Simple Tips to Combat Bad Dog Breath
Do you love your pooches smooches but you're finding bad breath is detouring your love and affection? Before we get into the holistic approaches to curing this dilemma please note that sometimes bad dog breath can be a sign to hear, not smell. In other words, a change in your dog's breath could mean a health issue. Try these simple tips to combat bad dog breath, and if your pooches smooches are still a deterrent, maybe a follow-up with your veterinarian should be scheduled.
Tip number one is super simple and you're probably already doing it. Always make sure your pooch has plenty of clean water. Not only is water essential to overall dog health, but keeping your dog fully hydrated helps prevent stinky breath. Here’s a healthy additive, try putting 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in your dog's water bowl. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of calcium, potassium & magnesium, all essential minerals for your dog's health. The acid in the lemon kills bacteria, no bacteria, no tartar buildup, and no bad breath.
One of the biggest culprits to bad doggie breath is tartar buildup. This can also cause other ailments in your pooch. Brushing your dog’s teeth cures stinky breath and aids in overall health. Toothbrush training can be a task for some dogs, but others really appreciate the attention. If you would like to try brushing your dog's teeth, but have no idea how to start, check out How To Train Your Pet To Get Their Teeth Brushed (Add Amazon links)
Chew toys can be a great way for your dog to brush their own teeth but be aware of what your pooch is chewing on. While some chew toys are brilliant for your dog's teeth, some could be dangerous. For some helpful insight on what to allow your dog to chew and not to chew, check out this article, 8 Do’s and DONT’S for your Dogs Chew Toys.
Take bones and chew toys to the next level. Fill bones or chew toys, like a Kong, with treats and then freeze them. The action of chewing on the bone or frozen toy helps scrape away plaque. Freezing the snack slows down the process and keeps your dog engaged. This makes treat time last longer and your dog gets in some good down & dirty teeth cleaning. I like using stew broth from any of my dinner leftovers, or purchasing store-bought bone broth (low sodium only or water down) works efficiently too. Use aluminum foil and fasten tightly by wrapping an elastic to create a stop at the bottom of the bone or chew toy. Place the bone or chew toy in a paper cup and fill it with the mixture of your choice. Typically the frozen cup will peel off easily when run briefly under hot water. This is also a refreshing treat in the summer months.
When it comes to frozen snacks, I have to add another favorite, frozen yogurt is a brilliant way to combat bad dog breath. You can simply freeze yogurt in their plastic containers. To extract the yogurt from the plastic cup, set it in hot water for a few seconds, and then they pop right out. You can also mimic the same treat-filled snacks and fill your dog's bones or chew toys with yogurt. Yogurt has active bacteria and probiotics that can help with stinky breath by killing odor-causing bacteria found in the mouth. Bonus: probiotics also help with digestion and overall health and wellness.
One of my all-time favorite remedies is using fresh herbs. Chopping fresh parsley or mint, and sprinkling it in your dog's food is not only a breath freshener but supplies vitamins and minerals to your dog's nutritional intake. Fennel works great too. Typically if an herb is safe for humans, then they are safe for dogs too. Fresh herbs are a great way to combat bad dog breath.
A natural diet limiting canned and cheap dog food can also help with bad dog breath. Try fruits and veggies as snacks. I have two labs and they both love apples and carrots. The texture of crunchy fruits and vegetables scrapes away plaque buildup and helps to combat bad dog breath. For more on the importance of feeding your dog raw fruits and vegetables check out this article on The Raw Bisto. Not only do raw fruits and veggies help with keeping your pooches smooches breath friendly, but they are also important for overall nutrition.
Lastly try adding coconut oil to your dog's food. Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal & antibacterial. All three of these components make coconut oil a triple threat to combat bad dog breath! Adding coconut oil to your dog's food is also amazing for a shiny coat. No bad dog breath and looking dapper? Yes, please!
So that’s that…simple, right? Happy pooch smooches!