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!

What are the Benefits of Spay and Neuter Services in Wilmington, DE?

Whether you have an existing pet or you’re thinking about adopting one soon, it’s important to understand the benefits of spaying and neutering. As a pet owner in Wilmington, you should be aware of the risks associated with leaving either a male or female pet intact. You should also recognize just how crucial it is to spay and neuter whenever possible.

Benefits of spay and neuter in Wilmington, DE

7 Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll explain the most common and most important benefits of spaying and neutering. With this information, you should be able to make the right call and take your pet in for this simple procedure right away.

Some of the greatest benefits of spay and neuter services include:

Spaying Female Pets Prevents Some Health Issues

Female pets who are left intact run the risk of developing a life-threatening uterine infection called pyometra, as well as mammary, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Most spays involve removing the uterus as well as the ovaries, which means your pet will no longer risk this type of cancer at all. Spaying pets before the first heat cycle will significantly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. 

When your female pet in Wilmington can no longer become pregnant, she also no longer runs the risk of suffering from mastitis after giving birth as well. She also will not risk any other health complications related to giving birth in the future.

Neutering Male Pets Prevents Some Health Issues

Just like female pets, male pets may have fewer health risks when they are neutered. Neutering involves removing the testicles of a male pet, so after this procedure, your pet will no longer be at a risk for testicular cancer. Neutering also decreases the risk of developing prostatitis and BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy). 

Some male pets may also experience fewer urinary health issues after becoming neutered. This isn’t the case for all pets, and male cats especially may still have risks. However, the chance of preventing some urinary health problems in neutered male pets in Wilmington still remains high.

Spaying Female Pets Prevents Heat

Female pets go into heat regularly when they aren’t spayed. Cats go into heat more often than dogs, but both experience this. When pets go into heat, they become focused on mating above anything else. Some pets may have severe behavioral changes when they’re in heat, and they may be very difficult for the family to deal with during this time.

In-heat female pets will always be at risk for accidental breeding.  When you have your female pet spayed, you will no longer have to deal with her going into heat often—and she won’t have to, either!

Neutering Male Pets Reduces Territorial and Aggressive Behavior

Male pets who are left intact may develop behavioral changes that include marking territory by urinating everywhere, even in places where they shouldn’t. They may mark inside the home, on clothes and furniture, and even sometimes on people.

Some pets show their territorial behavior by becoming aggressive. If you notice your male pet becoming more and more aggressive as he gets older, chances are he’s feeling territorial. Both of these behavioral problems can be improved by neutering. Keep in mind, however, that aggression may also have other causes and neutering isn’t a cure for aggressive behavior.

Spaying Female Pets Saves Vet Bills in the Long Run

If your female pet develops a pyometra, this uterine infection is life-threatening.  Treatment includes emergency surgery and hospitalization that can be very costly.  Spaying your pet will eliminate the need for pyometra treatment. 

If your female pet becomes pregnant, you’re going to need to take her to the vet often for checkups and to make sure she’s doing well throughout the experience. She’ll also need to go to the vet after she has the babies. And shortly thereafter, the babies will need to have their own individual vet visits, too.

All of these vet costs add up quickly. When you have your female pet spayed, however, you don’t have to worry about vet bills related to pregnancy, birth, and babies. Your pet will never risk becoming pregnant and this won’t be a problem for you at all.

Neutering Male Pets Prevents Your Pet from Roaming

When your male pet is not neutered, he is much more likely to develop a habit of roaming. He may try to break out of the house or yard, especially if he senses a female in heat nearby. He may run away from home frequently and may end up getting hurt—either by other animals or by humans and vehicles—in the process.

Prevent your male pet from wanting to leave home by having him neutered.

Both Spaying and Neutering Reduce Pet Overpopulation 

Most importantly, spaying and neutering pets cuts down on the overrun pet population. There are thousands of unwanted cats and dogs in shelters and on the streets in Wilmington, and many of these animals end up in shelters. Shelters are filled and animals do not always find loving homes.

You can directly impact this situation by making sure your own pets don’t contribute to it. When your pet is spayed, she cannot have babies and won’t add to unwanted pets in shelters or take away potential homes from shelter pets. And when your pet is neutered, he won’t be able to impregnant strays and add to the problem, either.

Learn More About Spay and Neuter Benefits in Wilmington, DE

As you can see, there are many reasons to spay or neuter your pet as soon as possible. There are minimal health risks associated with spaying and neutering, and the procedure is one of the most common ones performed in veterinary medicine. Most pets can come home the same day or the very next day after their surgeries, and most pets recover very quickly as well.

Your veterinarian in Wilmington will let you know more information about the right time to have your pet spayed or neutered. Your veterinarian will have a conversation with you about the right age for spay and neuter of your pet, so get in touch with your vet right away for more information. 

Shots Every Puppy Needs in Wilmington, DE

When you’re thinking of bringing home a new puppy, you want to do what’s best for him. This involves setting up a puppy-proof home, buying the right food, and making sure he gets all his shots, too.

