Vet Sarah Aldridge explains causes of bad dog breath and when to be concerned

Northamptonshire dog owners are no strangers to the unique scents that come with pet ownership, but one smell that often raises concern is bad dog breath. While it’s not uncommon for dogs to have occasional odorous breath, persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can indicate underlying health issues that require attention.

Our Vet Sarah Aldridge has put together the following article about the causes of bad dog breath, when it’s normal, and when it’s a sign of something more serious. Don’t forget that the nurses at Daventry Veterinary Clinic can demonstrate tooth brushing – call us on 01327 877767 to get booked in for a doggy dental demonstration!

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Normal causes of bad dog breath

Occasional bad breath in dogs is not unusual and can be attributed to factors like eating smelly foods, chewing on certain toys, or simply waking up from a nap. If your dog’s breath is only temporarily bad and improves after a short time, it’s likely nothing to worry about:

  • Diet: According to Sarah, the food your dog eats can have a significant impact on their breath. Some dog foods may contribute to stronger odours, whilst high-quality diets teamed with practising good dental hygiene can help minimise it.
  • Oral hygiene: Just like humans, dogs need proper dental care. Without it, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to bad breath. Regular brushing and dental check-ups at Daventry Vets are essential.
  • Chewing habits: Dogs often chew on various objects that can affect their breath. However, the action of chewing on dental toys and chews can help clean their teeth and stop bad breath.

Abnormal causes of bad dog breath

Persistent and extreme bad dog breath is not normal and is one of the signs of dental disease and some illnesses:

  • Dental disease: Persistent bad breath is often a sign of dental issues such as gum disease, periodontal disease, tooth decay, fractured teeth or infected gums. Sarah advises that these conditions can lead to chronic pain and health problems if left untreated.
  • Digestive problems: Sometimes, digestive issues can cause foul-smelling breath. Gastrointestinal problems or an upset stomach can result in odorous breath.
  • Oral infections: Infections in the mouth, throat, or respiratory system can lead to bad breath. These infections need prompt medical attention.
  • Underlying medical conditions: In some cases, bad breath can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems.
  • Oral Tumours: Sometimes bad breath is the first thing an owner notices when their dog has a tumour in it’s mouth.

Taking action

As with all dog health concerns, prevention is better than cure, and early intervention is always the best route as this will give your pet the best chance of a fast recovery. Sarah recommends that dog owners in Northamptonshire should take note of the advice below:

  1. Regular dental care: Establish a routine of brushing your dog’s teeth, just like humans daily brushing is advised to keep plaque at bay. Providing dental chews or toys designed to promote good oral health. You can have peace of mind the manufacturers have done their homework and their products really do work by choosing ones accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council Their list includes diets too.
  2. Diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet with dental-friendly options. Talk to our team for dietary recommendations.
  3. Veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with our team, including dental exams, to catch and address any potential issues early.
  4. Stay alert: Pay attention to changes in your dog’s breath. If it becomes consistently foul, contact us to book a dental check-up.
  5. Professional treatment: When necessary, our vets may recommend a professional dental to address any existing dental problems.

While some degree of bad dog breath is normal, persistent and foul-smelling breath should not be ignored. It’s often a sign of an underlying issue that requires attention. Regular dental care, a balanced diet, and vigilant observation of your dog’s health can help keep their breath fresh and their overall wellbeing in check.

Contact our vets at Daventry Veterinary Clinic on 01327 877767 to discuss your dog’s dental care and how you can help at home.

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Vet Sarah shares advice on helping your dog deal with moving house

A house move is a big change for the whole family to process. The team at Daventry Vets understand that this is often a stressful and turbulent time, but Veterinary Surgeon Sarah Aldridge is urging dog owners to not forget how their pets could be coping with the upheaval.

To help dog owners in Northamptonshire with a house move, Sarah and our veterinary team at Daventry Vets have put together advice on how your canine companion can learn to accept a house move. This will make the process a lot smoother for owners and their dogs. Our experienced team of dog vets are available to advise on an individual basis too, just book an appointment ahead of the big day.

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Why not share this article with friends and family that might be moving house soon? Copy the URL or use the social sharing buttons in this article.

1. Keeping to your dog’s routine

Our Daventry team know that most dogs and their owner have a daily routine. This may fluctuate slightly, but on the whole, it is highly likely your dog is fed, walked, played with and cuddled at a similar time every day.

As you are moving house, it will help your dog to adjust if you stick closely to this routine. Your behaviour and feelings will also have an impact on your dog’s stress levels. Trying to remain calm will in turn help your dog to react and behave as normal.

