“Why does my dog’s breath stink so bad?”
What treatments really work to get rid of smelly dog breath?
Is nasty dog breath just a nuisance or something more serious?
What causes stinky breath and how can I get rid of it?
Bad doggie breath happens for a number of reasons… so how do you know how to rid your dog of stinky puppy breath? You turn to trusted veterinarians and other pet parents who have faced the same problem. Here’s what they had to say.
Is Bad Dog Breath Curable?
If you regularly wake up to a cold, loving nose snuffling your face, you know- Bad breath in dogs is the worst!
Kisses from the puppy are great, but that puppy breath? Not so much.
I love my dog, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t always love her breath. Depending on what she’s eaten the day before her breath can be downright nasty!
It’s even worse when your dog has a bad habit of eating cat-box-treasures or his own poop, or when he drinks from the toilet. No thanks, dog, I’ll keep those toilet germs off my lips, thank you. I still love you, though, just not your puppy breath.
But you don’t have to put up with that stinky dog breath, and the solution can help improve your dog’s health. That nasty puppy breath is actually from bacterial growth in your dog’s mouth- the same bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and more serious health conditions. Getting rid of the doggie breath gets rid of those unhealthy germs for a healthier, happier pup.
Did you know…
…bad breath is often the #1 sign of gum disease in dogs? It’s true. That smelly cloud coming from your dog’s mouth often means there’s a colony of disease-causing bacteria living and thriving inside your dog’s mouth. And gum disease is nothing to joke about. Not only does it lead to dental pain and tooth decay, that infection can spread to other parts of your dog’s body, causing massive inflammation, sickness, and even death. Heart disease, kidney failure and liver disease can develop from a seemingly simple gum infection… and the only way your dog has to tell you there’s a problem is with is stinky breath.
Dr. Glickman at Purdue University has an important message about gum disease, “Our data show a clear statistical link between gum disease and heart disease in dogs. For many candidates for heart disease, you’re not talking about a single cause. But it clearly speaks to more emphasis on dental care.”
That’s right. You can help treat and prevent gum disease in your dog at home with daily dental care.
Does Garlic Help Dog’s Bad Breath?
Bad doggie breath is one of those things we tend to not talk about. It’s not polite, and we love our dogs, just not their breath. But did you know there are lots of things you can do to help get rid of that awful doggie breath? Does garlic help dogs with bad breath? What about mint? Cooking for health is a common practice for humans when we want to improve our general health, and you can cook a few special meals for your favorite pup to better his health as well. Bad breath is an indication that there are bacteria growing in your pets mouth and this should signal to you that a trip to your veterinarian is in order. Once you find the source of the bad odor it can usually be resolved by having your pet’s teeth cleaned professionally.
Here are some things you can do to prevent bad breath from recurring.
Dogs eating a raw diet generally have less problems with dental issues. You may have heard that dry kibble helps to remove plaque, but that is a myth.
Many holistic vets say that a better diet than the pet food you find at the store is a diet of raw meat, because it best mimics what dogs ate hundreds of years ago. A raw diet without preservatives or simple carbohydrates helps prevent bacterial and plaque buildup. Plus, the mechanical action of chewing—and the sinewy composition of raw meat—scrapes food and plaque off teeth and causes the tooth to pump up and down in the socket which will improve circulation around the tooth keeping the periodontal tissue (the bone and tissue that hold the tooth in place) healthy.
Homemade Dog Food Additives from the Herb Garden for Better Doggie Breath
- Mint Minty fresh breath doesn’t have to come from toothpastes, mouthwashes, gum, and mints made for people. There are minty solutions for dogs, too. Peppermint and spearmint are natural breath fresheners you can crush up and put in your dog’s food or treats. A little mint can also help with a case of indigestion.
- Cilantro This herb may be a favorite of bunnies worldwide, but it’s also good for your dog’s dental health. Cilantro and Coriander are often given together to help freshen breath and clean teeth. Just sprinkle a pinch on top of your dog’s food.
- Sage A common kitchen herb, sage is well known for its antiseptic properties. Adding fresh sage to your dog’s food can help rid your dog’s mouth of odor causing bacteria.
