Cat with mouth open

Pets with bad breathe may have health issues






Bad Breath



 Author, Darlene Wagner for Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a wet, sloppy kiss from your canine companion, or an up-close and personal “meow” from Fluffy, your favorite feline. But what can you do if that kiss or meow is accompanied by some seriously bad breath? If your pet suffers from stinky breath, it could signify a health problem that needs attention, or it could be a bi-product of a poor diet.


Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is indeed the most common cause of stinky breath for pets. A build-up of plaque can cause gingivitis which, if left, can transition to periodontal disease. This disease can be quite serious, resulting in your pet losing teeth, develop gum disease, and it can even cause kidney and heart damage. When it comes to your precious pet’s teeth and gums, the old Ben Franklin idiom, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ certainly applies. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly, perform routine mouth inspections (feel around for loose teeth, unusual bumps, etc.), and arrange for regular oral exams by your pet’s veterinarian.


Liver and Kidney Disease

These can negatively affect a pet’s breath. Odor producing bacteria in your pet’s stomach, lungs and/or mouth can build-up and produce a foul smell. An unrelenting odor is a sign that something may be wrong in your pet’s kidneys, liver or gastrointestinal tract, and should be examined by your vet.



Diabetes can produce sweet smelling breath with a hint of a fruit-like scent. While the smell may seem ideal, the cause can be quite dangerous for your pet. The primary symptoms of diabetes for your pet is excessive thirst and frequent urination. Sometimes, a pet with diabetes may display an insatiable appetite. This disease is more common in overweight pets, although even those at an ideal weight can befall diabetes.


Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FELV and FIV are autoimmune diseases that affect cats. If your favorite feline has poor smelling breath as well as pale gums, runny nose, watery eyes, a loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy and weight loss, be on alert as these are all symptoms of a serious health issue that requires your vet’s attention.


Poor diet

A poor diet can also be to blame for your pet’s unpleasant breath. High quality pet foods aim to support your pet’s digestive and immune systems, aiding in a healthier life and better breath.


Bad breath in pets is not normal. Don’t ignore bad breath; seek veterinarian attention as it’s always easier to treat a medical issue in the early stages, rather than giving the issue, and your dog’s breath, a chance to fester.



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Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

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