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pet breath Albuquerque vet

Bad Breath is More than Food

pet breath Albuquerque vetWe love to give our pet’s kisses. But when they breathe in our face and you want to gag because their breath is terrible, it is time to get their kisser looked at.  There are a lot of potential causes of bad breath, some can be fixed at home and some require going to your Albuquerque veterinary clinic.

  1. Periodontal Disease:
    This is the most common cause of bad breath. Bacteria gathers in their plaque and causes irritated gums, aka. gingivitis. As the plaque gets older the disease progresses and more destructive bacteria develops. This is a painful condition and can lead to tooth loss and potentially damage your pet’s kidneys and heart.
  2. Teething: Kittens and puppies often have bad breath while they are teething. It is due to bacteria collecting on the gum line as their teeth are poking through.
  3. Oral Disease: There are a variety of different oral diseases that cause bad breath, and your vet would need to diagnose this. These can cause inflamation of the gums, oral masses, growths, tooth loss, among others.
  4. Gastrointestinal Disease:  Sometimes bad breath is coming from their belly and not their mouth. If they have gastrointestinal issues, this can make for some stinky breath.
  5. Metabolic Disease: Diseases that affect your pets metabolic balance can lead to impressively bad breath. Kidney disease is the most common. In fact, a characteristically sour smelling breath is one of the symptoms of end-stage kidney failure.

What to do?

  1. Brush your pet’s teeth! This is the best thing you can do for your pets dental health. You can easily do this at home. If you have questions about brushing, please consult your veterinarian.
  2. Annual dental exam: An annual dental exam should be part of your pet’s annual health. Your vet will look for any issues and can help you treat anything they find.
  3. Plaque reducing treats: Your pets food can actually help their teeth.  There are treats designed to help with bad breath and help reduce plaque. Ask your vet for the best one for your pet.


If your pet’s bad breath does not go away with brushing, there may be other issues. Bring your pet to the vet to get a proper evaluation and they will outline a proper treatment course.