Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ask Lola: Common Cause of Bad Pet Breath

Stinky pet breath has away of making life miserable for everyone and can really spoil any hallmark moment. Bonding with your dog or cat with offensive breath may seem impossible to stomach. You just can't help but wrinkle your nose when your pup yawns, greets you with a slobbering kiss, or cat gives you a nose & cheek snuggle. Finding a cure all truly depends on the underlying cause. Before you can begin to solve your pets bad breath problem & bid farewell to that gas mask you first need to get to the root of the problem. Like anything there may be more then meets the eye. Well, in this case more then meets the nose.

Often times bad breath is a sign of those silent killers, periodontal (gum disease) or gingivitis and should not be ignored. In some cases a good yearly vet checkup & professional dental cleaning, followed up with regular daily brushing, may be all it takes to rid the world of your canine or feline"howl-itosis". Not to mention promote your beloved pets overall well-being, because don't we loyal furry companions deserve to live a healthier, happier life. But sometimes even a good brushing may not do the trick, which could mean their may be another underlying problem. Although unpleasant to smell the least, bad breath can be a warning sign of something sinister lurking in the darkness. Offensive bad breath may be your pets only hope of S.O.S to signal a more serious health concern.

So, being an investigator and sniffing sleuth I wanted to dig and do some research on other possible bad pet breath culprits. You all can call me Sherlock Hound for short. Here are a list of some possible causes of bad breath:

1. Diet-Poor diet can cause bad breath, especially if fed decaying raw meat. Some dog food brands can cause bad pet breath.

2. Decaying Teeth- When you are grooming your pet, and washing behind the ears, don't forget to brush your pets teeth. While you are having your pet open wide and say "Awww.." make sure to inspect their mouth & teeth. Abscessed teeth (swollen red area around a tooth) and other gum/ dental problems may be the source of pets bad breath. Have a veterinarian properly treat any such problems.

3. Bad Eating Habits- Perhaps your dog has develop a palette for the not so finer things in life, garbage, poop and roadkill. If your dog loves raiding and eating out of the garbage or consumes his or her own feces then no need to look further. Just follow the garbage trail and you've found the source. Not to mention if you find your yard miraculously free of landmines and you haven't hired your very own Pooper Scooper (on every pet owners wish-list). Perhaps your dog has decided to take on the role, which is a big concern. This can mean only two things, he's buried the evidence or or eaten it, which does not make for good hygiene. Coprophagia (eating their feces) is a behavioral problem that needs addressed. With a such a dirty mouth one just imagine what his or breath will smile like. The key is to keep garbage out of reach and make sure you pick up after your pets goes #2.

4. Digestive Disorders- Sour stomach, gas, diarrhea and constipation can cause pet bad breath.

5. Other Health Problems- Bad pet breath can indicate health problems like liver or kidney disorders. When kidneys aren't working properly, toxins in the blood can start to cause ulcerations in the mouth that cause bad breath. Infact, your pets breath may smell lightly like urine. Indeed, anything that ulcerates the mouth or causes inflamed gums can give Spot & Whiskers bad breath. If bad breath continues consult a vet because this could be the first warning signs of something more serious.

6. Foreign Objects- We all know that in that dog world everything is considered edible & free reign, even your furry slippers. Grass or food may become lodged in the crevasses of a tooth and decompose causing tarter build-up.

7. Calculus Buildup- Bacteria & calculus (yellowy, hard mineral buildup) can produce foul-smelling breath in pets. Establishing & maintaining proper dental hygiene routine 2-3 times a week will do wonders. Don't forget to invest in a good pet toothbrush & toothpaste!!

The key to good health, bearable breath, and stronger pet bond is good pet dental hygiene. Happy Brushing!!

Barkingly yours,

Lola the eco-dog

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great job running down the causes, Lola. Keep in mind that the coprophagia (poop-eating) can be a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed.