If you’ve been noticing a bit of a funky smell to your cat’s breath or behavior that’s a little off, you may be worried about cat gingivitis. Gingivitis in cats isn’t something to sweep under the rug (along with those squeaky toys), as it can lead to more serious problems down the road. To get your cat’s smile in great shape, here’s everything you need to know about gingivitis in cats and how to easily remedy it at home.

What Is Cat Gingivitis?

There are four stages of periodontal disease in pets, each stage more serious than the last. The good news is that gingivitis – inflammation of the gums – is the earliest stage of periodontal (gum) disease and is completely reversible with good oral care.

Plaque is the starting point for gingivitis. Plaque is filled with bacteria that can irritate and inflame the gums if it isn’t removed. When plaque hardens into yellow-brown tartar, that’s when you know gum disease is advancing.

3 Secret Causes of Gingivitis in Cats

While poor oral care is the #1 cause of gingivitis in cats, there are some secret causes that can make your cat more susceptible to plaque attacks and gingivitis:

1. Age

Your regal cat may be aging gracefully in the looks department, but it could be a different story inside their smile. Older cats are more likely to develop gingivitis, and if your cat is a purebred, the odds increase even more, as their teeth are often overcrowded, hiding more plaque.

2. Diabetes

Just like in humans, cats with diabetes are much more prone to gum disease. Poor glycemic control can reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, inviting infection into the mouth. If they do get an infection, they will have a harder time fighting it off.

3. Autoimmune Disorders

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) predispose cats to gingivitis. With their delicate immune systems, gum infections can easily spread.

How to Detect Gingivitis in Cats Naturally

There are many tell-tale signs you can look for at home to determine if your cat may have gingivitis:

  • Cat halitosis (bad breath)
  • Redness and swelling along the gum line
  • Pawing at the face
  • Film on the teeth (indicates plaque)
  • Yellow or brown coating on the teeth (indicates tartar)
  • Difficulty chewing hard kibble – e.g. just chewing on one side of the mouth

You’ll also want to have your veterinarian regularly examine your cat’s teeth and gums. Oftentimes, pet owners don’t notice a problem until the later stages of gum disease.

Best Gingivitis in Cats At-Home Remedy

Remember – gingivitis is entirely reversible in its early stages. And the best way to ensure your cat has a healthy smile is through daily oral care.


We get it. Even the most mellow cats can throw a hissy fit when they see a toothbrush headed their way. That’s why we crafted our unique, best-selling formula to help – and it’s easy – you just add a capful to their water daily: Oxyfresh Pet Dental Care Water Additive.

This no-brush daily water additive goes straight into the cat’s water bowl to fight plaque and tartar. Unlike other water additives, our vet-recommended formula is tasteless and odorless – even the pickiest cats love it. Your cat will be none-the-wiser that you’re giving him a healthier smile with every sip.

Our secret to fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums is Oxygene® and Zinc. This is our exclusive formula that neutralizes bacteria and bad breath molecules at the source.

No harsh chemicals, irritating alcohol, mint, tea tree or clove oils. Only the best for our pets and yours.

2 Paws Up for Pet Dental Care Water Additive

  • Freshens cat breath
  • Fights plaque & tartar
  • Tasteless & odorless
  • Non-toxic & USA-made
  • Vet-recommended

And the best reason … IT WORKS.

Mouth Saver/Money Saver
“I have been a customer since 2002 when my cat Pooka was 20 weeks old. She turned 17 last week and has NEVER needed a tooth cleaning. Her teeth have never had any tartar accumulation. Amazing product … I recommend it to all my friends.” Smudge’s Mom –Clinton Township, MI

Teeth Are Clean And White
“I use the water additive on my 3 dogs and 2 cats. It keeps their teeth clean and white. When I first started them on it 6 years ago their teeth had a lot of plaque. We have had no problems since!” Linda S. – Coeur d’Alene, ID

Great Product, Excellent Service
“Our vet was impressed with our cats’ dental health and strongly approves of Oxyfresh. It’s an easy way to help your pets!” Gary E. – Parker, CO

The final word on gingivitis in cats: whether cats have 1 life or 9, let’s make sure they’re happy and healthy ones! Discover just how easy daily oral care can be with Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive, the preferred water additive of pets, vets and thousands of loyal cat lovers like you.

P.S. Meow, phhht, phhht, meow. That’s cat talk for “Please share this post with other cat parents so their pets can have healthy smiles too!” Meow. (Thank you.)


