Homemade Mouthwash for Dogs

By Maura Wolf

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine School and the American Animal Hospital Association Dental Care Guidelines for pet owners report that more than 80 percent of dogs develop gum disease by age 3. Bacteria that causes bad breath can enter a dog’s bloodstream, leading to serious health issues. It is possible to prevent or at least slow dental disease by ensuring that your dog receives veterinary and home dental care, including tooth brushing and using a mouthwash that can be added to your dog's water or applied directly onto her gums and teeth. Dental care products for dogs are available for purchase, but you can also use homemade mouthwash and toothpaste for your dog's oral care.

Salt Mouthwash

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Fill 1 cup with warm water.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Salt is not antibacterial, but salt water mouthwash can temporarily alkalinize your dog's mouth and create an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Stir well to dissolve the salt in the water.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Wet some cotton balls or a washcloth with the salty mouthwash solution.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Swab the solution gently onto your dog's teeth and gums.

Healing Mouthwash

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Pour 1 cup water into a saucepan.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Add 1 teaspoon of fresh echinacea root or 1/2 teaspoon of dried echinacea root.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Boil echinacea root and water in a saucepan for 10 minutes.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Cover and remove the saucepan from the stove.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Let the mixture steep and cool for one hour and then strain.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Pour the strained mixture into a squirt bottle.

Charley Steward/Demand Media

Squirt the echinacea solution onto your dog's gums.