No one like stinky kisses from their best friend, but dog bad breath is no laughing matter. That odor may be caused by dental disease, a serious condition that affects more than your dog’s breath. Indeed, the American Veterinary Dental College lists periodontal disease as the most common health problem in adult dogs.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria in the mouth forms a substance called plaque, which sticks to the teeth. Saliva then hardens plaque into tartar. When plaque and tartar spread below the gum line, it damages the tissues around the teeth. It also secretes toxins into your dog’s bloodstream, which can affect your dog’s heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs.
The most effective way to prevent plaque from turning into tartar is to brush your dog’s teeth. It may take some practice (for both you and your dog), a lot of patience, and your dog’s favorite treats, but don’t give up. Start with a few sessions a week, and try working up to a daily session when your dog is more comfortable with the process. (If your dog absolutely despises getting her teeth brushed, there are other dental care options, including our Bye, Bye Dog Breath.)
If you don’t like the idea of using (or buying) a commercial toothpaste, you can make your own natural paste at home using some yummy, healthy ingredients.
Here are some easy recipes for making homemade toothpaste for dogs that you can whip up in your own kitchen:
The chicken broth will make your dog eager for a taste, while the aromatic herbs will freshen the breath. Baking soda helps prevent plaque formation.
1 tablespoon of chicken broth (without salt or onion)
1 spoonful of powdered mint or some other aromatic herb (parsley or sage)
1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a glass container. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This is another option you can make at home that will clean your dog’s teeth — and your pooch will also love the way it tastes. Use an organic, high-quality coconut oil.
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cube of chicken or beef bullion
3 Tbsp. baking soda
6-7 mint leaves
Put all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until the mint leaves are completely chopped and the mixture is thoroughly blended. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (It lasts 3-5 days.)
This recipe contains lots of good-for-you ingredients that will not only clean your dog’s teeth, but boost your dog’s health. Turmeric contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and other health benefits. Kelp is also an antibacterial, and parsley is a deodorizer and anti-inflammatory.
1 cup of unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of kelp (or at Whole Foods)
1/8 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes.
If the coconut oil is solid or hard, put the cup in a container, and place the container in a hot water bath until it softens. Add the turmeric, kelp, and parsley, and mix well until blended. Store in an airtight container. (It lasts 3-5 days.)
This recipe uses a popular ingredient, baking soda, for whitening the teeth, but did you know that baking soda also kills free radicals and neutralizes bacterial acids? Add a little beef for taste, and start brushing.
6 tablespoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cube of beef bouillon
1 teaspoon dried or fresh parsley
1 teaspoon water
If using fresh parsley, get the curly variety and chop finely. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and add water to form a paste. Store in an airtight container. (It lasts 3-5 days.)
This is a simple recipe that uses an essential oil — but do not substitute! Many essential oils are harmful to dogs.
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of coconut oil
20 drops of peppermint oil
In a glass or plastic container, mix together the coconut oil and baking soda until they are thoroughly blended. Add the peppermint drops, mixing until completely blended. Keep mixing paste together for about one minute.