Your dog is definitely your furry best friend. They’re always there for you and loyal as the day is long, but let’s face it… sometimes love hurts and that hurt is called ‘halitosis’. Thankfully, if you are wondering ‘how can I freshen my dog’s breath?” then we have some good news.
While you can’t use human toothpaste, there are doggy-safe brands out there and you can even make your own to give your dog a good oral hygiene regimen. Aside form this, there are doggie breath mints and water-additives that can definitely help – provided that you’ve ruled out the bad breath as a potential health-issue.
In this article, we’re going to talk about ‘hounddog halitosis’ in-depth so that you know a little more about the options that you have available for your dog, as well as the warning signs that the halitosis might be something that the vet needs to get involved in. Let’s get started with toothpaste concerns and we’ll build up from there!
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Table of Contents
Can you use human toothpaste for dogs?
No, human toothpaste is not safe for dogs. While there might be a brand or two out there that would be an exception, in most cases human toothpaste is simply not a good fit. For one thing, some varieties could cause blood sugar issues with your dog or even liver damage!
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is also present in many popular brands, and this is known to be toxic to your dog. Thankfully, there are doggy toothpaste brands out there which you can purchase online or even through your vet. Brands include Paws and Pawls, Vet’s Best, and Dental Fresh Advanced, just to name a few.
Aside from fresheners, doggy toothpaste will be made with 100% doggy-safe ingredients and often include a little meat flavor to go with the minty freshness that they provide.
What can I give my dog for bad breath at home?
Probiotics can help with your dog’s oral hygiene, but if you’re looking for something that you have around the house, then you might want to try a little apple cider vinegar. Most of us have this at home and if you don’t, it’s easy to obtain and quite easy to make good use of.
Simply add approximately half a teaspoon to your dog’s water and it will have a minimal effect on the water’s taste (although some dogs really seem to like it!) and you’ll notice a definite change in your hound-dog’s halitosis in no time!
Are there dog breath mints?
Yes, as it turns out, there are actually doggy breath mints which are available commercially that can definitely sweeten up your dog’s bad breath to more tolerable levels.
These ‘doggie breath mints’ typically have a bit of a crunch to them which dogs love, but which also provide a little abrasion to clean their teeth in the process of being chewed. Add in that they have a little bit of mint and you’ve got an effective little weapon against ‘doggie breath’ that’s well-disguised as a tasty treat!
How do I make homemade dog toothpaste?
All dog owners tend to be very particular about what we give our dogs and it’s completely understandable, so if you don’t like the idea of using a commercial doggie toothpaste then we’ve got a way for you to make some on your own!
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley flakes
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. minced mint leaves
- 2 ½ tbsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. water
Once you’ve gotten your ingredients ready, then you’ll want to mix them all together very thoroughly in a resealable plastic bowl. The olive oil will give it a little thickness and each day when you go to brush your dog’s teeth, simply shake up the bowl to mix everything anew so that it’s ready for the day’s brushing.
It’s easy to make and quite effective, but it may take your dog a little getting used to, so be sure to keep a treat or two handy for after brushing (you can double-down with doggy breath mint treats if you like) and before you know it, your dog will adjust to their new daily dental hygiene regimen!
When bad breath might warrant a vet visit
Sometimes doggy bad breath isn’t due to their food or some of the more questionable things that you’ve caught them chewing on (well, at least not completely). If your dog’s breath smells rotten, for instance, it could be a sign of tooth decay.
Watch how they eat and if your dog has taken up the habit of picking up pieces of food gently, this this is a big, red flag that they might be experiencing tooth pain.
You can check your dog’s teeth, but if you don’t see any problems, check for ulcers as well as these can also cause a rotting smell in your dog’s breath. A fishy odor is also a very bad sign and if you smell this, you should get your dog to the vet IMMEDIATELY and we’ll tell you why.
A fishy smell can be a symptom of liver or kidney failure and while it could just be that someone has been sneaking the dog some sardines, you want to get it checked out right away to rule these potential health hazards out. Sometimes dogs simply have bad breath, but it’s always best to check with the vet.
Just in case!
Some closing comments
As you can see, you actually have a number of options at your disposal when it comes to dealing with ‘less than sweet’ dog breath. Just be sure to avoid human dental products by purchasing or making some homemade doggie-safe toothpaste and consider some breath-freshening treats – dogs love them and they definitely help!
A little apple cider vinegars works, as well, and finally, if the breath smells rotten or fishy, then get your vet involved right away. After all, when it comes to your furry best friend, it’s always best to err on the safe side!