Cuddle time with your dog is one of the best things—until you catch a whiff of their pungent dog breath! Holding your pup and receiving doggy kisses no longer sounds appealing because of the unpleasant smell. Now your dog feels like you don’t love them anymore, and you feel grossed out. Homemade dog breath spray to the rescue!
Fortunately, you can DIY this solution and whip up a batch of homemade dog breath spray. Lousy doggy breath comes from a variety of sources, and below, you’ll see when or why you might need to take your dog to the vet due to his foul-smelling breath.
Read on for an easy recipe for dog breath spray and several other simple options that you can try if your pup doesn’t look fondly upon having anything sprayed directly in his mouth.
What Causes Canine Bad Breath?
Stinky dog breath can come from various causes, some more easily treatable than others. If your dog’s mouth reeks of halitosis or bad breath, it could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. It could also be plaque buildup or a few other things. It pays to investigate the source of your pet’s bad breath so that you know if you need to bring your pup to the vet or perhaps change up your dog’s feeding habits.
You can make homemade dog breath spray and keep a spray bottle of your concoction handy for cuddle time. Dog breath sprays don’t just mask bad breath. Most recipes include ingredients that kill the bacteria that create bad smells. While the spray can improve their breath, it can also make a difference in their oral health. Bonus!
The following issues are typical culprits and detail some of the less severe and more severe causes of dog bad breath.
When you want to cuddle with your pup, but their breath can peel paint, take a look at the condition of your dog’s teeth. Most of the time, stinky breath comes from your dog’s mouth bacteria and a build-up of tartar and plaque and gives off a sulfurous-type smell. Yellowish-brown tartar and plaque build up on teeth and harden over time, making it tough to remove without paying to have your pup’s teeth cleaned. You can brush your dog’s teeth yourself using the best dog toothpaste, but this doesn’t always go as easily as dog owners would like.
If left untreated, the plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth can cause gum disease or gingivitis . It’s easily reversible with proper care, but if neglected, some sources say that more than 80% of dogs have gum disease after about three years of age. Once the bad mouth bacteria make it below your dog’s gums and cause gum disease, the smelly bacteria will give your dog chronic bad breath. Many dogs lose teeth in their later years due to untreated gum disease.
Some pet owners think that bad dog breath comes from their pet’s stomach because of the smelly foods they eat. In dogs with no health issues, this is not true. However, according to the Veterinary Centers of America, stinky dog breath can come from a condition called megaesophagus .
In this condition, the dog food your pet eats doesn’t make it t their stomach because of a damaged, stretched, or enlarged esophagus. The esophagus tube connects from their throat to their stomach. If your puppy or adult dog has other symptoms along with bad breath such as gurgling or salivating when it eats, seeming hungry yet not eating its food, vomiting, or other unusual symptoms, plan a visit to your vet.
Sometimes, your dog eats table scraps or snacks that get caught in their teeth. It takes less than a day for decaying food to start smelling in the mouth. You can brush your dog’s teeth to prevent this, or give them hard, crunchy treats that are made to help dislodge food and bacteria from their teeth and gums—the best dog dental chews should do the trick.
There is one other way that snacks can cause bad dog breath. Some dogs like to eat “cat candy,” or deposits made by cats in the litter box. Dogs will also try to eat horse poop, geese poop, and more. These gross doggy snacks can really make their breath smell horrible, although fortunately, only temporarily. While less common, some dogs can have a condition called coprophagia, which means that they eat their own and other dogs’ poop.
If you’ve ever had sinus congestion and had to breathe only through your mouth, you probably noticed how your mouth became very dry, and you might have had smelly breath. Dogs can have a similar experience if they develop rhinitis or sinusitis. They could also have inflamed mucous membranes due to a tumor or nasal infection. Any of these conditions force them to try and breathe through their mouth, which dries out their mouth and allows smelly bacteria to breed.
More Serious Health Issues
You can still use a breath spray to treat bad breath if your dog has some of the following issues, but it pays to have the vet examine your pup and treat the root cause so that your fur baby is healthy and happy. Treating any medical issues can reduce or potentially eliminate bad breath so that you don’t have to rely on only your homemade dog breath spray to free your pup from stinky breath.
Aside from other diabetes symptoms, you may notice your pup has a sweet or fruity smell on their breath. Dogs with diabetes usually drink excessive amounts of water, urinate more frequently, and become lethargic. A vet can diagnose your pet and take you through different treatment options for your pup.
If you notice that your dog has bad breath in addition to other symptoms, such as a yellow tinge on his gums, a lack of appetite, and vomiting, your vet might diagnose your pet with liver disease. Unlike other causes of bad breath, in this case, your dog’s breath will smell like a dead animal or have a musty odor. Liver disease can be lethal, so it’s important to speak with your vet to discuss treatment options for your dog.
Bad dog breath from kidney disease gives off a different smell. You will probably notice ammonia or a urine-like smell. The smell comes from a buildup in your dog’s system of urine and nitrogen because its kidneys aren’t doing their job to remove these substances from your pup’s body. Your dog might act listless, drink more or less water, seem sad, and have changes in appetite or weight. It’s important to catch kidney disease early, so visit your vet as soon as possible.
