Home Remedies for Bad Dog Breath

By Catherine Holden Robinson

There is no better alarm clock than a dog with halitosis breathing in your face before the sun rises. Bad breath in dogs is a common ailment that has many causes. Rather than tackle your dog's halitosis on your own, make a visit to your dog's veterinarian to rule out health issues as a cause. Improved digestion, better dental care and some home-handy breath fresheners can keep your dog's breath from being a downer.

Medical Blues

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If your dog had a sudden bout of bad breath, his teeth may need attention; a trip to the veterinarian is in order. An important first step in conquering a dog's halitosis is ruling out the primary causes, one of which is dental disease. Your dog may need his teeth professionally cleaned, but it may be something more. A sudden sickeningly sweet breath may signify diabetes; if your dog's breath smells of urine, he may be experiencing kidney disease or kidney failure. Halitosis accompanied by vomiting and a yellowish tint to your dog's eyes or gums may be a sign of liver disease. Your dog's breath may be trying to tell you something, and only your veterinarian can tell you for certain.

A Clean Mouth

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Keeping the mouth clean is one hedge against bad breath. Brush your dog's teeth daily with a special toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. The elimination of plaque and food particles can minimize or eliminate a dog's halitosis. Certain dog treats specially formulated to reduce mouth odor can help in the fight against foul-smelling breath. Chew toys and raw hides can help your dog keep his teeth clean between brushings and dental cleanings.

Improving Digestion

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If your dog is suddenly stinking up the room simply by opening his mouth, the problem may be in his gut. Digestive issues can cause bad breath that indicates he needs more fiber or water in his diet. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water. To increase fiber in your dog's diet, consider adding brown rice to his food. It should improve your dog's digestion, and it may jazz up his ordinary kibble enough to encourage him to tackle his dinner bowl with a bit more vigor.

In the Fridge

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Though not scientifically proven, some holistic approaches have been found to help in certain mild cases. A visit to your fridge or pantry may hold some relief for your olfactory senses when your dog's breath isn't as fresh as you'd like. A carrot can keep your dog busy, satisfy his need to chew, and help remove the stinky plaque that contributes to bad breath. A little bit of lemon in your dog's water can cleanse his palate and reduce the occurrence of halitosis. Steep parsley into a tea and put it in your dog's water or in a spray bottle. A couple of laps from the bowl or a couple squirts from the bottle into the mouth can ease that odor. If your dog will chew a dill or peppermint leaf, these can also reduce the occurrence of bad breath.