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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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Make-A-Wish makes wishes come true!!!

As many of you know, the Make-A-Wish foundation works to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. When we were presented with the opportunity to help the Make-A-Wish foundation grant Ms. Madison’s wish to receive a puppy, we were more than happy to help! Madison received a French bulldog puppy originally named Chubby - she later decided to change his name to Duke since she loves Duke mayonnaise. Dr. Kennedy agreed to donate the needed vaccinations, de-worming treatments, neuter surgery at the appropriate age, as well as a microchip thru Animal House. With the help of multiple vendors, we also received donations for items such as food, flea/tick prevention, heartworm prevention, shampoos, ear cleaners, and any needed diagnostics for the first year. Please keep this family in your prayers – as we all know, sickness can take a toll on any family but our hearts break for this family as they deal with the everyday expenses, emotions, and stresses that come with having a sick child. We are so glad that we were able to help & would like to send a special thanks to all of our vendors that donated towards this cause. We hope that Madison and her new friend “Duke” can have a long and happy life together!

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