Do you reel with horror when your dog gives you kisses? There’s no stink quite like bad dog breath. Not only is it seriously unpleasant, but it’s an indicator of possible dental disease or other health problems. Regular teeth brushing is ideal, but it’s sometimes hard to maintain a schedule. And many dogs don’t tolerate it – they run away, refuse to open their mouth, or worse, nip at you.
Using toothpaste made especially for dogs, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week. For those who aren’t getting very far in brushing their dog’s teeth or need some in-between help, here are seven natural home remedies that will keep your pooch’s breath fresh.
Related: Stinky Dog Breath? Here Are 4 Simple Toothpastes You Can Make at Home.
Besides causing plaque buildup on teeth, bacteria in the mouth and the digestive tract can lead to halitosis. Probiotics are live microorganisms that exist in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract as beneficial bacteria that counteract the harmful, stinky kind. There are some recommended probiotic supplements, such as Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics for Pets, and Vetrinex Labs Probiotics for Dogs and Cats. You can also use DIY probiotics – but be very careful and consult with a pro. You may find foods listed that contain probiotics, but some of these are harmful to dogs, including garlic and onions. The food most recommended and easiest to digest is green tripe. You can get it at Darwin’s Natural Pet Products.
Seaweed contains lots of good stuff like antioxidant, vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatories. For the bad breath benefit, it works through your dog’s saliva to eliminate the bad bacterial that leads to stinky breath.
Try Canident seaweed for dogs. You can also buy edible seaweed products like Dulse and Nori at some grocery or health food stores but ask a professional about the correct dosage. (Also, important to keep in mind that there are different strains of seaweed, so some may work better than others).
And NEVER let your dog eat dried seaweed at the beach; bleached seaweed expands in your dog’s stomach, blocking the blood supply to the intestines, which can be fatal.
3. Parsley and Mint
Herbs like parsley and mint are natural breath deodorizers. (These very ingredients are used in our Bye, Bye Dog Breath line and work wonders!) You can tear the fresh herbs into small pieces and mix into your dog’s food, add some to his water bowl, or boil some parsley in hot water to make an infusion. Let the liquid cool and pour into a spray bottle. Then spray your dog’s mouth and teeth.
There are also a number of homemade breath-freshening dog treats you can make, including those found in our article 5 Easy Dog Treats You Can Make at Home to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a great bad breath zapper, and it’s healthy, too. Apple cider vinegar is an anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. It combats the bacterial that causes bad breath and can help break down plaque or tarter in the mouth. Add ½ teaspoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl for sweet breath.
Related:Get Your Dog’s Mind Working With Our ‘Stinky Dog Treat’ Scavenger Hunt Game
5. Fruit and Vegetable Treats
Besides being highly nutritious, fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples clean the teeth by helping to remove tartar and plaque from the backs of teeth and the gum line. Carrots contain vitamin A and apples are high in vitamin C, which support your dog’s immune system.
6. Keep the Water Bowl Clean
Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Clean the water bowl regularly and change the water several times a day. You can also add 3 drops of TropiClean Fresh Breath Pet Water Enhancer or lemon juice.
7. Coconut Oil
It contains antibacterial and antifungal properties and helps support the digestive and immune system. Coconut oil also helps fight the causes of stinky breath. You can mix 1 tablespoon into your dog’s food, or use it to brush your dog’s teeth.
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Related: 30 Super Easy Dog Treats Recipes Using 5 Ingredients or Less