Homemade Mouthwash for Dogs

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Salt

  • Container

  • Spoon

  • Cotton balls

  • Washcloth

  • Echinacea root

  • Saucepan

  • Squirt bottle


Mouthwashes meant for humans can be dangerous for dogs since they are unable to gargle or spit. Some mouthwashes contain boric acid, a substance highly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of mouthwash poisoning include vomiting, drooling, seizures and possibly coma.

Some toothpastes and mouthwashes, even herbal products, contain xylitol. Do not use products with xylitol in them for pets, because it is toxic even in very small amounts.

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

Step 1

Fill 1 cup with warm water.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Stir well to dissolve the salt in the water.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

Healing Mouthwash

Step 1

Pour 1 cup water into a saucepan.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

Cover and remove the saucepan from the stove.

Step 5

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

Step 6

Pour the strained mixture into a squirt bottle.

Step 7

Squirt the echinacea solution onto your dog's gums.

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