- Parsley Adding a little fresh parsley can help sweeten your dog’s food (and his breath) naturally without adding sugar. Parsley is also known to help with digestion and can be helpful for dogs recovering from an illness. Just boil some broth or stock and add in fresh parsley.
- Garlic and Fenugreek* You can give your dog garlic, in small amounts, to help freshen his breath. Garlic and fenugreek are both helpful in combatting bad breath and special tablets for bad breath are sold in pet health stores (16 mg of fenugreek and 0.22 mg of garlic essential oil). You can also add fresh garlic to your dog’s homemade treats and dog food. Just be sure to follow the safe dosage guidelines for garlic according to your dog’s weight:
10 to 15 pounds: 0.5 (1/2) clove
20 to 40 pounds: 1 clove
45 to 70 pounds: 2 cloves
75 to 90 pounds: 2.5 (2 1/2) cloves
100 pounds and up: 3 cloves
* Avoid use in pregnancy as fenugreek has documented uterine stimulant effects. It has been used to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. Excretion into milk has not been studied.
- Raw Beef Bones It’s important to follow safe handling guidelines for all raw foods, even when cooking for your dog. But giving him an uncontaminated, fresh beef bone can help clean his teeth and freshen his breath. Beef knuckle bones are popular, but make sure the bones are not small enough for your dog to swallow. Raw bones don’t splinter as often as cooked bones, and splinters can cut your dog’s mouth, esophagus, or stomach. Avoid bones that are cut thin and sharp as they are easier to splinter.
Other Things to Help with Doggie Breath
Adding breath freshening herbs and ingredients to your dog’s diet can only go so far in preventing bad doggie breath. Bad breath needs to be treated at its source- the bacteria growing in your dog’s mouth. Your veterinarian can examine your dog’s teeth and decide if a professional teeth cleaning is in order, or if your dog has dental issues like gingivitis or periodontal disease that are contributing to his smelly mouth.
Once you’ve ruled out medical issues, you can start to help your dog rid his teeth of food particles and the bacteria that grow on food residue by brushing his teeth.
Yes, you really should brush your dog’s teeth. It doesn’t make you a crazy, overzealous pet parent if you brush your dog’s teeth. There are special toothbrushes, toothpastes (do not use human toothpaste), sprays, gels, and dental care wipes that can help you keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Ways to Naturally Treat Bad Dog Breath
I’ve always been a stickler for cleaning my dog’s mouth when it smells awful, but when I found out that bad breath in dogs is actually the most common sign of periodontal disease, I decided to get serious about eliminating that bad puppy breath.
Here are five natural, easy things you can do right now to prevent and cure bad breath in dogs.
- Cut the Carbs
Fewer carbs and less sugars mean less food for mouth bacteria to thrive on. Sticky, gummy, sweet foods and grains can create places for mouth bacteria to cling in your dog’s mouth. Stick to a species-appropriate diet free of grains, fillers, and additives for fresher breath. Feeding your dog a raw food diet is one of the best ways to keep his or her mouth clean, healthy, and odor free. Try FEED ME for an easy-to-use free dried raw option dogs love.
- Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth can help him keep his mouth clean. He may balk at first, but you can help him learn to tolerate dental hygiene if you’re patient and keep up with a regular schedule. Training your dogs with treats can help make this process more fun by creating a positive association with dental care. Every time your bring out the dental care supplies, they know yummy treats are coming. Your dog will learn, over time, that getting his mouth cleaned means he gets yummy treats and a belly rub. Orabrush and Lickies are a no-fuss way to get your dog’s tongue cleaned, plus it keeps him occupied while you give him a good brushing or trim his toenails.
- Close the Toilet Lid
Yep, something as simple as developing a habit of keeping the lid down can prevent the dreaded toilet mouth in dogs. For larger dogs, you may have to place something on top of the lid to keep them from nosing it open, like a laundry hamper, trash can, or a gallon of water (with the lid tightly on). After a while, he’ll learn to look for his cool drinks elsewhere and (hopefully) stop bothering the toilet. Child locks meant to keep toddlers out of the toilet can be helpful if you have a particularly crafty dog (or a cat, who doesn’t care about putting the lid back down when he’s done playing in the water).
