No bones about it: Sooner or later your face-licking best friend will have have bad breath. Here are some ways to avoid it & the 5 best dog treats for bad breath.
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One thing seems to be a common thread among us dog owners however, and that is our desire for them to have better smelling breath. Lord knows there are days when you get a whiff of their breath, especially after they’ve been outside getting into who-knows-what, and nearly faint!
Check out this bad breath system for dogs (fantastic commercial, to boot):
What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?
There are a few reasons that a dog can have bad breath, some serious (some not so serious) and it’s good to know what they are:
- Gum Disease or Dental Problems: infections in the mouth, gum disease, tooth decay and other problems can be the issue behind a dog that has severe bad breath, also known as halitosis. Sometimes you can tell there’s a problem simply by taking a closer look at your dog’s mouth and observing any redness of the gums or tartar buildup. However, you aren’t able to see things like cavities under the gum line. If you suspect an ongoing problem, make sure you check with your vet.
- Kidney Disease: kidney disease is a metabolic disease that can often cause your dog’s breath to smell like ammonia. This happens when the kidneys, which have been damaged somehow, fail to eliminate waste products, which then show up in your dog’s breath.
- Ingestion of Contaminated Substances: as dog owners, we know that are dogs are sometimes apt to eat just about anything. They don’t particularly care to find out first whether it’s bad for them or not. If there are any signs that your dog has ingested such a substance, calling your vet is an absolute must, as it could be an emergency situation.
- Foreign Substances: dogs rarely stop at “food items” for their snacking pleasure, especially when they spend a lot of time outdoors. They can often munch on things that will get stuck in their teeth and provide the perfect atmosphere for bacteria to grow and multiply, causing horrible breath. Of course, the fact that they are also prone to eating feces and rotting dead animals can cause breath that will fend off even the most devoted dog lover.
- Certain Foods: It’s a fact that even foods that are approved for a dog’s consumption can sometimes cause undesirable breath. Some dogs react differently to certain foods than others do and can often be the sole reason for bad breath.
So, we have seen that there can be several factors that can lead to your dog having bad breath, but today we are going to focus on those that can be taken care of at home.
Giving your dog treats designed especially for the elimination of bad breath is one of the best ways to do that.
The Best Dog Treats for Bad Breath
Here are the best treats designed specifically to give your dog sweeter, fresher breath.
1. Pedigree Dentastix Dog Treats
Pedigree Dentastix Dog Treats are a triple action treat that not only freshens breath, but also reduces tartar buildup and cleans teeth. You can purchase Dentastix in several sizes and in flavors that include original, fresh, bacon, beef, beef and original and variety.
You can also find Dentastix for small, large and medium breed dogs. Finding the right size for your specific breed can be important, as the different sizes more specifically contour to the dog’s mouth, won’t be too large or too small and is less likely to be chewed into smaller pieces that are then swallowed whole.
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Shaped in the Pedigree patented X-shape, these treats help clean right down to the gum line. The chewy texture scrapes away built up plaque and the chewing also helps to clean hard to reach teeth.
These are clinically proven to reduce the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth.
Veterinarians who have previously suggested expensive cleanings for the teeth of certain dogs have been won over by the job that these Dentastix do for their teeth. They recommend treating your dog to one of these at least every three days to avoid those expensive cleanings.
It’s likely that your dog will quickly learn what it sounds like as you take the treat from the bag and he will be there, ready and waiting. It’s also sure to take care of even the worst cases of doggy breath, even when you can smell it from across the room.
At 65 calories per stick, you can easily feed your dog one of these every single day for oral health and maintenance.
A guaranteed analysis of this product shows 8% crude protein, 1% crude fat, 4.5 % and 18% moisture.
With ingredients such as rice flour, natural poultry flavor, green tea extract, turmeric and packed full of vitamins and minerals, it’s a treat you can feel good about giving your dog.
If you do see any gastrointestinal changes in your dog after every day feeding of this treat, you can cut back to about twice and week and should see some improvements. Some dogs are just more sensitive than others are.
It is true that these treats and others like it can often cause more severe gastrointestinal issues, it should be noted that these are not meant to given to your dog like regular treats. Since they are for fresh breath and healthier teeth, absolutely no more than one a day should ever be given to any dog, regardless of size or how much they seem to enjoy it.
2. Old Mother Hubbard Mother’s Solutions Minty Fresh Breath Natural Dog Treats
Old Mother Hubbard Mother’s Solutions Minty Fresh Breath Natural Dog Treats are oven baked and helps freshen breath with spearmint, parsley and fennel. These naturally delicious treats use a homestyle recipe that has been passed down for generations so that you can feel good about giving this treat to your dog.
With no artificial preservatives, Old Mother Hubbard makes use of such wholesome natural ingredients as whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, chicken fat, cane molasses, eggs, apples and carrots.
