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8 Vet-Approved Home Remedies for Dog Breath

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on April 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog breathing

8 Vet-Approved Home Remedies for Dog Breath


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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You’re playing with your dog when suddenly you get a whiff of something foul. What is that awful smell? You search all around for signs of garbage or something dead, but it turns out it was your pet’s doggy breath all along.

Thankfully, there are ways that you can freshen up your dog’s breath and make playtime a much more enjoyable experience for everyone. Below, we’ll discuss eight home remedies for bad dog breath so you can save yourself from the stink.

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What to Know Before You Start

Before searching for home remedies to cure your dog’s bad breath, you should make an appointment with your vet. Foul breath is often a sign of a medical condition. In that case, trying to fix the issue with a home remedy won’t be effective, and it may make your dog sicker as the condition progresses with no treatment.

Therefore, your first step should always be to consult your vet. Your vet will be able to determine if your dog has dental disease or another serious issue that contributes to their bad breath. If your vet rules out the possibility of a health concern, you can then turn to home remedies.

The 8 Dog Breath Home Remedies

1. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the best ways to fight stinky dog breath. Regular brushing is an essential part of canine grooming care and should be done around two to three times per week. Depending on your dog’s breed and health status, your vet may recommend brushing their teeth more often.

You can purchase canine toothpaste and a canine toothbrush to clean their teeth. You should never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth since it contains potentially hazardous ingredients. Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a daunting task, but it is something that you can train your pet to accept.

If you make the experience comforting and rewarding, your dog may even enjoy having their teeth brushed.

2. Use Dental Treats

black dog waiting patiently for the baked treat
Image Credit: Rasulov, Shutterstock

If your dog is crazy about eating treats, why not take advantage of that and give them dental treats? Dental treats are designed to mechanically reduce plaque and tartar while your pup chews on them, and some contain enzymes to help remove odor-causing bacteria.

When searching for dental treats, make sure you find one displaying the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Seal of Acceptance. This ensures that the treat you give your dog is safe and effective.

3. Feed Your Dog Dental Hygiene Diets

In addition to dental treats, there are dental diets that you can feed your dog. Veterinary-approved dental diets that are clinically proven to reduce dental disease risks can help keep your dog’s breath fresh. The kibble cleans your dog’s teeth and prevents tartar accumulation.

Before switching your dog to a dental diet, ask your vet if it’s suitable for your dog. Changing a dog’s diet should be done gradually to prevent an upset stomach.

4. Offer Them an Occasional Fruit or Veggie

orange carrots on black surface
Image Credit: Syauqy Ahmad, Unsplash

If your dog loves to munch on fruits and veggies, try focusing on the ones that can clean their teeth. Harder fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery can help remove plaque to prevent dental disease and bad breath.

They also contain healthy vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. However, fruits and veggies should only make up a small portion of your dog’s regular diet. They should not be fed in excess, but they work as an occasional treat.

5. Add Yogurt to Their Diet

The probiotics in yogurt can help balance your dog’s gut microbiome, which can have an affect on their breath. While yogurt should not be the primary source of your dog’s nutrition, it can be a beneficial snack every once in a while.

When searching for a yogurt to feed to your dog, make sure that it is plain. No flavors, sugars, or artificial sweeteners should be present. You should be especially wary of sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. You should also avoid chocolate yogurt since chocolate is toxic to dogs.

6. Try Dental Water Additives

beagle dog drinking water
Image Credit: PixieMe, Shutterstock

Dental water additives can boost your dog’s oral hygiene and freshen their breath. Flavorless additives can be added to your dog’s water to kill harmful bacteria in their mouth as they drink.

While most dental water additives are effective, getting your vet’s opinion on the subject never hurts. Regardless of which additive you choose, carefully read the instructions to ensure you use the proper amount.

7. Mix Dental Powder into Your Dog’s Meals

Dental powders contain probiotics that support the growth of healthy bacteria which aid in proper digestion. While you should read the instructions on the product to ensure you are using it properly, most dental powders require you to mix a small amount into your dog’s every meal.

8. Give Them Raw Animal Bones to Chew

A dog and it's antler A brown and white dog lying on it's bed chewing on a deer antler
Image Credit: Bill Pell, Shutterstock

Chewing can remove debris and plaque and tartar buildup from your dog’s teeth. You can promote healthier teeth and better breath by giving your dog a raw animal bone.

However, not all raw animal bones are appropriate for your dog. First, you must find a bone about the size of your dog’s head. Anything smaller can be swallowed and become lodged in their throat, causing them to choke.

Similarly, you should never give your dog cooked bones. Cooked bones can splinter, and your dog could become injured if the splinters are swallowed. If giving your dog raw animal bones intimidates you, you can offer them a chew toy instead. Talk to your veterinarian for recommendations on which raw bones are best for your particular pup.

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If your dog has bad breath, take them to the vet for a check-up. If your vet rules out the possibility of a medical condition causing your dog’s stinky breath, you can use one of the home remedies listed above. We hope this article has been helpful and informative as you search for solutions to your dog’s foul breath.

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Featured Image Credit: Neal Bryant, Shutterstock

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