What's a good product to get rid of my German Shepherd's bad breath?

Her breath, it's killing me when she jumps and licks me. I brush her teeth, and I give her treats that also clean her teeth. I just need a product to help fight her bad breath. Any recommendations?

Asked by Lucky on Dec 10th 2009 in Food & Nutrition
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It's not normal for dogs to have breath this bad. Some odor is normal, but it shouldn't be this bad.

I think if you haven't had her in for a check up lately, you might want to do so as your first course of action. Gum disease can cause bad breath, but so can an infected or abscessed tooth, sometimes with no other symptoms so get her checked out.

Also, if you can upgrade her diet (if you're not feeding a premium food already) that might help. Dogs can have food intolerances and higher quality food can often clear up bad breath. This is usually breath that is bad from the stomach and esophagus rather than the mouth, but it can be true for both.

If you try that and the odor persists, why not try brushing her teeth? You can do it w/special dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush (never use human toothpaste on a dog) or a damp rag. It's not as important to get the inside of the tooth as the outer area.

Finally, no matter what you may read, kibble and bones don't clean teeth.

Jack answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Jack has great ideas. It is also possible and not uncommon for bad breath to result from sinus and/or nasal issues. These would also need a vet visit to pinpoint and treat.

Member 641257 answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I agree with Jack almost 100%. Bones DO clean teeth. REAL bones. Not those ones marketed for "dental health" that are just fake and made up of cr*p ingredients. I mean REAL bones. Raw meaty bones are AMAZING for dental health. (as long as they aren't the leg bones of large animals like cows.) If you're interested, hop on over to the raw feeding forum here on Dogster and we can help you.

And yes, brush the dog's teeth and upgrade to a natural, high-quality food if you haven't already. Grain-heavy foods just feed bacteria and are unnatural to a carnivore's diet. Come check out the Food & Nutrition forum here on Dogster and we can help you out there too!

Farley answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

K-10 Von Canein

Welcome to the GSD world. Many of these dogs have digestive issues as well as food allergies. Both of these things can contribute to bad breath. They are not the only things, but most common. I would start by either switching to a raw prey model diet, or a high quality kibble which contains no grains. At a minimum, the first 5 ingredients should be meat, not meat bi-products. Corn should not be listed at all. K-10 is on a raw diet, and has never needed his teeth brushed. They are white and shine! A raw meaty bone is a good tool to use for cleaning a k-9s teeth. If you can not do a raw diet or don't want your dog to eat bones, consider purchasing bully sticks. They also do a good job, and are good for Lucky. Within days after changing to a raw diet, K-10 now has no ear infections, no bad breath, sheds less, better coat, etc. Check each and every ingredient in your treats, or research them on the internet. Try reviews on for researching your choice of kibble.Good Luck

K-10 Von Canein answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Are you feeding a dry kibble? Most German Shepherds will chew their food and help clean their teeth. The ones I mostly see are eating Pro Plan chicken and rice and have acceptable breath.

I agree you need to talk to your vet. You might ask about Science Diet T/D. It really is a kibble, but comes in pieces big enough to require even more chewing.

As for premium foods helping, that is just so much more hype.

Aster answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I think you should examine each tooth and wiggle them to see if one is loose or broken.
The only other thing might be tartar that is hard and yellow on the teeth.
It really should not be over bearing. It is going to be somewhat stinky but not over powering.

Dieta answered on 12/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Has she ever been wormed? That could cause some stinky breath too. A small, fresh fecal sample taken to the vet could be tested. I would recommend that the next time you go in for her shots or well puppy check up.

Member 201551 answered on 12/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Bam-Bam, CGC

Contrary to what Aster said... My Bam-Bam's breath got significantly better on raw. There is a smell, but it isn't foul or bothersome. Now recently we've had an episode of death breath, but it pretty much went as fast as it came.
Bad breath doesn't usually come from the mouth, however, it comes from the stomach. So if food isn't agreeing with him or just is a particularly icky food, it will make the breath stink. I've heard of folks using probiotics to help with this too. Think about it... If you eat onions, it affects your breath, right? So why wouldn't icky kibble affect a dog's breath? And the breath comes from your stomach, not onion in your mouth, right? Same with dogs.
And I wouldn't touch any of the Hills diets with a 10 foot pole, much less feed it to my dog. The solution to your problem is likely a better food that agrees with her.

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 12/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

Like in humans, it can be caused by the food particles sticking to teeth. Raw meaty bones on a regular basis work like a toothbrush.
Here's a page on feeding raw bones:
After just a week on raw, my Papillon mix's breath was better.

Kibble doesn't actually clean teeth. My dogs were kibble-fed for most of their lives and had yucky teeth. My current kibble fed German Shepherd's teeth are pretty dirty compared to the teeth of my rawfed dog, as well. (You should be able to see the difference in their pictures on their pages. Cookie is the dog I am posting as right now. The other is Gray Dawn Treader, my raw fed pooch.)
The starch present in kibble, especially grain-heavy brands, actually sticks to the teeth and *attracts* plaque-building bacteria. Higher quality kibble that is low in grains, or better yet doesn't contain grains at all, MAY help. Though not as much as raw bones would.

Other products you can use are Nylabones (or similar products), and bully sticks.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 12/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Miss Priss

For Bad breath in canine ; give him 1 Edible nyla-bones each day or every "Other" day ; ( buy the med or large ones)
Nylabone they have some called:
Nutri Dent **Edible Dental Brush Chews - found in most Pet stores ).
They do work great
Also, our clinic refers to a good suppleemnt wafer treat -

HOPE this helps you...
Miss priss and Family
Happy Holidays

Miss Priss answered on 12/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Have you tried Greenies? Mom gives them to us and we love them!
They are having a buy one tub get one tub free offer going on right now! We get one every day and eat them right up!
You can go to this website to print off the BOGO offer!

Maverick answered on 12/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Check out They offer Breath Freshener Spray. It is 100% Organic and Non-Toxic. It will help combat the bad breath and prevent it from coming back. It works well!

Member 932257 answered on 12/30/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer