Most people have had the displeasure of having an animal breathe on them or lick them with wretched/foul breath. Unless they have just eaten, the normal state of an animal’s breath should not be terribly offensive.
There are many reasons why an animal might have foul breath. The four most common of these are accidents that damage the teeth and gums, congenital defects/developmental disorders, periodontitis, and tooth decay.
These situations can cause the gums to loosen from the teeth, debris (including food, hair, and bacteria) to build up in the gums and between the teeth, abscessing and/or tooth decay, and of course foul-smelling breath.
Prevention is always the best medicine. A raw, species-specific diet is the best prevention of plaque build-up, imbalance of oral bacteria, and tooth decay. For cats and dogs, the action of chewing on a chunk of meat/bone works their jaw muscles, balances their oral pH, and strengthens their gums. If you are unwilling or unable to provide this type of diet, it’s a good idea to supply your pet with other tools to keep the balance orally. Garden of Life makes a wonderful ‘oral health’ probiotic called Better Breath for pets. This is a wonderful preventative that can be started at a very young age and given sporadically over the lifetime. If it’s too late for prevention, there are a few homeopathics that can be helpful in relieving issues such as plaque build-up, mouth pain, foul breath, mouth ulcers, and much more.