More than 80% of dogs over the age of three suffer from periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of bad breath in dogs.
Homemade dog breath sprays aid in preventing and treating halitosis in your dogs. Some homemade dog breath sprays include apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, cinnamon, peppermints, and seaweeds. These sprays are essential for killing bacteria and reducing plaque formation in your dog’s mouth, thereby reducing bad breath.
Homemade dog breath sprays are better since they are dog-friendly, cost-effective, and have more functions than store-bought sprays. Let’s take a close look at the various causes of bad breath in dogs, the benefits of homemade dog breath sprays, and detailed guidance on how to make them in the comfort of your home.
What causes bad breath in dogs?
A little smell after your dog takes its meal is perfectly normal, but when the smell grows, you are left wondering the cause of bad breath in your dog.
There are several different causes of bad breath in your dogs; the most common ones include:
- Wrong diet
- Bad oral hygiene
- Periodontal diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis
- Kidney diseases such as diabetes
- Liver disease
- Digestive conditions
- Throat inflammation
Top 7 homemade sprays for bad breath in dogs
Here are the top 7 homemade sprays for bad breath in dogs:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a homemade remedy for many purposes, including freshening your dog’s breath. The vinegar is safe for use as it is made of natural ingredients. It has acetic acid and potassium that freshens your dog’s breath and aids in killing bacteria present in their mouth.
Add three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s drinking water. Allow your dog to drink the mixture twice a day.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase and catalase glutathione peroxidase, which help boost your dog’s immune system. If your dog’s bad breath is due to diabetes, apple cider vinegar will lower its blood sugar and control the halitosis.
Precaution: Do not sprinkle apple cider vinegar in your dog’s eyes to avoid irritation or potential eye damage.
2. Dog breath mints
Spearmint and peppermint for dogs are natural chewable treats that disinfect the dog’s mouth and reduce bad breath. Dog breath mints provide a polishing surface for manually removing organic debris and tartar from the dog’s teeth.
However, avoid using artificial forms of breath mints. Unlike natural dog breath mints, the artificial ones contain xylitol. It is an artificial sweetener that pulls water into the dog’s intestines and causes severe bacterial fermentation.
Grind the peppermint finely using a pestle and mortar. Put the grounded mint inside a spray bottle, add half a cup of warm water, and shake thoroughly.
Use the homemade dog breath mint spray on your dog’s mouth after every meal.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another natural remedy for your dog’s bad breath. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that have antioxidant properties for nutrition absorption and enhances your dog’s digestive system.
The fatty acids in coconut oil increase metabolic functions, reducing your dog’s bad breath. To make homemade coconut oil spray for your dog’s bad breath, you will need:
- Clean drinking water
- Coconut oil
- Dog food
There are two ways to use coconut oil for halitosis in dogs. You can add coconut oil to the dog’s drinking water. Or, you can add it to your dog’s food. Add ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil to the dog’s drinking water or one teaspoon to the dog food.
Repeat it daily until your dog’s bad breath is under control.
According to the ASPCA, cinnamon contains low levels of coumarin, making it safer for dogs. It is a natural spray that removes bad breath in your dog by breaking down food particles in their teeth.
Add a pinch of grounded cinnamon to your dog’s food. Careful not to add too much cinnamon as the scent may be too strong for your dog’s liking.
Apart from helping with bad dog breath, cinnamon has plenty of health benefits. For example, it will raise your dog’s resistance to diabetes. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling, redness, and pain in your dog’s body.
5. Fresh parsley and seaweeds
Fresh parsley has vitamins A, C, and K that help boost your dog’s immune system and promote liver and immune health. It removes nasty bacteria that cause bad breath in dogs hence a good breath freshener.
Boil a cup of water with some parsley sprigs. Allow it to cool completely, and add your preferred amount of crushed mint leaves, depending on the dog’s size.
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the mixture. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it to your dog’s mouth.
Seaweeds also make great dog breath sprays. Seaweeds supplements your dog’s meal with helpful bacteria that can help reduce the amount of plaque that can build up on their teeth.
Can you use human breath spray on dogs?
I don’t recommend using human toothpaste because it has xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. There are some commercially available dog breath sprays to cure halitosis.
Here are the recommended store-bought breath spray for dogs:
1. Arm & Hammer Fresh Breath Dental Spray for Dogs
Arm & Hammer Fresh Breath Dental Spray for Dogs is a multi-benefit breath spray. It is blended with baking soda and coconut oil, neutralizing acidity within your dog’s mouth and giving it a fresh breath.
It is made with natural ingredients and is rich in nutrients. Therefore, the dental spray will not only remove bad breath in your dog but will also whiten the dog’s teeth.
Arm and Hammer Fresh breath dental spray are essential for daily cleaning and maintaining your dog’s oral health. Spray 1-2 times on your dog’s teeth, and do not allow your dog to feed for 1 hour after using the spray.
2. TropiClean Tartar Control Water Additive for Dogs
Veterinarians recommend TropiClean Tartar Control Water Additive for dogs that are 12 weeks older and above. TropiClean Tartar Control Water Additive for dogs helps reduce plaque build-up and improve tartar defense.
It is blended with natural ingredients that kill bacteria leading to fresh breath in your dog’s mouth for up to 12 hours. Add half a cup of tropical clean tartar water additive to your dog’s drinking bowl twice daily and allow your dog to drink. No brushing is required.
3. Pet Water Drops – Water Additive for Dental and Oral Care
A little smell after your dog takes its meal is perfectly normal, but when the smell grows, you are left wondering the cause of bad breath in your dog. Pet water drops are a cheap alternative to homemade dog breath sprays. It costs about $15 on Amazon.
It is effective against tooth decay and gum diseases by killing any bacteria in your dog’s gums. The water additive for dental and oral care is long-lasting. Therefore, you will use it for over 100 days.
Other solutions to bad breath in dogs
Here are other solutions to bad breath in dogs:
1. Regular brushing
Eating without brushing causes plaque and periodontal diseases in dogs. Apart from homemade dog sprays, you can also brush your dog’s teeth twice daily to prevent bad breath.
Use a DIY dog toothbrush such as a rubber brush, or attach a piece of gauze at the end of your finger. However, do not use human toothpaste for your dog’s bad breath.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast. They have health benefits, such as promoting heart health when consumed by your dog. Probiotics are good for puppies and grown dogs. They are in the form of powder and capsules.
Mix the powder probiotics in your dog’s food, or mix one capsule with water and let your dog drink. While on it, make sure you are following your vet’s instructions.
3. Fresh food diet
Some food can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs, resulting in bad breath. To reduce bad breath in your dog, serve it with high-quality and tooth-cleaning foods such as sliced apples and baby carrots.
Enlund, K. B., Brunius, C., Hanson, J., Hagman, R., Höglund, O. V., Gustås, P., & Pettersson, A. (2020). Dog owners’ perspectives on canine dental health—a questionnaire study in Sweden. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7, 298.
Gardiner, J. (2019). Halitosis in Dogs. UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.