Pet Dental Health Month is the perfect time to discover how to take better care of your dog’s smile. After all, adopting a dog dental care routine can add 3–5 years to your dog’s life! While many pet parents turn to dental chews to help do the trick, it pays to do your homework first (and keep it away from the dog, of course) because dental chews are not always safe and can vary greatly in quality. Here are 3 things to watch out for with dental chews, plus an easy, at-home solution to step up your dog dental care game even more …

#1. Dental Chews That Are Too Hard

Imagine chomping down on hard candies and jawbreakers with reckless abandon – ouch, just thinking about it makes our teeth ache! While dogs are natural born chewers, hard chews like cow hooves, elk or deer antlers, DIY chews like ice cubes, and Nylabones should be avoided, as they are simply too hard and can cause tooth fractures, even in dogs with healthy teeth. If your dog already has gum disease, and therefore weakened bones supporting the teeth, you’ll especially want to steer clear of hard chews.

#2. Run from Rawhide Chews

Rawhide chews – made from animal hides – are popular chew treats for pets, but they can actually be quite dangerous. If your dog swallows a piece of rawhide, it can get stuck in their esophagus or cause an intestinal obstruction (more likely to occur with small breed dogs, according to the ASPCA). Additionally, dogs with sensitive stomachs may not tolerate rawhide well … you’ll know it when you see the carpet! It’s best to play it safe and pass on rawhide altogether.

#3. Size ‘Em Up

Size is important when it comes to dog dental chews. If the chew is too small, dogs may swallow it whole, and if it’s too large, a chunk could break off and get lodged in their throats. Both scenarios create a choking hazard. You’ll want to look for chews that break into Goldilocks-approved “just right” pieces as your dog munches, ‘er, greedily gobbles, at the chew.

TIME-SAVER: Need a little help choosing a dog dental chew that will benefit your pup’s breath and smile and is 100% safe and eco-friendly? Check out these 6 best dog treats for bad breath.

Pet Dental Care: Think Beyond the Chews

While the right chews can complement a dog dental care routine, it shouldn’t be the only care they’re getting for their smiles.

But if toothbrushing sounds impawsible (sorry, not sorry), we hear you! That’s why we formulated a super simple solution: Oxyfresh Pet Dental Care Water Additive.

Just like the name suggests, our USA-made, vet-recommended formula goes straight into your dog’s water bowl each day. So easy! Made with ingredients you can feel good about, this safe, non-toxic water additive is the next best thing to a toothbrush, as it helps stop plaque and tartar while quickly neutralizing bad dog breath without the use of alcohol, harsh chemicals, or mint or clove flavors.

  • Veterinarians love it because it WORKS
  • Dogs love it because it’s tasteless and odorless
  • Pet parents love it because it’s an EASY way to fight dog plaque & bad breath

So celebrate your sweet dog during Pet Dental Health Month and give the gift of healthier teeth and gums – plus the bonus of fresh dog breath – with Pet Dental Care Water Additive.

P.S. Now is a great time to learn about the entire pet dental care line Oxyfresh has to offer. We have amazing products for all the furry and fine-feathered friends!


Eww, why does my dog have such bad breath?

If this question – along with those loud doggie snores – is keeping you up at night, it’s time to get the answers you need.

While dog bad breath can seem like a losing battle, with some quick action and persistence on your part, it can usually be easily reversed.

For extreme cases of stinky dog breath, a professional teeth cleaning is often needed. If you’re not there yet, however, save yourself some green down the road and follow these simple DIY remedies for dog bad breath.

So What IS Causing That Stinky Dog Breath?

The majority of the time, bacteria from plaque and tartar buildup is the cause of dog bad breath. Not to point paws, er, fingers, but this plaque buildup occurs when owners don’t give their dogs regular dental care at home.

What’s the harm in a bit of plaque?

This clear, sticky film is problematic for dogs’ oral health because it harbors stinky bacteria that multiplies quickly. And it’s not like it can be avoided! Plaque naturally forms on the teeth every time your dog chows down on a meal.

When the gums get inflamed from the bacteria in plaque, this is called gingivitis, the earliest and mildest form of gum disease, or periodontal disease. The good news is, gingivitis is easy to reverse if you give your dog regular oral care.

But if you continue to let plaque run amuck in your pet’s mouth, it will eventually harden into yellow-brown tartar (calculus) that requires professional removal. When tartar gets under the gum line and the dog’s immune system tries to fight the infection, the bones and tissue that hold the teeth in place will begin to deteriorate. Once the destruction reaches a certain point, there’s no turning back. Tooth loss is inevitable and extractions (expensive) may be necessary.

