailed oral examination.
- Anesthetic evaluation. Unfortunately, without sedation or anesthesia, it is difficult to thoroughly access a pet’s oral cavity. Under sedation, x-rays can be performed and each individual tooth can be examined, along with other structures in the mouth.
- Perform dental cleaning. Dental cleanings are essential to combatting bad breath and preventing periodontal disease. Ridding the teeth and area under the gumline of plaque can greatly improve the health of the teeth and gums.
- Performing a biopsy. If the situation is critical, it might be necessary to perform a biopsy to check for abnormal tissue in the mouth, particularly when oral masses are present.
By learning about the common causes of bad breath in pets, you can monitor your pet’s oral health and take the necessary steps to provide your four-legged friend with a longer, healthier life. Regular at-home tooth brushing, the right diet and regular veterinary visits (including any necessary oral exams and/or cleanings) will have your pet happy, healthy, and grinning from ear to ear.