- Give a Dog a Bone
Well, not really, but a chewy bone works well to help your dog clean his teeth naturally. Some veterinarians don’t recommend giving dogs bones at all, and veterinarians never condone giving your dog cooked bones as they splinter easily and can puncture your dog’s digestive system. Instead, find a hard, appropriate chew toy, like a Nylabone, hoof, or bully stick, to help your dog rid his mouth of food particles and bacteria on his own. Yak cheese chews and those designed specifically for dental care can be helpful. Just be sure to research any chew or bone you give your dog before purchasing. Each has its own risks and should be chosen with care.
- Use a Breath Spray for Dogs
There are lots of doggie breath sprays on the market to help freshen your dog’s breath, but we like TruDog’s SPRAY ME. It’s all-natural and binds with your dog’s saliva to get in those hard to reach places. The scent is pleasing and the dogs don’t seem to mind the taste, especially when paired with TruDog TREAT ME. Plus, it’s easy to spray and go, so there’s less wrestling around and fewer up-close and personal encounters with that doggie breath. If brushing is a chore and dental cleanings every six months aren’t an option for your dog, try SPRAY ME to fight gingivitis and bad doggie breath at home.
BONUS TIP: To help rid your dog of bad breath faster, try switching to a raw diet for dogs and add PROTECT ME dog probiotics in gravy form. Rebalancing your dog’s digestive enzymes and eliminating the largest source of tartar (carbs and sugars in regular kibbles), your dog’s body will be able to fight off any existing gingivitis faster. Plus, some allergies and digestive imbalances exhibit symptoms like belching and bad breath. These are often corrected with a high-quality protein source raw food and additional digestive enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics necessary for proper digestion to take place.
Caring for your dog’s bad breath can help him live longer by preventing complications from periodontal disease, and avoiding tooth decay and loss. But your dog still needs regular teeth cleanings performed by a professional. Ask your veterinarian about scheduling an oral hygiene visit for your dog. But regular dental care at home can significantly reduce the number of dental cleanings your dog will have to undergo in his or her lifetime. That means less, anesthesia, less risk, and less cost.
6 Natural Ingredients That Cure Doggie Bad Breath
You know oral hygiene is important for humans.
You brush and floss regularly, just like you’re supposed to, and you raised your kids to do the same. Not only does this prevent bad breath and keep you feeling—and smelling—clean, but it’s also important for the health of your teeth, your gums, and even the rest of your body.
But did you know that addressing bad breath in your dog is just as important?
Why Bad Breath is a Bad Sign for Your Dog’s Wellbeing
Bad doggie breath is a nuisance, especially if your dog is as in-your-face and on-your-lap with its love as most of the pooches we’ve met. Getting up close and personal with your mutt’s musk shouldn’t be a challenge you need to overcome; when your pet’s mouth is properly cleaned, there shouldn’t be any significant odor1 you have to deal with.
It’s not just an issue of smelling nice, though. Just as in humans, bad breath in dogs can be a sign of other health problems. Controlling bad breath through proper oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease (or periodontal disease), tooth decay, and even more serious health problems including heart disease, liver disease, and kidney failure.
Controlling bacteria in the mouth, which is an entry point and a breeding ground for certain nasty bugs, may help prevent them from causing damage deeper in the body, which is why your dentist and your veterinarian both recommend constant dental care and proper oral hygiene techniques.
The Dangers of Standard Doggie Dental Procedures
Of course, caring for your dog’s teeth is a little more complicated than caring for your own, or even your kid’s. Having their teeth brushed and cleaned to remove plaque and tartar buildup left by bacteria is often a frightening experience, and many dogs both large and small need to be put under general anesthetic for a routine teeth cleaning to take place.
The unfortunate reality is that thousands of dogs a year never wake up from this simple procedure. Even though a professional canine teeth cleaning is a relatively simple procedure meant to restore and preserve your dog’s health, the anesthesia can all too easily lead to their early death. Avoiding dental cleanings that require your dog to be put under while still keeping your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy is ideal, and it’s entirely possible with the right regular care.
