Bad Breath and My Pet

a dog with its mouth open

Celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month by learning the facts about bad breath and what it can mean for your pet.

It turns out that chronic bad breath or halitosis is NOT normal for pets! It can actually be an indication of a problem, such as dental disease or another underlying medical issue.

Did you know that 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3?!

What is dental disease?

Dental disease is inflammation of the teeth and gums caused by a build up of plaque and tartar. This occurs both above and below the gum line. When tartar and plaque make its way below the gum line, they give off toxins which leads to bone and tissue damage. Pets with periodontal disease are possibly at a higher risk of being diagnosed with heart disease and other forms of bodily organ damage.

Signs of dental disease

    • Discoloration or build up on teeth
    • Bad breath
    • Eye swelling
    • Discomfort, sensitivity, lumps or bleeding around the mouth
    • Gum redness or inflammation
    • Pawing at the mouth
    • Difficulty eating or loss of appetite
    • Drooling

How you can help your pet have healthy teeth and gums?

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are the best way to promote oral health in your pet. At Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center, we examine your pet’s mouth during his annual and semi-annual examinations to identify any development of dental disease. During these visits we make suggestions on how to keep your pet’s mouth healthy, including:

    • Daily tooth brushing
    • Specialized dental diets
    • Water additives
    • Dental chews
    • Specialized chew toys
    • Dental cleaning under anesthesia

A great resource to visit is the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) website for a list of recommended products and more information on periodontal disease.

At Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center, we want you and your pet to be as healthy and happy as they can be. We will work with you to make the best decisions for your pet, lifestyle and budget.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s oral health, please give us a call at (401) 398-7807 or email to set up an appointment.

By Kathrin Umbenhaur, Client Service Representative
Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center