You may assume bad breath comes with the territory of having a dog, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Does your dog have bad breath? While proper dental care can certainly minimize smelly breath, by preventing periodontal disease and keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy and strong, it doesn’t mean his breath isn’t going to be unpleasant at times. Luckily, there are some simple and natural ways to help keep your dog’s breath smelling better!
Before we get started, be sure to take your dog to the vet for a checkup if you find his breath is consistently stinky even with optimal dental care (including routine cleanings, a high quality diet, and raw bones to chew on). Smelly breath could signal a health problem elsewhere. If your dog’s breath smells bad after he burps, for example, it could mean he has a digestive issue that needs to be checked out.
Once other health problems have been ruled out, try the solutions in this article.
Common foods to freshen breath
1. Coconut oil is naturally anti-fungal. One teaspoon, mixed with your dog’s food, will help his digestion and immune system, and is good for his skin, bones and brain. Coconut oil can also be used in lieu of doggy toothpaste.
2. Raw carrots and apples are another option that dogs love. Chewing crunchy foods like these lets saliva wash away any food particles and acts as a cleanser to remove plaque and help his breath stay fresh.
3. Parsley isn’t just for a garnish. Add a few sprigs to your dog’s food for a natural breath freshener.
4. Yogurt has high levels of calcium that are a boon to oral health; it also reduces hydrogen sulfide, a cause of bad breath. Be sure to use plain yogurt, without added sugar or sweeteners.
If a kiss from your dog is what wakes you up in the morning, these simple suggestions can make it a pleasant experience. They’ll also boost his overall health. He may not understand why, but he’ll know a snuggle feels better than a loud “yuck!” when he licks your face.
Natural breath-freshening products
Remember, regular brushing can also help with doggie breath. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush and dental pastes or gels formulated for dogs. Xylitol is toxic for dogs so stay away from products containing this ingredient. You can also look for effective and natural no-brush products that reduce or eliminate bad breath.