Why does my pet’s breath smell bad?

Do you ever go in to greet your dog and once they open their mouth to give you a kiss, you recoil with a “yuck!”?

I know I have! One of the most common concerns owners have when they bring their furry family members to see us is stinky breath.

This happens to dogs and cats due to an accumulation of bacteria in their mouths. These bacteria live in their mouths naturally, but over time with the accumulation of plaque and tartar, the bacteria get out of hand leading to some pretty rank odors and potentially setting your pet up for some serious health issues ranging from gingivitis (swollen gums) to infected teeth to an increased risk of heart and kidney disease!

We can address this in several ways, depending on each individual pet’s whole medical picture. Our tools against dental disease include:

  • Dental cleanings- These are our best weapon against dental disease and stinky breath. This does involve full anesthesia, so it can sometimes be scary for pet owners, but we do everything in our power to make it as safe as possible- more coming later about everything involved in a dental cleaning.
  • Pet tooth brushes and toothpaste- I know it can sound silly, but brushing your pet’s teeth at home is the number one home-care option for reducing tartar and plaque. Ideally, you would brush at least once a day, but as often as possible is great!
  • Dental chews- there are a variety of dental chew products available that help decrease tartar and plaque if brushing isn’t an option for you. When choosing over the counter products, look for the Veterinary Oral Health Commission seal – this seal indicates the company has done a certain level of research to prove some actual benefit to their product.
  • Oral rinses or water additives- this is kind of like using mouthwash, it definitely helps but probably isn’t going to be the best if used alone.


February is National Pet Dental Health Month and here at TotalBond, we’ve actually extended that to Pet Dental Health Quarter. During this time (February, March and April), we offer $30 off a dental cleaning for your pet. Please let us know if you would like to have your pet receive a dental evaluation!