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Bad Dog Breath & Terrible Cat Breath
Common Causes of Bad Breath in Pets

What Causes Bad Breath in Cats and Dogs?

Many pet owners report that their cat or dog has really bad breath. This undesirable odor is often overlooked as "cosmetic," when in fact it can be a warning sign of disease. If your cat or dog’s breath stinks, be sure to discuss this health issue with your veterinarian to determine the cause.

Below, we list common causes of bad breath in dogs and cats and our recommended supplements to help a pet fight halitosis and for helping healthy pets prevent it.

Dental Issues and Tartar Buildup

Dog or cat bad breath is often caused by the accumulation of odor-producing bacteria and tartar in your pet's mouth. Your pet's mouth could have a surprising number of tooth abscesses, as well as oozing pus and tartar accumulation. Getting regular dental cleanings is important, especially now that anesthesia-free dental cleanings are available in many locations. Acid stomach can cause tartar to accumulate faster on the teeth. Using Gastro ULC can be helpful in neutralizing stomach acids. K9 Digestive Enzymes promotes healthy saliva to reduce tartar buildup. So whether you’re wondering how to get rid of dog’s bad breath or why your cat’s breath stinks, we’ve broken down some common causes and treatment options to use at home. Poor dental health can lead to serious, potentially fatal health conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease. Click here to learn more about pet dental health.

Poor Digestion

Pets with bad breath typically have poor digestion and stomach problems. Along with the bad breath, your pet may have gas, loose stool, burping and serious digestive discomfort. There are many reasons why pets can have digestive problems, including poor-quality food, food intolerances or conditions such as IBD. Replenishing the digestive system with Power Probiotic which has "good bacteria," can help aid digestion, improve bad breath, loose stool, vomiting and diarrhea, and offer overall support. Using an effective digestive enzyme such as Lypozyme or K9 Digestive Enzymes can greatly help, as digestive enzymes break down the food, aiding digestion, improving saliva pH and reducing tartar buildup.

Autoimmune Disease or Allergies

When a pet is allergic to a certain food, it can trigger inflammation throughout the digestive tract, causing symptoms of acid stomach, diarrhea and vomiting. It's important to feed your pet a hypoallergenic diet and avoid common food allergens. Even if you are feeding your pet a raw frozen diet, if you are giving your pet poultry, a common allergen, your pet can continue to react to it. Dry food can be hard for many pets to digest as it contains a great deal of over-processed carbohydrates - even the grain-free varieties.


Stomatitis is an autoimmune disease in cats that can cause red inflamed gums, bad breath and loss of teeth. It is extremely painful, and cats can lose weight because it is too painful to eat. Stomatitis is often fueled by triggers such as food allergies. Changing your cat's diet and adding a few supplements early on is essential and can slow the progression of the disease. Use products such as Power Probiotic, Immune Support Kit, AllerEaze and Immune Harmony.

A Medical Condition

Your pet may have a medical condition, and one of the symptoms could be bad breath. For example, "ammonia breath” is a sign of kidney disease. Sweet or fruity breath could be caused by diabetes. Be sure to mention your pet's breath to your veterinarian. Laboratory tests, such as a blood panel and urine analysis, are essential to rule out a more serious problem.

Supplements for Pets With Bad Breath

Want to know how to treat bad breath in cats and dogs? Using the right diet along with a few supplements can help your pet feel much better and be much more kissable! When it comes to the best cat or dog bad breath home remedy, Ask Ariel’s natural approach delivers time-tested proven results. That is why Ask Ariel's holistic supplements are recommended by veterinarians nationwide. Our supplements have been used successfully to help dogs and cats with the underlying causes of their bad breath since 2005. Pet Nutritionist Susan Blake Davis offered holistic consultations for pets at several VCA Hospitals for over 10 years. Her years of experience formulating diet and supplement protocols for pets are evidenced by the many testimonials on our website. These natural remedies can be used in conjunction with the conventional veterinary treatments prescribed by your veterinarian.

K9 Digestive Enzymes: This powerful digestive enzyme supplement is more complex than typical pet enzymes because it contains two ingredients (ox bile extract and HCL) that are essential for the digestion of fats and protein. If your dog’s breath stinks, poor digestion could be the cause. When food is poorly digested, it creates gas and pain, and this product seems to really make a difference. K9 Digestive Enzymes is very helpful for reducing tartar related to poor digestion.

  • Recommended digestive enzyme supplement
  • Helps to maintain normal digestive function
  • Benefits dogs with liver and kidney disease, malabsorption and weight loss, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, PLE
  • Promotes healthy saliva to reduce tartar buildup

Power Probiotic: The best probiotic for pets! Backed by scientific research, this powerful, multi-strain formula promotes the growth of good, friendly bacteria, which boosts your pet's immune system. Pure and natural, Power Probiotic does not contain any fillers. It supports a healthy mouth, digestive system and immune system. Many cat owners who reported their cat’s breath stinks, used Power Probiotic and were able to cuddle up close with kitty again.

Gastro ULC: When pets have acid reflux, it can cause stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and mouth. This can lead to erosion of the teeth and other periodontal problems. Pets with acid reflux tend to have bad breath as well. Gastro ULC relieves acid stomach pain and repairs inflamed tissues. Works best when used with both Power Probiotic AND a digestive enzyme such as K9 Digestive Enzymes or Lypozyme.

Colostrum for Pets: Colostrum has been shown in research studies to enhance digestion and improve the immune system. Colostrum is very helpful for pets with bad breath, gingivitis and stomatitis. Ask Ariel’s Colostrum for Pets contains tegricel colostrum which is backed by scientific research and proven to be more effective than general colostrum products. Note: Colostrum is derived from dairy and should not be used by pets with a known dairy allergy.

Lypozyme: This is a gentle, tasteless, easy-to-use enzyme formula that helps pets digest protein and fats. The small amount of powder in the capsule (which can be easily opened and the powder mixed into food) makes this product especially easy to administer to small pets and finicky eaters. It’s best for cats and small dogs.

Need Help? Please email us at Support@AskAriel.com

We understand how challenging bad breath can be for you and your pets. We are here to help. If you need information about a particular pet health condition and the products that can help, please email us for assistance. We do ask for your understanding, however, as we cannot provide any consultative advice due to veterinary regulations that require a physical exam.