Unlike many of the other dental hygiene treats you can find for your dogs, these treats can be given as many times as you would like.
At only 23 calories per treat, you can use these for an array of different purposes while still maintaining minty fresh breath.
Even in dogs that had developed some of the worst possible “dog breath” due to diet specifications that had not been met, it was alleviated on the very second day of receiving Old Mother Hubbard Minty Fresh Breath treats.
In addition to working as well as they do, dogs are anxious to receive these treats because they just love the flavor. Some dog owners even say that Old Mother Hubbard treats are the only ones that have worked to freshen their dog’s breath.
3. Greenies Dental Dog Treats
Greenies Dental Dog Treats is probably the most recognized name in treat-type products for a dog’s dental health. Even despite several recalls before the company was bought out and recipes changes, Greenies continues to have a devoted following, and for many good reasons.
Greenies are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) and stands behind the product’s statement that they help control tartar and plaque.
Their unique toothbrush-like shape allows for deeper cleaning of otherwise hard to reach places in the dog’s mouth for cleaner teeth, healthier gums, fresher breath and more.
These treats have a flavor that few dogs can resist and the low calorie, low fat recipe means that you don’t have to feel guilty about allowing your dog to have them.
The formula provides balanced nutrition while also containing added vitamins and minerals for overall health.
In addition to the regular flavor, you can also get Greenies in Refreshing Fresh Mint and even a Grain Free recipe, so you’re sure to find something that your dog will enjoy as well as benefit from.
Greenies are sure to give you a happy pet and a satisfied vet!
These treats do lean a bit more to the expensive side of the scale, but for many people whose dog is on a restricted diet of any kind, this is often the best option.
However, only you will know if they are specific to your needs.
Another downside is that Greenies are not the best choice in treats if your dog has allergies, especially to wheat.
4. Milk-Bone Brushing Chews
Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Dog Treats have earned the Seal of Acceptance from the VOHC and, although it tastes like a treat, it cleans like a toothbrush. It’s an incredibly easy solution for daily oral care and is clinically proven to be as effective as brushing.
The design of the treat features a revolutionary dental twist bone that has been designed to clean even those back teeth that are so hard to reach, all the way down to the gumline.
They have the basic shape of a dog bone but with a twist in the middle and knobs on each end.
The sides of the chew have ridges, for an extra chewing and cleaning sensation.
They can be used every day and are fortified with vitamins, minerals and even extra calcium to support strong bones and teeth.
You can clearly see the difference in the cleanliness of your dog’s teeth in just a week or two, especially around the gumline, as well as noticeably fresher breath.
There are no special ingredients that will mask the odors, but the fact that the teeth are cleaner and the buildup is gone, the breath just smells better.
Dogs that often suffer from separation anxiety can be somewhat helped by these chews as well.
Try giving your dog one before leaving the house (especially if you aren’t going to be gone for very long) – he may continue chewing on it until you return. It keeps his mind occupied, and even if he does finish up before you get back, his anxiety level will be more manageable.
The overall consensus among most dogs is that they love the delicious chicken flavor and will come back for them, repeatedly. Some dogs who are opposed to doggie treats will love these.
They can be used on a daily basis, but do not overindulge your dog with these treats.
5. ARK Naturals Breath-Less Brushless Toothpaste Chewable Dog Treats
ARK Naturals Breath-Less Brushless Toothpaste Chewable dog treats are truly an innovation in treats that are specifically for oral hygiene. With both inside and outside layers, these treats help reduce plaque, tartar, bad breath and even stained teeth.
The outside layer has the fresh flavors of chlorophyll, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves for fresher breath as well as ridges that aide with an abrasive action.
On the inside is ARK’s patented toothpaste center that helps reduce plaque, tartar and even bacterial growth.
They have been proven to reduce yellowing of the teeth with as little as one treat with much fresher breath to go along with it.
To give you an idea of how hardy these treats are, they can be cut in half, however this has to be done with a steak knife or other such knife, on a cutting board by applying pressure. They cannot easily be cut, so you can be sure that your dog will be able to chew on these for quite some time instead of gulping them down in just a couple of minutes.
It can sometimes be a real struggle to try to brush your dog’s teeth, especially if they don’t like having it done. You may have tried finger brushes, dual brushes, wipes, sprays, water drops and even adding parsley to their food. While some of those things light work really well, it’s still a hassle to try to maintain the dog’s mouth.
That’s where ARK Naturals works wonders.
Even finicky dogs love the flavor and they last long enough to nearly be considered a toy.
While any one of these could be deemed the “very best” all by itself, we will leave the final decision up to you, as you will know what works best for your own dog.
Have you had any experience with any of these brands, or even brands we might not have listed here today? If so, we’d love to hear all about it and may possibly feature it in a future article!
We look forward to hearing from you!