Clients often ask for dog bad breath home remedy options. We will give you suggestions for things you can do or make at home to help your dog’s bad breath. A veterinarian should see dogs with oral diseases or illnesses causing bad breath. They can identify the underlying cause of the bad breath and provide treatment recommendations to address the problem. This is the most effective way to treat bad breath in dogs.
11 Home Remedies to Help Bad Dog Breath
If your veterinarian examines your dog and determines his breath to be just bad “doggy breath” then the following home remedies may help your dog’s breath.
Here are some of our favorite home remedy options:
Fresh herbs. Fresh cut mint or parsley can help freshen breath. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of your dog’s food daily. You can also make an herbal tea by mixing 1 tablespoon of fresh cut herb with 1 cup of hot water. Allow it to simmer then cool. Refrigerate and store in a sealed container. Add 1 teaspoon of this tea to your dog’s fresh water daily.
Coriander. Coriander is a green leafy herb that can help fight canine bad breath. You can add a small amount of chopped coriander to your dog’s food or create a tea. To make this home remedy, add three coriander leaves to one cup of hot water to make a coriander tea. Add 1 teaspoon to your dog’s fresh clean water once daily. Continue this for one week and repeat as needed.
Brush those teeth. A great way to treat bad breath is to prevent it by brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. This is the best way to help prevent tartar from sticking to the teeth. All you need is a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a cooperative dog! Get our tips on How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth.
Try a home remedy toothbrush kit. Some dog owners make their own dental toothbrush kit using soft gauze wrapped around their finger for the brush and making a paste out of baking soda and water. This can work but most dogs often prefer flavored toothpaste and made for dogs.
Pick your dog’s food with care. Feed a high-quality dog diet formulated for your dog’s age and life stage. Poor quality foods made with inferior ingredients and preservatives can cause foul breath in dogs. Research the dog food and feed the best you can afford from a company you trust. Good quality companies that make dog food include Acana, Fromm, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Foods, Natures Recipe, Orijen, Stella and Chewy’s, Taste of the Wild, Wellness Core and Zignature. Ensure that the foods you feed are not expired. Seal open bags or transfer kibble to a sealed container.
Water. Encourage your dog to drink by providing fresh clean water daily. Some dogs drink out of mud puddles or old smelly dishes with foul water. No wonder their breath stinks!
Clean the dog bowls. Consider not only what your dog eats but the bowls that he eats and drinks from. Dirty bowls can harbor bacteria and odors that can lead to bad breath. Scrub your dogs bowls at least weekly with mild soap and water and rinse well. Running the bowls through the dishwasher is another great way to get them clean.
Chew toys. Buy chew toys that can help your dog to naturally scrape plaque and tartar from the teeth. Ensure the toy size is appropriate and durable for your dog. Toys too big or small can cause choking hazards. Toys with loose parts or that can be chewed up can be ingesting causing a gastrointestinal foreign body.
Probiotics. Bad breath in dogs can be caused by digestive issues. Probiotics can help. Probiotics are substances that stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal flora. They consist of live bacteria and yeasts which can restore the good bacteria and reestablish the right balance of intestinal flora. Learn more about using probiotics and prebiotics in dogs. Some probiotics come as a powder and others as a capsule. You can sprinkle the powder on the food or give your dog the capsule. You can open the capsule and sprinkle on the food or mix in the water. You can also mix the contents of the powder or capsule with water, pull it up in a syringe, and give it orally. This is a great option if your dog won’t eat it on the food or take the capsule. Follow package directions or instructions from your veterinarian.
Apple cider vinegar. There are multiple benefits of apple cider vinegar including antibacterial and antiviral properties that can fight bad breath. The acidic properties help break down plaque and tartar. You can give your dog apple cider vinegar by adding ½ teaspoon to the water bowl. Do this for a week.
Lemon juice. Lemon juice, like apple cider vinegar, has acidic properties that help fight plaque and tartar. The natural way to offer lemon juice is to make your own juice with a fresh lemon and water. You can combine a full lemon or the lemon peel with 1 cup of hot water. Cover, allow to cool and refrigerate in a sealed container. Add 1 teaspoon to your dog’s fresh clean water once daily. Continue this for one week.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil can help remove the toxins responsible for bad breath. You can add coconut oil to their food and most dogs love it. The dose for dogs is ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight once daily. Therefore a 40-pound dog would receive 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per day.
Limit exposure to bad stuff. Prevent your dog’s exposure to trash, garbage, other animal feces, spoiled table scraps, compost piles, litter boxes, and/or dead animals.
How Often Should You Use Home Remedies for Your Dog’s Bad Breath
It is ideal to discuss the home remedy you plan to use with your veterinarian. Some home remedies for bad breath such as coconut oil and herbal treatments can be used on a daily basis forever. You should ideally brush your dog’s teeth every day as the best way to prevent bad breath and dental disease.
When Not to Use a Home Remedy
Above we discussed dog bad breath home remedy options. It is important to know when to use them but also when NOT to use them. If your dog has persistent bad breath, please see your veterinarian. Learn more in this article My Dog’s Breath Stinks: What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?
Your vet can evaluate for an underlying cause of the bad breath such as gum disease or a tooth problem and determine other treatment recommendations. More than anything, we want your dog to be healthy and safe.
We hope this article helps you identify home remedies for your dog’s breath.
Additional Articles of Interest Relating to Dog Bad Breath Causes:
- Here’s How to Cure Your Dog’s Bad Breath
- My Dog’s Breath Stinks: What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?
- Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Fish?
- What Causes Bad Breath in Puppies?
- Gum Disease in Dogs
- Periodontal Disease in Dogs (disease of the tissues that surround the gums)
- Oral infections in Dogs
- My Dog is Not Eating, What do I do?
- Here Are the Best Dog Foods for Picky Dogs
- How to Brush Your Dog Teeth