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by Suzie Cyrenne June 01, 2022 10 min read
If you’re anything like most dog parents, you probably enjoy getting lots of hugs and kisses from your canine family member—but preferably without the dog bad breath.
Besides instantly killing the mood for more cuddling, stinky dog breath may also be an indicator of illness like oral or gum disease.
But the thing is despite what many people believe, my team and I at Zumalka have put together this blog post to share with you that there are a number of natural options that you can go for as regards how to freshen dog breath.
And it’s highly likely that you’ve got the things you need to make a dog bad breath home remedy right now. We will even answer questions like “Can I use human toothpaste to brush my dog’s teeth?” and “Is dog bad breath hereditary?” as we go along, too.
How about we start things off by finding out the possible reasons why your dog has bad breath?
Bad breath in dogs generally refers to the condition where a dog‘s breath has a noticeably unpleasant smell. It is also known as dog halitosis and can be caused by a number of factors, which we’ll quickly go over below:
Deemed as the most common cause of bad breath in dogs, diseased teeth and gums stem from poor oral hygiene and the buildup of plaque and tartar inside of a dog’s mouth.
Besides irritating the gums, excessive plaque and tartar—not to mention bad bacteria—can also eventually result in infections, cavities, as well as abscesses that can make your dog’s breath stink.
Your canine family member is inherently very inquisitive and commonly expresses his curiosity by biting and chewing on stuff.
Occasionally, some of these things get stuck inside of his mouth like pieces of cloth, sticks, hair, rope fibers, bone fragments, including materials from chew toys, which can eventually cause dog bad breath if not promptly removed.
While this may sound odd, there’s a very big possibility that your dog is suffering from diabetes if his breath has a faint yet persistent fruity aroma or has a smell that’s similar to nail polish remover.
Did you know that the liver’s primary role in a dog’s body is to filter out and get rid of harmful and unwanted toxins?
If your canine family member’s breath stinks and you also notice that his eyes, skin, and gums are yellowish in color, it is highly likely that he is suffering from a liver disease. This unpleasant smell in your dog’s breath is caused by the toxin buildup.
If you’re noticing that your dog’s breath strongly reeks of urine, it is highly likely that he is suffering from a kidney-related health issue.
See, when your canine family member’s kidneys are not functioning properly, such as in the case of geriatric degeneration or chronic renal failure, an organic compound called urea starts to build up inside his circulatory system. And what’s really interesting is that urea has a smell that’s similar to urine.
If we’re being honest, it’s not uncommon to catch your canine companion poking around the trash or even checking out other dogs’ poop every now and then.
Although this may sound disgusting, there’s also the probability that your dog could have—say, for the lack of a better term—”sampled” these things when you were not looking, which can greatly affect the smell of his breath.
The presence of bacteria in a dog’s body is not necessarily a bad thing. There are actually “good bacteria” found in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, which help neutralize the smell of a dog’s breath.
Sudden shifts in your dog’s regular diet may lead to deficiencies in minerals and other organic compounds that these good bacteria require to be able to thrive. One of the more noticeable signs that their numbers are low is bad breath.
Additionally, excessive tooth and mouth cleaning can also cause this decrease in good bacteria.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s find out how your dog’s breath should smell like…
A dog’s breath should smell like the food he’s just eaten or is consuming on a regular basis. While a slightly pungent and earthy odor can be expected from your canine family member’s breath, it should not be overpowering or lingering in any way.
Moreover, your dog’s breath should not smell rotten or like that of poop. A slightly metallic smell also indicates bleeding or the presence of ulcers in and around the oral region.
Next up, let’s discuss if bad breath in dogs automatically means that your canine family member is suffering from infection…
The short answer is no.
Your canine family member’s stinky breath could be simply caused by foods having pungent odors or those that produce sulfuric compounds when they react with his saliva. These odors normally go away after a quick brush or a swish of water.
However, if your dog’s bad breath is accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive thirst, increased urination, sudden weight loss, jaundice, and similar unusual indicators, it is highly likely that it is triggered by infection or disease.
Now we’ve got that wrapped up, let’s talk about the home remedies you can go for when your dog has bad breath…
When it comes to the question of how to get rid of your dog's bad breath, there are actually many home remedies that you can decide on.
Here are the best natural options you should include in your daily pet care pampering chart the next time your canine family member’s breath gets a bit stinky:
As reported by Healthline, apple cider vinegar is abundant in an organic compound called acetic acid. Besides giving vinegar its distinctive sour flavor, this type of acid also helps inhibit the growth and development of bacteria.
To use apple cider vinegar to get rid of dog bad breath, add a fourth of a teaspoon of it to your canine family member’s water bowl every three (3) days. Make sure you don’t feed it directly to your dog since its high acidity content can be quite unpleasant for your pet.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)reveals that aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which have been seen to have beneficial effects on those suffering from gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
To use aloe vera to get rid of dog bad breath, peel the skin off mature leaves and harvest the fleshy gel. You can slice them up in bite-sized pieces and mix them to your dog’s meal. Alternatively, you can also combine the aloe vera gel with your dog’s water.
According to the Periodontal Associates of Memphis, carrots help stimulate the flow of saliva inside the mouth. Apart from helping remove unwanted substances that may cause bad breath, the rough texture of carrots also stimulates a cleaning action on the teeth and gums.
To use carrots to get rid of dog bad breath, chop them up in little pieces and mix them directly to your canine companion’s food dish. You can also grate them up for a smoother consistency.