Dog who needs puppy shots in Wilmington, DE

But puppy shots can be confusing, and some vets seem to require more of them than others. Which ones does your puppy really need in Wilmington? Are they all important, or are some more important than others? How do you know when it’s time to get your puppy’s next round of booster shots?

Important Puppy Shots in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll help answer many of the questions new puppy owners have about proper vet care. We’ll guide you through the important shots your puppy needs throughout their first year of life, and we’ll help you recognize which of these shots are required everywhere and which are strongly suggested.

With this information, you’ll be able to plan your puppy’s upcoming vet care with no trouble.

6 to 8 Weeks

Below are common puppy shots that pets in Wilmington need during their first six to eight weeks of life.


Distemper is a contagious virus and causes severe respiratory, neurologic, and digestive symptoms in dogs. It can cause fever, seizures, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and paralysis. It can even lead to death, especially in puppies.


Puppies are especially prone to parvovirus and it can be fatal to puppies under four months of age. This virus is throughout our environment and can survive outdoors for at least a year. Because of this, the parvovirus vaccination is given as early as possible, and sometimes even before puppies can go to their new family’s home in Wilmington.

Parvovirus causes severe bloody diarrhea and vomiting as well as frequent severe dehydration. This vaccination is given in combination with the distemper vaccination every 3 to 4 weeks during puppyhood.

10 to 12 Weeks and 16 to 18 Weeks

Once your pet reaches ten to twelve weeks of age, the recommendation is to repeat the parvovirus and distemper vaccination. It is recommended that the final parvovirus and distemper vaccination be given between 16 and 18 weeks of age. During this time of vaccination, it is imperative to protect your puppy from exposure to these viruses in Wilmington. 

It is best to keep your puppy in your yard and only allow him to play with other dogs that are healthy and vaccinated.

20 to 22 Weeks

When your puppy is 20 to 22 weeks old, the core vaccination series ends with your puppy’s first rabies shot.


It is required by law in the United States for puppies to have a rabies shot at around this time. Your vet in Wilmington will let you know for sure if it’s time for your puppy’s first rabies shot.

Rabies causes neurologic disease characterized by severe drooling, pain, anxiety, and fear of water. Eventually, dogs who have rabies will die. Rabies is also extremely dangerous to humans as well as other animals.

Non-Care Vaccines to be Discussed with Your Vet

Below are puppy shots that are considered non-core, but should still be discussed with your veterinarian in Wilmington to see if your pet will need to receive them and when.


This is a bacterium that is transmitted through the ingestion of stagnant water and dirt. It causes stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and muscle pain and stiffness. In severe cases, it can cause liver and kidney failure. 

This vaccination requires an initial vaccination and a booster 3 to 4 weeks later. Leptospirosis requires a booster once yearly after the initial booster. Your veterinarian can discuss your dog’s risk for leptospirosis to help you to decide whether he needs this vaccination.


Bordetella is a bacterial infection that causes kennel cough. It most frequently causes coughing, but may also cause vomiting or progress to pneumonia. In severe instances, it may be fatal.

The Bordetella vaccination is a non-core vaccine and your dog’s individual risk will be assessed to determine if he needs this vaccine. Many dog boarding facilities in Wilmington require this shot for puppies who stay with them. 


Canine influenza is a viral illness that causes coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and possibly pneumonia. Dogs traveling to shows or utilizing big boarding kennels may be at risk for influenza infection. 

This vaccine requires an initial vaccination and a booster 3 to 4 weeks later. Influenza requires a booster once yearly after the initial booster. Your veterinarian can discuss your dog’s risk for influenza so that you can decide whether he needs this vaccination.

1 Year

Below are a list of puppy shots your pet will usually need once they are one year old. Your vet in Wilmington will help determine which of these shots your puppy will need at this time.

Parvovirus and Distemper Titer or Booster

At your dog’s first annual examination, your vet in Wilmington will discuss performing a blood test called an antibody titer. This test will evaluate your dog’s level of immunity to parvo and distemper viruses from vaccines given during the puppy series. 

Many times, your dog will have adequate immunity from previous vaccination. Another option is to booster parvovirus and distemper vaccination. 


At the first annual examination, your puppy will be required by law to have a booster of his rabies shot. This is the only canine vaccination that is legally required. 

This vaccination will provide protection for 3 years and then will require booster again. 

Find Out the Shots Your Puppy Will Need in Wilmington, DE

Now that you’ve had a chance to read up on some of the more common puppy shots, you should be ready to schedule his vet visits for the foreseeable future. 

Remember, too, that you should always work with your vet in Wilmington to make sure you’re providing the right care at the right time for your dog. Your vet will let you know if there’s any reason to deviate from the norm in terms of your puppy’s shot schedule, and your vet will also tell you if your puppy has any health concerns to be on the lookout for.

Setting up a good rapport with your vet from day one is a great way to make sure your puppy stays healthy and happy throughout his life with you.

At Wilmington Animal Hospital, our veterinarians work to avoid over-vaccination by developing a vaccination plan that fits your pet’s lifestyle. We provide all the shots your puppy needs to remain in the best health possible and only give them the shots they absolutely need.