Even worse, bacteria from infected gums can enter into the bloodstream, finding their way to the heart and kidneys, affecting organ function and ultimately, taking years off a dog’s life.

Other causes of bad dog breath include kidney diseasediabetes, tumors or ulcers in the mouth, digestive issues, or a foreign object stuck in the teeth or throat. And, of course, if your dog’s favorite meal seems to be “trash-can surprise” or “poo hash,” this will give your mischievous pup a foul, yet thankfully temporary, bad smell to the breath.

But Isn’t a Dog’s Mouth Actually Pretty Clean?

A common myth is that dogs’ mouths aren’t as dirty as humans. Perhaps this myth started because our canine friends don’t get cavities like we do. But that’s simply due to their narrow and pointy tooth shape and the fact that their saliva is less acidic than humans (pH of 7.5 versus 6.5). That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re immune to harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause dog bad breath and gum disease. Bacteria that thrive in an alkaline environment are the ones that take up camp inside a dog’s mouth and begin to “reek” havoc.

Are Certain Breeds More Likely to Have Bad Breath?

Small dogs seem to have the biggest problem with bad breath. That’s due to their teeth being closer together, which allows for a greater amount of plaque and tartar to build up. Small breeds that are notorious for having bad breath are Dachshunds, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles, to name a few. Additionally, “bearded” dogs like Schnauzers often have bad breath because all that extra hair can trap debris and saliva, allowing bacteria to hang out and cause a stink.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that owners with large dogs are off the hook for taking care of their pets’ smiles. By the age of three, 8 out of 10 dogs have some form of gum disease, and most likely bad breath, as the two go hand-in-hand.

Bad Breath Is a Warning Sign of Pet Gum Disease

Often referred to as “a silent killer,” gum disease is not always obvious at first. While bad breath is normally the first sign of a problem, it sometimes goes ignored because owners unwittingly think that dog breath is a normal phenomenon. In reality, a healthy dog’s mouth really shouldn’t have a smell at all … unless they just ate a meal or got to snack on a coveted piece of salmon skin from your dinner.

Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and watch for the signs of a problem with your pet’s smile.

Signs of Gum Disease in Dogs

  • Red, recessed or bleeding gums
  • Visible tartar buildup
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty picking up food
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Dislikes having face touched
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Blood on toys, in the saliva or in water bowl
  • Dog bad breath
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge

7 DIY Solutions to Stop Dog Bad Breath

1. Raid Your Herb Garden

Got an excess of parsley in your garden or some leftovers in the fridge? Chop it up and sprinkle it over your dog’s food for a fast fresh-breath upgrade. This herb is an awesome bad breath fighter because it contains chlorophyll, a natural phytochemical that gives parsley its signature dark-green color. Chlorophyll has antimicrobial properties to fight bacteria and toxins and helps with healthy digestion, giving your dog fresh breath from the inside out.

2. Look No Further Than the Dog’s Water Bowl for Fresh Breath

A refreshingly easy way to support your dog’s oral health is by putting a dental water additive into their water bowl each day. You’ll want to make sure the product you choose is free of alcohol, masking agents (not a true bad breath fixer) and flavorings.

What Vets Recommend: Pet Dental Water Additive is a Family Choice Award winner that’s uniquely formulated with a patented blend of Oxygene® and zinc to stop the plaque attack and neutralize the molecules that cause bad dog breath. Non-toxic, this innovative solution is tasteless and odorless, so your pets will be none-the-wiser about your genius way of improving their gum health and breath.

3. Go Crazy for Coconut Oil

Need yet another reason to go crazy for coconut oil? How about fresh doggy kisses! Just a spoonful of coconut oil over your dog’s food each day will do wonders for that stinky breath. Not only does coconut oil help with dogs’ oral health, it’s also known to increase energy, improve the skin and coat, and help with inflammation. Dogs love the sweet taste, and you’ll love how easy this hack is. Bonus: You can even use coconut oil as a make-your-own doggie toothpaste.

Buyer’s Tip: Select virgin or extra virgin coconut oil, ideally organic and packaged in a glass jar. Steer clear of RBD coconut oil, which is refined, bleached and deodorized.

4. Brush Those Teefers!

Dog tooth brushing is the time-tested method to get rid of bad dog breath and remove plaque. But many owners give this intimidating task the brush-off because they don’t know about the secret ingredient for success: PATIENCE.

That’s right – the biggest mistake pet owners make when jumping into the arena of dog toothbrushing is having too high of expectations initially. The fact is, most dogs aren’t going to be very happy about having their owners suddenly poking around inside their mouths with what resembles a stick, especially if their gums are already sore from gingivitis.

