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What are Home Remedies for Doggie Breath?

To reduce bad doggie breath, it may be helpful to brush the dog's teeth.
Changing a dog's brand of food may help reduce bad doggie breath.
A hard, clean bone may help reduce bad doggie breath.
Mint can be used as a home remedy for doggie breath.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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Doggie breath is a problem that all dog owners, and often their house guests, are intimately familiar with. Though some dogs seem to be predisposed to have breath that smells worse than others, all dogs have horrific breath at some time or another. Remedying doggie bad breath is not always easy, but with some persistence, it can be reduced to a tolerable level.

There are numerous commercial products that target doggie breath, including mints and dissolving breath–freshening strips, but the most practical remedy is a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for dogs. The source of bad breath in dogs is bacteria — the same as it is in people — but unlike people, dogs can’t assume responsibility for their oral hygiene. Brushing a dog’s teeth not only helps eliminate bad breath, but it also promotes healthier teeth and gums.

In some cases, doggie breath may be the direct result of a switch in dog food. If you have recently switched brands, especially from hard to soft dog food, and your dog suddenly develops the worst case of halitosis ever, you might need to try something else. If it’s possible for your dog to eat hard dog food, it is better for the teeth, gums, and breath. Talk to your veterinarian about different types of food that will work for your dog’s dietary needs.

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You can also reduce the severity of doggie breath if you allow your dog to chew on a hard, clean bone from time to time. Certain dog treats also help remedy bad breath, but you shouldn’t overdo treats and bones or replace a healthy diet with only treats meant to reduce breath odor.

Remember to use only products made specifically for dogs and to consult your vet if you have any concerns about products. If you have a puppy with doggie breath, you should realize that this is often a big problem for young dogs. Puppy breath is normal, and as the puppy matures, the problem typically becomes much less severe. All dogs can have mild to moderate bad breath, but if you notice a severe or sharp change in the odor of your dog’s mouth, you might want to consult a veterinarian in case there is a more serious underlying issue.

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Discuss this Article

bagley79
Post 16

I started brushing my dogs teeth when she was a puppy and she doesn't fight me at all. My sister tried this with her dog, and she didn't have very good results.

I think brushing their teeth not only helps with bad breath, but is also good for their overall health, just like it is for humans.

I will also give her small bones to chew on which help keep her teeth clean. She has doggie breath, but I know it isn't nearly as bad as other dogs I have been around.

andee
Post 15

We live in the country and my dogs are outside and don't need to be tied up all the time. The disadvantage to this is some of the things they find and bring home to chew on. I know this sounds gross to some people, but usually it is some part of a dead deer they have found somewhere.

I can tell if they have been chewing on something gross because their breath really stinks. This will go away after awhile, but it can be pretty potent at times.

SarahSon
Post 14

I never realized that puppies were more prone to have bad breath than a full grown dog. It is hard not to smell my dogs breath because he loves to be as close to me as he can. It doesn't bother him in the least to be panting in my face.

Brushing my dogs teeth is something that I have never done. I have a golden retriever, and my vet checks his teeth at every visit, but has never recommended that I start brushing them. I am glad because I don't think this is something he would take to very well.

I almost think you would need to start doing this when they were puppies so they wouldn't think anything about it. My dog would probably just try to eat the toothpaste if I tried to start doing this now.

John57
Post 13

@anon41412-- I wonder what it is about a carrot that will help with a dogs bad breath? If you had mentioned almost any other food, I probably would have given it a try, but carrots are one thing my dog doesn't like.

She will gobble up just about anything else that drops on the floor or someone gives her, but she will sniff a carrot and walk away. I have never known a dog to have nice smelling breath, and don't think that my dogs breath is any worse than what it should be.

lighth0se33
Post 12

@DylanB – I put two drops of peppermint extract on a regular dog biscuit and give it to my dog. He doesn't seem to notice the difference, and he gobbles it right up.

You might not think that two drops could do any good, but that stuff is very powerful! I do notice a big improvement after he has eaten a peppermint-coated treat.

Yes, sugar is bad for dogs. That's why pure peppermint extract is so much better for him than a piece of peppermint candy.

DylanB
Post 11

I've tried using treats that are supposed to freshen up doggy breath, but they don't seem to be working. I'm tempted to give my dog a stick of peppermint and see if that helps, but I'm afraid all the sugar would be bad for her. Is there any sort of home remedy for doggy breath?

Kristee
Post 10

@giddion – My sister works as a vet tech, and she told me that brushing a dog's teeth is only really necessary for smaller breeds. Their teeth are more prone to decay.

She said that large dogs should be perfectly fine when just given rawhides or other treats that will clean their teeth from time to time. I do this once a week, and I've noticed that my dog has less plaque on her teeth.

Yeah, it isn't easy to fight with a huge dog while trying to get in her mouth. I don't blame you for looking for other options.

giddion
Post 9

I bought a tooth brush that fits over my finger in an attempt to combat doggie bad breath. I even bought a special peanut-butter flavored toothpaste for her.

Even though she liked the toothpaste, she refused to let me brush her teeth. She would try to lick it off of the brush before I put it in her mouth, and she would struggle once I had her in a headlock.

Since she weighs 80 pounds, I couldn't hold her still. What can I do to freshen her breath instead? Obviously, brushing isn't an option.

VitaHound
Post 5

Our research at VitaHound has discovered all natural substances that act as dog bad breath remedies.

Bad breath in dogs can be eliminated by utilizing products that contain these ingredients in their formulations: Grape Seed Extract, Neem Oil, Thyme Oil (Thymus Vulgaris) (Labiatae), Rosemary Oil, Peppermint Oil. The first three compounds act as anti bacterial treatments the last two freshen a dog's breath.

Cleaning a dog's teeth removes the plaque that is the cause of the foul odor.

anon112498
Post 4

My boston terrier does not have bad breath, but my poodle's breath is terrible.

anon53231
Post 3

there is a new product on the market. although it is not a home remedy, it is all natural. It's called Rupert's Simply Smoochable Doggie and Kitty Mouth spray.

anon41412
Post 2

another way to help with bad breath is give your dog one mini carrot each day and it should mellow down a lot.

knittingpro
Post 1

I didn't actually think it was possible for dogs to *not* have dog breath, but after my dog got his teeth cleaned, his breath didn't smell AT ALL.

Another thing that works is a tiny bit of peppermint oil - he doesn't like it, but it doesn't hurt him.

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