Everyday Health shares that celery contains organic compounds that help support the overall function of the salivary glands. The more saliva a dog has, the easier it will be for him to rinse out bad bacteria that can make his breath stinky.
To use celery to get rid of dog bad breath, you can either directly give this vegetable to your beloved pet as a healthy snack or combine it with his regular meals.
As revealed by ScienceNews, cinnamon is rich in cinnamic aldehyde that has been seen to help promote the ideal production and release of saliva. Having sufficient saliva keeps bad breath-causing bacteria from clinging on to the gums as well as the back of the tongue.
To use cinnamon to get rid of dog bad breath, add a couple of pinches of this spice to your canine family member’s meal and you’re good to go. Keep in mind not to get any cinnamon near his eyes or nose since it can irritate them.
According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), coconut oil has been seen to have versatile properties when it comes to helping reduce bad breath, as well as other oral health benefits like keeping gums healthy and preventing cavities.
To use coconut oil to get rid of dog bad breath, gently apply a small amount of it onto your canine companion’s teeth, gums, tongue, and inside of the cheeks. Repeat this process at least twice a day until his stinky breath disappears.
Additionally, make sure you only use food-grade coconut oil for this application.
ResearchGate reports that oranges are very abundant in Vitamin C, which helps improve the production and release of saliva in the mouth. Besides setting off bad breath, reduced saliva production can also lead to the development of periodontitis and dental caries.
To use oranges to get rid of dog bad breath, directly mix in a couple of segments of this sweet citrus fruit to your pet’s meal. Make sure you also remove the seeds and the stringy membrane before adding them.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reveals that parsley is rich in polyphenolic compounds that help lessen the amount of disulfides, sulfides, and thiols in the oral region, which give off unpleasant smells when they react with certain foods.
To use parsley to get rid of dog bad breath, you can give this leafy herb to your canine family member as a post-meal treat. Alternatively, you can also add a sprinkle of it to your dog’s food.
However, it is crucial to remember that you should only use curly parsley for this application since its spring cousin can be toxic to your beloved pet.
Healthline shares that spirulina is abundant in chlorophyll that has been seen to have significant benefits when it comes to improving gut health and digestion in dogs. If left unchecked, digestive issues and gut deficiencies can eventually result in bad breath.
To use spirulina to get rid of dog bad breath, directly add a pinch of it to your dog’s food. Make sure you mix it thoroughly since spirulina has a distinct fishy taste when eaten straight that dogs don’t find that appealing.
According to Today, yogurt contains beneficial probiotics that help lessen hydrogen sulfide levels in the mouth, which are the usual culprits when it comes to stinky breath. This dairy product also aids in maintaining ideal gastrointestinal function.
To use yogurt to get rid of dog bad breath, mix in a tablespoon of it directly to your dog’s meals. It is crucial that you only use plain Greek yogurt for this application since other varieties can either have too much sugar or have a lot of milk in them.
Next up, here’s our favorite dog bad breath home remedy that I told you about earlier…
Zumalka’s BAD BREATH KIT is designed to promote better digestion and cleanse the organs. It is composed of (3) homeopathic products; KIDNEY DRAINER, LIVER DRAINER, and LYMPHDRAINER, which we’ll briefly check out below:
The Kidney drainer helps cleanse and eliminate toxins from the body, as well as improving immune function and rejuvenating the kidneys and urinary tract functions. See, when your canine family member’s kidneys are not functioning properly, an organic compound called urea starts to build up inside his circulatory system, which makes his breath smell like urine.
The Liver drainer promotes the elimination of toxins present in the liver, thus improving liver functions as well as digestion. The unpleasant smell in your dog’s breath is caused by the buildup of toxins. Moreover, his eyes, skin, and gums will also have a yellowish tinge if his liver isn’t ideally functioning.
The Lymph drainer promotes lymphatic drainage and the elimination of cellular waste. It also helps in the cleaning and filtering of blood and contributes to the natural production of antibodies to support the immune system.
To use Zumalka’s BAD BREATH KIT to get rid of dog bad breath:
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s find out if you can use human toothpaste on your dog…
The short answer is no. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be extremely toxic to your canine family member.
These include the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can trigger severe stomach upsets, as well as fluoride, which can be toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities.
Next, let’s check out if you can brush your dog’s teeth with baking soda…
No, it’s not okay to brush your canine family member’s teeth with baking soda because of two key reasons:
Next, let’s tackle a question that I’m sure you’ve probably wondered about once or twice already…
Unlike what some people mistakenly believe, it is never too late to start brushing your canine family member’s teeth regardless of their age.
Although it is ideal to start brushing your dog’s teeth when he is still young, there is nothing wrong with introducing him to the routine when he is already a bit older. See, whether your canine companion is a pup, a juvenile, or an adult, he still needs proper oral care.
The short answer is no. Bad breath in dogs is not hereditary and there are no breeds that are prone to having stinky breath because they are genetically predisposed to the condition.
Moreover, dog bad breath is generally attributed to dental issues as well as metabolic diseases like diabetes and kidney failure. This is why having a reliable home remedy for bad breath in dogs like Zumalka’s BAD BREATH KIT is a must to ensure that his breath doesn’t just stay fresh, but also keep his immune system in tiptop shape
If you’d like to learn more about dog bad breath and treatment options that best fit your animal's health needs, you can sign up for our Free Health Advisor Guidance to get access to more tips and recommendations.
I hope you’ve learned a lot from this blog post and always remember that we are naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
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