What Does Bad Dog Breath Mean in Wilmington, DE?

Dogs aren’t exactly known for having wonderful breath, but did you know it can actually be a sign of an issue if your dog has severely bad breath? Dogs with bad breath come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and breeds, and it’s important to recognize the underlying cause of your dog’s breath issue so you can figure out how best to treat it.

Bad dog breath in Wilmington, DE

Common Problems Related to Bad Dog Breath in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll explain three of the most common problems relating to bad dog breath. We’ll help you better understand these concerns so you can speak with your veterinarian in Wilmington, DE about your dog’s breath.

Use this information to figure out, too, whether or not the problem can wait until your dog’s next regular visit or you need to schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible.

Poor Diet

Your dog’s bad breath may come from what he eats. If you’re feeding your dog low-quality dog food or an unbalanced diet, it may be time for an upgrade. Your vet can let you know for sure whether or not the food you feed your dog could be the culprit behind his bad breath, so be sure to provide as much information as possible when you take your dog to the vet.

Your dog’s unscheduled “snacks” may also contribute to the smell of his breath. If you let your dog out into the backyard unsupervised, there’s a chance he’s eating his own excrement or that of other dogs. He may also find dead animals and eat those, and he could get into the garbage and eat that as well. Additionally, if you have a cat, your dog might be getting into the litter box and eating the cat’s feces too.

If your dog has bad breath but doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms of dental or physical health issues, then the cause may simply be what he’s eating. However, you should always talk to your vet in Wilmington to be sure and to rule out any other potential problems.

All of these issues are potential causes of bad breath in dogs, and they’re worth considering if you notice this issue in your own furry friend.

Dental Health Problems

Dental health problems are some of the most common issues behind bad breath in dogs. Dogs who have dental disease frequently have very foul-smelling breath that comes from the buildup of bacteria on their teeth and in their gums. Dogs who have never had a teeth cleaning may also have the same issue, and very likely have dental disease as well.

Dental disease is often caused by poor dental management in dogs. However, some breeds may be more prone to it than others. If your vet feels your dog may be at risk for dental disease, you may be advised to start managing it early to prevent it from getting out of hand.

If your dog has dental disease, he’ll probably show signs of it, especially as it advances. He may be reluctant to eat or may simply swallow his food rather than chewing it. He may paw at his mouth frequently or whine if anyone touches his snout. He may also have severely swollen and inflamed gums, damaged or rotten teeth, or bleeding from the gums. You may notice swelling under one of his eyes which may indicate a tooth root abscess.

If you notice any of these problems along with bad breath, get your dog to a vet right away to find out more information about what you can do.

Physical Health Problems

Finally, dogs with bad breath may be suffering from other physical health issues not related to their gums, teeth, or mouth. For example, a dog with severe digestive problems may have bad breath from the buildup of stomach acid. These dogs may also belch often and may be at risk for bloat, which is a severe problem in dogs.

Speak to your veterinarian in Wilmington if you think your dog may have a digestive problem leading to his bad breath and other symptoms.

Some dogs may have severely bad breath if they have liver or kidney disease or failure. This is caused by the buildup of ammonia in the dog’s body as his organs are no longer able to process waste the way they should. Your vet can give you more information if this is what’s going on with your dog and can also help you make a decision on how to move forward.

Finally, dogs who have diabetes may have sickeningly sweet breath. This odd smell in a dog’s breath is almost always a sign of diabetes and is sometimes a symptom of it going on too long untreated. However, even if it reaches this point, your dog’s diabetes can still be managed with the help of your vet.

If you notice this kind of smell on your dog’s breath, it’s time to seek veterinary care right away and come up with a plan of action for dealing with it.

Ways to Help with Your Dog’s Bad Breath in Wilmington, DE

If your vet determines that your dog has an underlying physical health condition contributing to his bad breath, you’ll need to work together to decide the best course of action moving forward. The choice will depend on your vet’s suggestions as well as your dog’s specific issues and health risks.

Additionally, if your dog has a dental health concern, your vet will let you know what the options are in terms of treating this problem as well. Your dog may need a dental cleaning or may need to have oral surgery.

Finally, if your dog’s bad breath comes from what he eats, you can make some simple changes at home to improve his breath quality in no time. First, upgrade your dog’s regular food to something with healthier ingredients. Next, make sure to monitor your dog when he’s outside so he doesn’t eat anything unpleasant, and try keeping any cat litter boxes behind a baby gate or closed door.

Contact a Veterinarian in Wilmington, DE for Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Whether your dog’s bad breath is caused by a physical or dental health problem or from what he’s been eating, it’s important to go see a veterinarian in Wilmington to make sure you find out the actual cause of this condition. 

At Wilmington Animal Hospital, our veterinarians work on getting to the root of your dog’s breath problem and develop a treatment plan that best suits your pet. Whether it be to come in for regular teeth cleanings or something more extensive, we’ll always make sure your dog receives the care they need to help alleviate their bad breath. If you have any questions, or want to make an appointment, contact our veterinary team today!