Bad dog breath - also known as canine halitosis - is a much more common condition than you would expect. At first, your dog’s bad breath can seem like a funny anecdote or a mild inconvenience.
However, in the long run, it can lead to situations of embarrassment, and, even worse, it can be a telltale sign of an underlying, severe medical condition. Below, you can find all you need to know about the reasons behind canine halitosis and the best dog breath home remedies.
But don’t forget that a visit to the vet might be essential to address the root causes of bad dog breath.
What Causes A Dog To Have a Bad Breath?
Before looking at the best dog breath remedies, it is essential to understand why your dog suffers from halitosis. After all, trying to cover their bad breath can be a short-term solution, but certainly not a long-term one! Some common factors that contribute to canine halitosis include:
- Poor oral health - conditions such as gum or periodontal disease and tooth decay are the most common causes of bad dog breath. The buildup of plaque, bacteria, and derivative toxins can translate into bad breath.
- Poor nutrition - improper diet and poor gut microflora can cause bad breath. So, before resorting to one of the remedies below, check with your vet about nutritional needs, food types, and potential intolerances.
- Underlying health conditions - conditions like kidney disease and diabetes can increase the level of glucose in the saliva, which, in turn, can make your dog more prone to gum and teeth diseases.
Bring your vet as soon as you notice that your dog is suffering from halitosis - a professional will be able to craft a personalized treatment plan. In the meanwhile, use the bad dog breath home remedies below to limit symptoms.
10 Natural Remedies To Cure Your Dog’s Bad Breath
1. Carrots, Apples, or Other Crunchy Dog-Friendly Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables - when fed in moderation - are a great addition to your dog’s balanced and nutritious diet. But the benefits of foods like apples and carrots go beyond their unparalleled nutritional profile. In fact, these plant-based, unprocessed foods are packed with beta-carotene and vitamins A, E, and C, which are excellent to combat bad breath.
These ingredients are loved by most dogs, but they are generally high in natural sugars. Thus, you should consider using them as treats and limiting portion sizes.
2. Dog-Designed Toothbrush, A Child’s Toothbrush, or Gauze On Your Finger
Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of halitosis. With the right teeth cleaning and oral health routine, you can not only reduce your dog’s bad breath, but you can also keep plaque buildup and teeth decay, which are often the main culprits behind halitosis.
While brushing your dog’s teeth might seem an unnecessary investment of time and money now, many dogs struggle with oral health issues as they age, which can lead to costly vet bills! Starting now can help you look after your dog’s oral health in the long run.
Dog brushing kits are available at most pest stores and formulated specifically for dogs - check with your vet if you are unsure about how to brush your dog’s teeth.
3. Coconut Oil For Better Smelling Breath
If you love finding natural home remedies for your everyday struggles, you know how powerful coconut oil is. Supplied in limited and controlled quantities, coconut oil can help you keep your dog’s breath fresh, boost your pet’s metabolism, and promote regular digestion.
Coconut oil has also been seen to be beneficial to maintain their coats and skin lush, healthy, and free of parasites. To prevent the side effects that might come with excessive consumption, just mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with their foods.
4. Parsley To Fight Bad Mouth Bacteria
Parsley works as well for dogs as it does for humans. In fact, the chlorophyll in the leaves of plants, such as parsley and green tea, helps eliminate unpleasant odors. Unlike some of the remedies seen above, parsley is easy to find in most grocery stores and inexpensive - a win-win! For the best results, just chop some parsley leaves and add them directly into your dog’s food.
5. Probiotics or Yogurt
While we all try to incorporate more yogurt and probiotics into our diet, only a few pet owners know that we should strive to give more of these foods to our dogs as well. In fact, yogurt makes for a healthy, natural, and nutritious treat for your pup - while also fighting bad breath.
This is because one of the main causes of halitosis is hydrogen sulfide, which gives off that “rotten egg” odor you might have gotten used to. When eaten regularly, yogurt and probiotics can neutralize these bacteria.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium that play an important role in promoting oral health. But even more importantly, this vinegar contains malic and acetic acids, which can kill the bacteria responsible for bad breath. And, if your dog does not like the taste, all you will need to do is add teaspoon-worth to their water bowl.
7. Lemon Juice (Few Drops In Your Dog’s Water Bowl)
Bacteria in your dog’s mouth is not only responsible for bad breath, but it can also lead to long-lasting oral health issues. Lemon works similarly to apple cider vinegar. In fact, the acid in citrus fruits such as lemon can kill the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
8. Aloe Vera To Fight That Causes Bad Breath
Aloe vera is much more than a beautiful house plant, it is also a great medicinal plant with many healing properties. Aloe vera is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can help fight the bacteria causing bad breath. If you have green fingers, you can prepare aloe vera leaves yourself or invest in an aloe vera product that aims at addressing digestive issues.
9. Mint To Help The Breath and Soothe The Gut
Mint is known to be one of the best herbs to promote digestion, fight bloating and gas, and relieve inflammation. Thanks to these properties, mint can prevent acid reflux, thus stopping bacteria from reaching the mouth and causing bad breath. Mint is naturally loved by dogs, but you can also add a few leaves directly into their food to mask the minty flavor.
10. Encourage Your Dog To Drink More Water
You might have noticed that when you are thirsty and feel dehydrated, your breath feels heavier. It’s the same for your dog! Dehydration can be linked to bad breath - do encourage your dog to drink as much freshwater as possible and always bring a travel water bowl with you.
The Honest Kitchen Foods That Are Packed With Probiotics
As we have seen, many issues can be related to bad dog breath. However, it all starts with maintaining healthy gut flora. Here at the Honest Kitchen, we pack our specially designed formulas with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
So, we don’t only ensure your dog has the freshest breath, but we also look after your pet’s general health. From the Goat’s Milk N’ Cookies to Instant Goat’s Milk with added probiotics and Whole Food Clusters, there are plenty of recipes that can help your pup rediscover their fresh breath.
Health Disclaimer: This post is educational in nature and doesn’t constitute health advice. Please consult your pet's veterinarian or other healthcare professionals for specific guidance on this topic.