Have you noticed that your dog or cat has smelly breath? Bad breath is such a common complaint by owners when they bring their pet to the vet. In fact August is “Pet Dental Month” so this is a great reminder to have your pet checked for dental disease. Just like us, pets can suffer from a build up of plaque and tartar on their teeth. This causes discolouration, odour and red and inflamed gums known as gingivitis. Diet, genetics and the teeth alignment of some breeds are important factors in the development of dental disease. Smaller breeds and elderly pets are most commonly affected. At the early signs of dental disease your vet will recommend that your pets teeth are scaled clean and polished under a general anaesthetic. This can be done effectively and safely in even the most elderly patients giving them a much better quality of life. In advanced dental disease loose teeth may need to be extracted and antibiotics may be prescribed to treat infection. All pets will benefit from preventative dental care. Daily brushing with special pet toothpaste is considered the gold standard, however for those with less time your vet can recommend a dry dental food as well as other chew products to help fight tartar. Many vet clinics including ours will have great dental food promotions during Dental Month. It will be so much nicer getting up close with your pet when their smelly breath is improved!