Author: Patricia Bratianu, RN PhD RH-AHG
Everyone has heard of unpleasant doggy breath. Well, kitties can have foul breath too. Let’s look at how your pet’s breath can be improved.
The first step is to determine the cause of the foul odor. Is it because your pet doesn’t get to chew enough to clean his or her mouth and gums? Soft foods, such as canned pet foods, do not require chewing, which provides mechanical removal of waste. Frequently, dogs swallow their food whole from eating too fast, which affords little chewing opportunity. Some brands of pet food may impart a foul odor. You may want to consider trying a different brand of food.
Dry food, biscuits and chew toys stimulate salivation which moistens the mouth and mechanically loosens residue on the teeth to prevent tartar build up. This can be an easy way to improve upon the health and odor of your pet’s mouth. There are chew toy products on the market which specifically target dental health. Try purchasing some of these.
Using an oral spray that contains moistening ingredients with antiseptic properties can be very effective. Herbs such as fennel, cleavers, and celery promote good oral health. Cleavers has been used for centuries as a detoxifying herb. It has been shown to benefit the immune system as well. Fennel is even used in dental care products for people to promote fresh breath and healthy oral hygiene. The herbs nourish the teeth and mucus membranes. As a result, inflammation is reduced.
PetAlive makes a product called OralHealth Mouth Spray. It contains the herbs mentioned previously as well as colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is antibacterial and promotes healthy mucus membranes.
Is your pet drinking plenty of fresh water? Moist mucus membranes are healthier and fresher smelling. Change your pet’s water dish at least once daily.
Cats sometimes enjoy having fresh herbs to munch on in the garden. Catnip and catmint are favorites. Try mixing a little parsley in with your dog’s food. The chlorophyll in the green plants is a natural breath freshener. The vitamins in the herbs strengthen your pet’s teeth and gums.
You may want to consider a visit to your veterinarian if the above interventions do not help. A thorough physical exam may be in order.
Your vet may recommend that your pet have a professional teeth cleaning on a regular basis. There may be a tooth that needs removal. Be sure to clean your pet’s teeth at home also. Your veterinarian can show you how to clean them.
Sometimes bad breath is a sign of other health issues. Talk with your veterinarian about those possibilities. Bad breath is sometimes an indication of digestive or respiratory problems. It can also indicate the presence of parasites. With a little detective work, you will find the root of the problem and be able to resolve it.