Why Make a Homemade Dog Breath Spray?
When you make a homemade dog breath spray, you can be absolutely certain of the ingredients and quality that you put into the spray. Surprisingly, some store-bought dog breath sprays contain a sweetener called xylitol, which is known to be toxic to dogs.
To some extent, with homemade dog breath spray, you can also tailor the formula to your dog’s tastes. Additionally, it’s always nice to know how to make these types of products at home in case you can’t get to the store. Lastly, some pet products can be expensive, so you can save a little bit of money by creating your own custom “stinky dog breath” spray for your furry friend.
DIY Doggy Breath Spray Recipes
Dogs aren’t going to rinse out their mouth, so your spray needs to contain only ingredients that your pup can safely swallow. When you mix up a homemade dog breath spray, you will usually need only a few ingredients.
You need something that kills bacteria as an effective dog breath fresheners. Natural, dog-safe ingredients to kill mouth bacteria include grapefruit seed extract (GSE) and apple cider vinegar (ACV). Avoid using hydrogen peroxide. It can make dogs vomit because it irritates their stomach and can also be lethal in larger doses.
The second thing you need for a good stinky dog breath spray is some type of natural substance that provides a pleasant odor and flavor. Store-bought sprays often use synthetic, chemical flavors, so it’s nice to give your dog a higher-quality spray of your own creation. Try flavoring agents such as parsley, mint, or coconut oil in your spray.
Homemade Dog Breath Spray Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 3-5 sprigs parsley, fresh
- 5-10 mint leaves, fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
Add the water and parsley to a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, then remove and let cool.
Crush the mint leaves, then add them and the apple cider vinegar to your water. Let the mixture sit for a few hours so that the mint oils can infuse into the water.
Strain the mixture and pour it into a spray-top bottle, and it’s ready to use.
Other Options to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath
If your dog doesn’t take kindly to you spraying something in its mouth, don’t worry. You can give your pup the following items separately as snacks, in their water, or sprinkled on top of their food.
Is coconut oil good for dogs? Yes! It can help improve your dog’s breath because it has natural anti-bacterial properties. You can try brushing your dog’s teeth with this oil, which usually stays solid at temperatures below 72 degrees. Dogs usually love the smell and taste of coconut oil, so you should have good luck with this. Otherwise, try adding a small amount to your dog’s food.
Apples and carrots
Apples and carrots have health benefits, such as providing a good source of fiber to help your dog’s tummy and digestion. Although they don’t kill bacteria, these foods can help clean old food residue off your pup’s teeth, and as they chew, the chunks of fruit and veg get not the crevices of your dg’s teeth to clear out white tartar buildup. Plus, dogs love both of these foods.
Your dog might not have any interest in eating plain mint leaves, so you can chop them and add to your dog’s food, or bake some simple treats and mix in mint leaves. The most common species of mint are non-toxic to your dog. However, be aware that one species called pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) is the one mint species that are toxic to dogs.
Treat your dog to some nice Greek yogurt (plain flavor), and you can feed on one to three tablespoons every day, depending on your pup’s size and weight. You might want to give your dog some sweet flavored yogurt, but some manufacturers use the toxic xylitol as a sweetener. Instead of having to read labels, it’s easier to just stick to plain, unflavored yogurt.
You can bypass the daily yogurt and give your dog probiotics in the form of a powder. Ask your vet to recommend a quality brand or check our list of the best dog probiotics, and sprinkle these on your dog’s food or treats. Yogurt and probiotics work by adding more good bacteria to your dog’s mouth, crowding out the smelly bacteria, and keeping your fur baby’s mouth smelling nice and fresh.
Apple cider vinegar
The recommended daily dose of apple cider vinegar is usually one teaspoon, with no more than one tablespoon, per 50 pounds of your dog’s body weight. ACV can help freshen your dog’s breath by killing mouth bacteria. Add the ACV to your dog’s water bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do you make homemade dog mouth fresheners?
You can make a dog breath spray or feed your dog ingredients to freshen its breath. To make a spray, boil one cup of water and some parsley sprigs. Once the water is cool, add crushed mint leaves and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Strain into a spray bottle to use. You can also feed your dog yogurt or probiotics, brush his teeth with coconut oil, make treats with chopped mint leaves, or add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl.
2. How can I get rid of my dog’s bad breath fast?
You can use a dog breath spray to cover up bad dog breath right away. Check to make sure that the spray actually contains an ingredient that actually kills the odor-causing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, along with providing a mint or other smell the ask over the pungent dog breath smell.
3. How do you make homemade breath spray?
You can make a batch of homemade dog breath spray by boiling one cup of water with a few parsley sprigs. Set aside to cool, then add crushed mint leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Strain the mixture, and add it to a spray bottle.
4. Can you use breath spray on dogs?
You can use breath spray on dogs, as long as the spray contains only ingredients proven safe for canines. A common sweetener for human products, xylitol, can be deadly to dogs. For safety, read the labels or create your own dog breath sprays.