Have you ever tried to snuggle up to your pet and received a face full of stinky breath in return? Bad breath isn't just annoying, it's also a sign of dental health issues. Dog bad breath home remedies will get rid of the foul odor and help keep your pet's mouth clean and healthy.
Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, is usually caused by odor-producing bacteria that builds up in your dog's mouth. It can also be caused by bacteria in the gut or lungs. For this reason, if your dog's bad breath comes on suddenly or is severe at times, it's best to seek veterinary care. While it's unlikely, bad breath could be a symptom of a bigger health problem.
Think about what you do to keep your mouth clean and your breath smelling fresh. Most dog bad breath home remedies are similar to tasks in your own dental health routine. While it's a very similar process, most pet owners don't think about this aspect of pet grooming until their dog is showing signs of dental disease (like bad breath).
Treating your dog's bad breath will depend completely on the cause of the problem. If his halitosis isn't severe, you can use a trial-and-error system to figure it out. As I mentioned, if it is severe or comes on suddenly, it's best to work with your vet to create a treatment plan based on the root cause.
8 Best Dog Bad Breath Home Remedies
1. Regular Brushing
The best dog bad breath home remedy is to keep Fido's teeth clean with daily brushing. If you can't fit daily brushing into your schedule, you need to brush his teeth at least 3 times per week.
We have lots of great articles on canine dental health, and I've made a video guide to teach pet owners how to brush a dog's teeth. Check out these other resources for more information:
- 6 Steps To Effectively Brush Your Dog's Teeth
- 10 Science-based Dog Teeth Care Tips
- Dog Teeth Cleaning 101: Brushing Dog's Teeth
Did you know that poor dental health has been linked to heart disease? The bacteria from your dog's mouth can spread to other areas of the body through his bloodstream. So, keeping up with your pup's dental health will not only keep his breath smell fresh, but prevent other serious health problems as well.
2. Regular Dental Cleanings
Most veterinarians will recommend having your dog's teeth professionally cleaned once a year. Your vet will probably want to do the first cleaning when your dog is 6-12 months old. If your dog is already an adult and has never had a professional teeth cleaning, that's alright.
It's never too late to start taking care of your dog's teeth!
Many pet owners worry about having their dog's teeth cleaned. It's really not as bad as most people think. The vet will start by examining your dog's mouth, if he'll allow it. If not, they'll do the oral exam once your dog is under anesthesia.
While your dog is sedated, the veterinarian will take x-rays of his mouth to look for broken teeth, abscesses, infection, dead teeth and problems with the roots of the teeth. They will then clean the teeth by scraping away plaque and tartar. They'll also clean under the gum line, where bacteria is known to build up.
RELATED: 10 Science-Based Dog Teeth Care Tips
3. Water Additives
There are a number of water additives on the market that help prevent plaque and tartar build-up on teeth. These additives break up bacteria that is naturally found in water, and break up the bacteria that is in your dog's mouth.
Parsley is a great ingredient to add to your dog's diet. The herb is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants and folic acid. It can also help freshen breath.
You must feed parsley in small amounts. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Add about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (depending on your dog's size) of parsley to your dog's meals every 2-3 days. I recommend fresh parsley, as it will be more effective. But, dried parsley is still beneficial if that is all you have.
A lot of the odor in a dog's mouth comes from his gastrointestinal tract. This odor is caused by the bacteria in the gut that helps to break down food. Changing the bacteria will help to curb the odor.
Feeding your dog probiotics and prebiotics will help to balanced the bacteria in gut. They replace the odor causing bacteria with harmless bacteria that will aid in the digestion of food.
6. Coconut Oil
One of the most common and affordable dog bad breath home remedies is coconut oil. It reduces and can even prevent bad breath. You can even brush your dog’s teeth with coconut oil.
Coconut oil tastes great, so your pup shouldn't mind having his teeth brushed with it. It is also 100% safe and healthy for your dog to ingest. Coconut oil aids in proper digestion, skin and coat health, and also has many other benefits for your dog's overall health and well-being.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a home remedy that everyone should keep in their cupboard. It's beneficial for a wide variety of issues for both dogs and humans. When it comes to dental health, it is helpful in preventing tooth decay.
ACV is powerful enough to break down plaque and tartar that has built up on your dog’s teeth. It's simple to use. All you have to do is add 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (depending on your dog's size) to your pet's water bowl.
8. Dental Toys and Treats
There are a lot of different chews, treats and toys available that promote dental health. Dogs have a natural instinct to chew. Their natural chewing motion helps to scrape plaque and tartar off of the teeth.
Dental chews are designed with ridges and grooves to help scrape the teeth. They may also be made with ingredients that promote dental health and fresh breath. When you're learning how to make a dog's breath smell better, providing chews and toys is a great way to keep the plaque from building up between brushings.
Likewise, there are many dog treats made specifically for dental health. Studies have shown that these types of treats can reduce the buildup of bacteria on a dog's teeth by nearly 80%
If you have questions about the state of your dog's dental health and/or what you can do to promote his oral hygiene, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a plan to care for your pet's mouth and teeth. Providing proper dental hygiene will benefit your dog's overall health and well-being, and you'll be glad you did it.
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