Dog Bad Breath (Halitosis)

What causes dog bad breath? What natural remedies can you use to get rid of bad breath in dogs? Read on to find out!

Dog Bad Breath Doggie bad breath! Yikes!

Have you ever been kissed by a friendly dog with bad breath? It can be deadly!

Some people dismiss dog bad breath as "just doggy breath". It is true that a dog's breath is far from heavenly fresh most of the time, but it should not be bad.

Particularly, if the foul breath does not disappear in a day or two, it usually means that something is wrong, either in the mouth or somewhere else in the body.

Therefore, dog halitosis, the condition of bad breath in dogs, should be properly addressed; and the good news is, it can be fixed.

What Causes Dog Bad Breath?

There are quite a few common problems that may cause canine halitosis. Some can be fixed easily, while some may be due to health problems. So, you should not take this problem lightly and should try to find out the root problem causing your dog's bad breath.

Here are some possible causes:


Dogs on a poor-quality diet may develop not-so-sweet breath. The low-quality ingredients in such diets can cause indigestion which in turn may cause bad breath.

Many dog owners have been able to enjoy fresh doggie breath after switching their dog's diet to a natural, organic diet.

Lip Fold Pyoderma

Some dogs have lip and skin folds that are very deep on their faces (e.g. Bulldogs, mastiffs, St. Bernard's). If water and/or saliva is trapped in such skin folds, bacteria can fester!

The result?

Lip fold pyoderma - a bacterial infection of the skin and lip folds. And because of this skin problem, the dog will have rather bad breath!

To prevent this problem from happening to your dog (especially if your dog has deep skin and lip folds), wipe the folds daily with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water.

If your dog already has a case of advanced lip-fold pyoderma, however, you need to take him to the vet. Most likely he would need some antibiotics to clear up the problem.

Other Diseases

Some other diseases that could cause offensive breath include:

When To See a Vet

If your dog suffers from chronic bad breath even if she is having a high-quality, natural diet, be sure to get her checked out by a veterinarian to see if her bad breath is caused by some underlying health problem.


Herbs for Dog Bad Breath

If your dog sometimes has bad breath caused by upset tummy or indigestion, try using these herbs:

  • Dill: Dill is antibacterial and can inhibit bacterial growth and reproduction in the mouth. It can even be effective in treating the early onset of gingivitis.

    Dog Bad Breath Use an infusion of the herb and add a few drops to your dog's drinking water.

  • Parsley: Parsley leaves and stems are extremely nutritious, antimicrobial, and they make a good breath freshener for your dog. Chopped parsley can be sprinkled on your dog's food. Alternatively, include chopped parsley as an ingredient for her home-made dog biscuit.
  • Ginger: If your dog's bad breath is caused by indigestion, try using ginger to help settle her upset tummy. Simply put one or two slices of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water. Let it cool down and remove the ginger slices. Give one to 2 teaspoons of the ginger tea to your dog (depending on her size).

Herbs that have antibacterial properties are also effective in combating dog bad breath, such as:

  • Calendula: Calendula is antibacterial and antiviral. It is very effective in soothing inflamed skin and is good for treating gingivitis.
  • Goldenseal: This herb enhances the immune system and is also antibacterial and antiviral.
  • Myrrh: Myrrh is widely used for maintaining oral health due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent properties.

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An Herbal Remedy for Dog Bad Breath

This herbal formula contains herbs such as calendula, myrrh, goldenseal, licorice, and more and is effective in maintaining oral health and preventing bad breath.

Other Ways to Combat Doggie Breath

You can also try the following to get rid of bad breath in your dog:

  • Regular Brushing: Since plaque and tartar build-up is one reason that causes canine halitosis, brushing your dog's teeth daily is important to prevent tartar buildup and subsequent gum diseases.

    Please visit this page for information on brushing your dog's teeth and using other natural products to keep your dog's teeth clean and plaque-free.

  • Supplements: If your dog's bad breath is caused by poor digestion, try adding digestive enzymes to his daily food to help digestion.


    Try This Homeopathic Remedy

    This remedy is effective for dogs with bad breath due to poor digestion.

  • Dental Treats: There are good snacks and bad snacks for dogs. Bad snacks are those that contain sugar, preservatives, and are sticky. They are bad for our dogs' teeth. Avoid them.

    Good snacks that can help clean our dogs' teeth include hard fresh vegetables and fruit, such as carrots and apples. Sugar-free hard biscuits that contain herbs (e.g. parsley, mint) are also good for our dogs' teeth and breath.

  • Chew Toys: Hard chew toys are also effective in cleaning dogs' teeth. Toys that are made from strong hard ropes are also good - they are like dental floss for your dog.