So take it slow and steady – we’re talking only a few seconds – performing short brush sessions until you’re both old pros, ALWAYS praising your dog during and after brushing. Note that in order for toothbrushing to pay off, it should be done a minimum of 3 times a week, and ideally every day for small breed dogs.

There are several options for what you can use to brush your dog’s teeth. This may take some experimenting on your part to see what your pet tolerates the best. Options include a finger brush, doggy toothbrush, a Q-tip or simply clean gauze wrapped around your finger. For the toothpaste, make sure it’s a high-quality toothpaste for dogs – human toothpaste has ingredients like fluoride and sweeteners that can cause some major stomach upset.

Need step-by-step help for brushing your dog’s teeth? Check out: How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth … Without Losing Your Sanity.

5. Help Your Dog Chew Away Bad Breath

Did you know that dogs that are active chewers have less plaque and tartar build-up? The chewing action helps to scrape away plaque, and even more is removed if the treat or chew has the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Treats and chews with this seal are proven to reduce plaque and tartar by at least 10 percent.

Word to the wise owner: Select those chews and treats carefully! They provide no benefit if your dog can swallow them whole, and instead just pile on the calories. Additionally, some chews, such as rawhides, elk antlers and pig’s ears (recently linked to a salmonella outbreak), can splinter or break off, especially if your dog is a powerful chewer, causing potential choking or blockage issues, as well as digestive upset. (Why trade bad dog breath for bad doggie farts?)

If your dog’s mouth is already in bad shape from gum disease, where the teeth are loose and the gums are inflamed, you’ll want to avoid hard bones and Nylabones, as the chewing action could easily fracture the teeth.

A safe, non-edible chew toy is a KONG®, which you can even fill with a little bit of doggy toothpaste around the rim for some dental care that’s fun too. For chew treats, check out this list of the 6 best chews for dog bad breath.

6. Use a Dog Bad Breath Spray

A spray that will get rid of stinky dog breath? It almost sounds too good to be true, but science has taken us a long way! Pet dental sprays are rapidly growing in popularity because of how easy they are for busy dog owners to adopt into their routines. But buyer beware! Not all dog dental sprays are the same. Steer clear of ones with alcohol, a common ingredient in many brands. Under no circumstance should dogs have alcohol. It affects blood chemistry and brain function, and their metabolisms can’t handle it. Plus, it can sting those tender gums!

Go with what the pros recommend: Oxyfresh’s USA-made, alcohol-free Pet Dental Spray. It’s the quickest way to give pets daily fresh breath sans alcohol or harsh chemicals. Just spray and go!

7. Give Your Pooch a Probiotic for Fresh Breath

For fresh dog breath and a whole lot more – including better digestive health, reduced allergy symptoms and even a happier mood – consider giving your dog a probiotic (live microorganisms.) A dog’s gut houses 70 percent of its immune cells, so no surprise your dog may have more spring to his step while he has more fresh to his breath! Important: a dog’s gut is different than a human’s, so make sure the probiotic is specifically for dogs. Ask your veterinarian for what they recommend for your particular pooch.

Introducing the Easiest At-Home Dental Care Routine for Your Dog

Now it’s easier than ever to adopt a dental care routine for your dog, thanks to the Oxyfresh Pet Dental Kit for dogs. This new travel-size kit costs less than a couple lattes and includes 3 phenomenal dental products for you to try out some of those DIY remedies you just read about:

Oxyfresh Pet Gel Toothpaste (1 oz.): No masking bad breath with mint oils or artificial junk! This vet-recommended dog toothpaste gel with Oxygene® completely neutralizes stinky bacteria on contact, giving your pet fresh breath and healthier gums in an instant. Super versatile, this tasteless and odorless dog dental gel can be applied straight to the gum line to clean, strengthen and deodorize, or use it as a dog toothpaste.

Oxyfresh Pet Dental Spray (3 fl. oz.): Alcohol-free, this award-winning pet dental spray is formulated with a patented combination of Oxygene® and zinc to stop even the toughest dog bad breath. A must for car rides, when company drops by, or any other time your dog needs a quick blast of fresh breath and gum TLC.

3 Pet Finger Brushes: Many owners find that finger brushes are much more tolerable for their dogs versus a toothbrush. Just slip it on over your finger and apply the Pet Gel Toothpaste to your dog’s gum line to fight harmful bacteria and bad breath. So easy.

Get your paws on this kit and give your dog fresh breath, healthier gums and a new leash on life!

P.S. Got some pet pals looking for relief from stinky dog breath too? Share this article with them.