If you have the option of introducing them to your new home beforehand, it could help them to settle in more quickly. If not, then try to take them on some new local walks to get them used to the neighbourhood.

If there is along journey for your dog and they are not used to travelling make sure they have familiar bedding and are secure in your car. Our vets can prescribe anti sickness medication for dogs that get travel sick book an appointment for this in plenty of time.

2. Your old home

Packing your home up into cardboard boxes can often be emotional and time consuming. Especially if there is a dog ‘trying to help’!

Vet Sarah Aldridge recommends packing gradually so your dog will get used to the changes in their living environment over time. Also, keep their bedding and toys out for as long as possible. These familiar belongings will help to provide them comfort if their old home is starting to look a little different in the run up to the move.

3. Moving day

Once you arrive at the new house, you need to ensure your dog is safe and secure as your belongings are unloaded. If possible, set up a safe space in your new house immediately for your dog. Use their normal bed, blankets, toys and bowls and work on positive associations. The scents of their items will help to make them feel at ease in an unfamiliar environment. You will need to be patient with your dog during this transition period. Work on establishing their routine in the new home and stick to it as closely as possible in the beginning.

4. After you have moved in

There will undoubtedly be a lot of administration to complete once you have officially moved into your new home. On this list, make sure you include updating your pet’s microchip details and also updating your account details here at Daventry Vets.

If you are moving out of the area make sure you register with a local veterinary practice and tell us where we can send your dog’s clinical notes to ensure they get continuity of care.

Sarah believes that if you follow the guidance set out in this article, you are providing your dog with the best chance to become happy and settled in their new home as quickly as possible. If your dog suffers from anxiety, or you are concerned that a house move could affect them more seriously, contact us so we can help you make a plan.

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Canine Christmas dangers advice from Vet Sarah Aldridge

As Christmas creeps closer, we start to see an increase in the number of dogs Daventry Vets sees for seasonally related illnesses and injuries. Vet Sarah Aldridge wants to make owners aware of the risks that come with seemingly harmless Christmas décor and food and encourage them to use our Pet Proofing PDF guide at home in the run-up to Christmas.

How To Pet Proof Your Home For Christmas

The sooner your dog receives veterinary treatment for any of the conditions below, the better chance they have for a smooth recovery. Contact Daventry Vets on 01327 877767 if you think your dog could need emergency veterinary treatment.

Toxic substances for dogs

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts – especially macadamia nuts
  • Members of the allium family eg onions, garlic, chives, leeks.
  • Caffeine
  • Xylitol – an artificial sweetener E number E967

Many of the food and substances above can be found on a buffet table, or around the house at Christmas time so keep watch of your dog and make sure they do not eat anything toxic. Sarah advises that foods with a lot of salt, sugar, or spice can lead to digestive issues and more serious health problems too.

What happens if my dog eats something toxic?

If you know your dog has eaten something poisonous, then call us immediately. Even if you are suspicious, still treat it as a veterinary emergency.

It is essential you let the team at Daventry Vets know what your dog has eaten and roughly how much and when, as this will impact their treatment.

Christmas Decorations

  • Tinsel
  • Baubles and tree ornaments
  • Wrapped presents and gift wrapping
  • Electric lights and cables
  • Candles
  • Batteries
  • Real Christmas trees, pine needles can irritate feet and cause stomach upsets.

The decorations and items listed above can be toxic but also cause intestinal blockages, digestive issues or burns that will require immediate veterinary attention. Vet Sarah Aldridge advises that it’s best to keep these items out of your dog’s reach and to consider using cable covers or a tree skirt to block their access to the tree and lights!

Remember to download our Pet Proofing Your Home Guide to help you get your place set up for a safe and smooth Christmas for all – download now.

Stress, anxiety, and overindulgence

Around Christmas time, it is normal for dog owners in Northamptonshire to see more visitors. This could be a cause of stress for some dogs, and they may start to display behavioural issues. Ensure your dog has a safe space to retreat to away from the busy Christmas celebrations so they can relax when needed.

Also, as with humans, dogs tend to overindulge on special treats and edible Christmas presents. Remember to feed these, often rich foods, in moderation as part of their balanced diet to avoid tummy upsets and weight gain.

To keep your dog safe this festive season, Vet Sarah Aldridge urges you use the advice above and download our Pet Proofing guide for your home. Contact Daventry Vets on 01327 877767 if you are at all concerned about your dog – we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Pet Proof Your Home This Christmas

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