Snuggling with your pet can be one of the highlights of being a pet parent, that is unless Fluffy or Fido is suffering from a bad case halitosis! Wherever that bad breath came from, it is probably too offensive for your nose to handle and can haunt you for days. Although pets aren’t known for having great breath, bad breath may really be a sign of poor oral health.
Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, it’s the ideal time to put the spotlight on oral hygiene and the importance of proper dental care.
In many cases, the bad breath is due to built-up tartar on the teeth close to the gum line. This can become irritated and inflamed if not addressed and ultimately lead to an infection or disease which can cause severe problems and be taxing on the immune system.
Other times, that stink is coming from the gut! Digestion problems, issues in the gastrointestinal tract, mouth and other organs can be sources of what some call ‘stomach breath’.
In both situations, as with many health issues, diet can make a HUGE difference! Because pets are naturally scavenger carnivores, they have a shorter G.I. tract, less enzymes in their saliva to break down foods (especially sugars & carbs) and teeth made to rip and tear instead of crush and chew.
Try these best practices in dental health with your pet:
- Feed your pet foods that are low in sugars and carbs which cause more tartar on the teeth.
- Avoid ingredients with no added nutritional value like common fillers and look for high quality proteins.
- Consider cleaning their teeth a few times a month, even if it’s just wiping off the outsides with gauze or a wet cloth. If using toothpaste, remember to stay away from toothpaste designed for humans and choose one that is natural.
- Try ‘snacks’ that can act as dental floss like uncooked or smoked bones. Dental chews are another option, but avoid any gluten in those, or try some sea algae which can break down tartar effectively too!
Remember that good oral health is important for more reasons other than that smelly breath! Your pet’s body can suffer more serious problems so try some healthy dental practices and feed good quality food. If interested in learning more about Pet Wants’ fresh food and the benefits on dental health, chat with us on our website Pet Wants Cincy or stop in our stores!
If awful breath is a persistent problem, talk to your veterinarian to rule out any serious issues. Solutions for your pet’s bad breath depends entirely on its root cause.
For more information on pets or to try one of our nutritious blends, please visit Pet Wants Cincy.