“Dog breath” or “cat breath” is not normal; it is a symptom of disease.The disease can be plaque formation and mild gingivitis which is reversible with home care or it can be due to more significant problems below the gum line. An unhealthy mouth leads to chronic inflammation which is painful and affects other systems in the body. A healthy mouth contributes to a healthy life and the best oral care is all about prevention.


Oral care begins when animals are young. Training your pet to look forward to daily brushing is the best preventative. If you proceed slowly and use positive reinforcement, you may teach your pet to enjoy tooth brushing. When the task becomes a positive social interaction, then you will be able to contribute to your pet’s good health. Check out this video from Cornell University for tips and encouragement. It shows how to train a cat, but the principles of training are the same for dogs.

Looking for other options? When your pet is in for a visit, ask us about the following options:

1. Daily antibacterial products like Maxi-gard gel or dental wipes

2. Chews impregnated with antibacterial solutions like Hextra Chews

3. Dental health diets which remove plaque as a pet chews like Royal Canin Dental diet

Even with the best home care regimen, your pet will likely need a periodic professional cleaning where we can get into the places that are difficult to brush. We also will radiograph below the gum line to look for hidden disease and evaluate the mouth thoroughly. Our own pets have their teeth cleaned every 12 to 24 months on average. We would be glad to describe the process to you in detail as it is an important part of overall wellness to have a clean and pain-free mouth.