Up until now, that care has involved daily brushings that many pet owners find difficult to perform, for a variety of reasons: it can be incredibly time consuming, it’s difficult to hold dogs still long enough for a proper brushing to take place, and there are risks of being bitten—not to mention the need to stick your finger in your dog’s mouth, which even the most ardent dog lovers among us can find unappealing. It’s all worth it if it keeps your pooch protected and in good health, of course, but there’s a better way to restore and maintain your dog’s oral hygiene on a daily basis.
All-Natural Ingredients that Fight Bacteria and Disease in Your Dog’s Mouth
Nature never presents a problem without providing a solution, and bad doggy breath—along with the health problems it can indicate—is no exception. Here are six completely natural ingredients you can use to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy, and to keep that canine breath smelling fresh.
Grape Seed Extract:
Not to be confused with extracts made from the flesh or skin of the grape, which can be harmful and even toxic to dogs due to their high fructose content, extracts from grape seeds contain high levels of proanthocyandidins2—antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals while also serving as natural anti-bacterial agents.
This extract can help kill off harmful levels of bacteria in your dog’s mouth that cause bad breath and lead to other health problems down the line.
Grapefruit Seed Extract:
In addition to having powerful antibacterial properties, research has shown that grapefruit seed extract is also a strong antiviral and antifungal agent, helping to prevent the growth of many foreign organisms in your dog’s mouth. Again, this extract (from grapefruit seeds, not the fruit itself) helps eliminate the cause of bad breath, periodontal disease, and other related diseases, stopping your pooch’s health problems in their tracks.
In addition, this extract contains many vitamins and other nutrients important to your dog’s overall health, and helps support a robust immune system, too.
Used for medicinal purposes by several ancient and modern cultures for at least the past 3,000 years, peppermint oil does far more than simply mask unpleasant odors in the mouth. It also helps clear the respiratory tract3, which helps to prevent bacterial buildup and keeps the full body running strong, and may also help boost energy.
Peppermint is one of the most widely-used and versatile natural remedies in the world, and can do a world of good for your dog’s oral hygiene and overall health.
Like grape and grapefruit seed extracts, rosemary oil is a natural antibiotic that can help control bacterial populations in your dog’s mouth, and is also used to aid wound healing4 and can help soothe inflamed or damaged gums. It can also improve digestion—another potential cause of bad breath and more significant health problems.
Add in the memory-boosting and joint-strengthening potential, and rosemary oil is an all the more essential part of your dog’s health regimen.
All-natural thyme oil remains one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered, killing off not only bacteria and free radicals but actually destroying cancer cells5 as well. For your dog, this means better breath odor control, lower bacteria levels, and even improved circulation that can prevent bacteria from reaching internal organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Thyme oil can also help clear out toxins from throughout the body, leading to improvements in overall health and keeping your canine around for many more dog years to come.
Neem Seed Oil:
A tropical tree of the mahogany family, the Neem tree’s seeds contain anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that all help maintain proper balance in your doggie’s mouth. It may also help prevent cavities and gum inflammation 6, making it a powerful addition to any oral hygiene plan.
Added to all of this are the potential cancer-fighting and immune system-boosting effects of neem seed oil, making it that much more desirable for your dog’s health.
The Easy Six-in-One Spray for Your Dog’s Oral and Overall Health
Collecting and administering each of these natural ingredients on their own would be even more time consuming than brushing your dog’s teeth, but all are important parts of a comprehensive oral hygiene plan. That’s why TruDog has developed an all-in-one spray that delivers these powerful natural ingredients in one quick blast administered once or twice daily.
The convenient spray bottle makes it easy to deliver the dental care your canine needs in just a few seconds each day, and it’s so effective it was even featured on an episode of Dr. Oz! Right now, TruDog is even offering a discount and a 60-day money back guarantee on all new purchases of their bad-breath-killing, life-saving doggie dental spray—you truly have nothing to lose.
Take the guesswork, the grunt work, and the risks out of your dog’s oral hygiene, and make sure their bad breath and related health problems are kept under control. Click here to order your first bottle of TruDog’s “Spray Me” and see how easy it can be to maintain your dog’s oral and overall health.
**Some excerpts written by Dr. Jan Hale, DVM**