Dog: Cat Poop, dead animals (that they often roll around in) and other things
Cats: Innards of a rabbit, mouse, rat, bird or other prey
While humans don't eat the nasty things I just mentioned, they also can suffer from halitosis (a polite way to say "bad breath).
The smell of your pet's breath can tell a great deal about their overall health. My job is to sniff out the problem.
If the bad breath lasts more than a day or two, There may be other problems. One of the most common is periodontal (tooth) disease. That happens when plaque made of bacteria, clings to the teeth. Over a few days, the bacteria will mineralize and develop into tartar. If untreated, the plaque irritates the gum line and creates gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
Other signs of dental disease are subtle, and many will not show any signs. In addition to bad breath, some will have trouble chewing food and others will paw at their mouth. Other symptoms include excessive drooling, bleeding from the mouth, sudden changes in behavior (such as aggression), inability to open or close mouth, an eye infection, and unusual discharge from the nose. Occasionally, there's swelling underneath the eyes, which indicates an abscessed tooth. If you've ever had an abscessed tooth, you'll understand your pet's pain. If left untreated, the infection from the abscess can get into the bloodstream and become fatal.
You should also have your pet's teeth cleaned every 6-18 months, depending on the breed. Just like people some dog breeds develop dental disease at a more rapid rate than others. I typically see this in smaller breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians.
When veterinarians clean your pets' teeth, they are put under anesthesia. If X-rays show bad teeth, they may be extracted.
One way to help your pet is to learn how to brush their teeth. It sounds hard, but ask your veterinarian to show you how to do it. Also, they're YouTube videos that demonstrate the process. Just remember that professional cleaning by a veterinarian can help with early prevention and keep your pets healthy.