Dog Have Bad Breath? Try These Tips and DIY Recipe

Written by: Care Yummers


At Yummers, we strive to help every pet feel their best with meal mix-ins made with only the good stuff because when your dog or cat is healthy, life together is made even better.

If you’re a dog parent, your pup may not always have the freshest breath. While it can not only be unpleasant, it could also be a sign of dental issues that may need some support. Below, we’ll talk about how you can help reduce bad breath, including a crave-worthy DIY recipe that can freshen their breath and support their oral health.

Understanding Bad Breath in Dogs

Contrary to common belief, bad breath isn't a natural trait for dogs. It's often a clear indication of dental disease, with two-thirds of dogs showing signs of oral health problems. The primary culprit behind your dog's stinky breath? Bacteria in their mouth, lungs, or gut.

Persistent bad breath could be signaling a more severe issue affecting your pup’s kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. That’s why it’s important to always take it seriously and consult with your vet if you think there is an issue.

Small Dogs and Dental Health

While any dog can develop dental problems leading to bad breath, small breeds are particularly susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup. Their teeth are often crowded together, creating a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive. Regular and proactive dental care is especially crucial for these little canines, helping keep their breath fresh and their mouths healthy. At Yummers, we have mix-ins both large and small breeds will love as a treat after you clean their teeth!

Reasons Dogs Get Bad Breath

Bad breath can occur due to several reasons, including dental and mouth disorders, certain diets, diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. If your dog's bad breath persists despite regular dental care, it's essential to consult with your vet to rule out any potential medical conditions.

Dental and Mouth Disorders

Dental diseases or mouth disorders are common causes of bad breath in dogs. These can range from oral tumors to periodontal pockets where food can get trapped and decay, leading to bad breath. If your dog has a dental or mouth disorder, it's crucial to get a treatment plan from your vet before it gets worse.

Dietary Considerations

If you’re a dog parent, chances are your dog has explored eating a variety of interesting choices like feces, garbage, and even decaying animals. These can lead to bad breath, and it's important to keep such items out of your dog's reach. If they ever get something in their mouth that they shouldn’t, head to the vet immediately to help ensure their safety.

Diabetes, Liver Disease, and Kidney Disease

Certain medical conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease can also cause bad breath in dogs. If your dog's bad breath is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or yellowish gums, it's crucial to seek immediate vet care. Even if your dog is young, it’s a good idea to schedule regular vet checkups in case issues pop up early on that you can get ahead of and treat so they live a long and healthy life by your side. After you take them to the vet, you can reward them with their favorite Yummers recipe mixed into their food or as a treat!

Ways to Help Prevent Bad Breath in Dogs

1. Regular Tooth Brushing: The First Line of Defense

One of the most effective ways to combat dog bad breath is by brushing their teeth regularly. Aim to brush your dog's teeth daily or, at the very least, two to three times a week. Just like with humans, plaque can quickly accumulate on your dog's teeth within 24 hours. Regular brushing helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup, which, if left unchecked, can lead to receding gums, cavities, infections, tissue damage, tooth loss, and even pus formation.

It's vital to use toothpaste specifically designed for dogs, as human toothpaste can be harmful to them. Experiment with different toothpaste flavors to find one that your dog likes so they can get used to the routine. Also, consider the design of the toothbrush. Traditional long-handled toothbrushes can be awkward to use on a dog, whereas finger toothbrushes can provide better control and access to all the nooks and crannies in your dog's mouth. If you’re ever uncomfortable brushing your dog’s teeth, you can ask your dog groomer for help.

2. Dental Chews and Chew Toys: The Easier Way to Clean Teeth

Dental chews and chew toys not only provide a fun activity for your dog, but they also help reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. The act of gnawing on these essentials can help dislodge stuck food particles and stimulate saliva production, which helps clean their teeth and freshen their breath.

If your dog isn't a fan of dental chews, other chew toys or synthetic bones can be an alternative. However, ensure the toys are durable but not too hard to damage your dog's teeth. You can also add Yummers inside a Kong toy to help make teeth-cleaning more enjoyable for them.

3. Fresh Breath Starts with a Healthy Diet (and Yummers!)

Your dog's diet can significantly affect their oral health and breath freshness. Feeding your dog high-quality, easily digestible food like Yummers can help maintain their oral hygiene. Additionally, avoid giving your dog human food or food meant for other types of pets, as they could be unhealthy or toxic for your dog.

At Yummers, we make our gourmet recipes with only the best ingredients to help support your dog’s health. From freeze-dried favorites to supplements for specific health needs, we have a recipe for every pup!

4. Water Additives and Dog-Friendly Mouthwash

Similar to humans using mouthwash to freshen up their breath, dogs can also benefit from dog-friendly mouthwash or water additives. These products can help kill odor-causing bacteria on your dog's teeth and tongue. Avoid using human mouthwash as it can be harmful to dogs and instead opt for natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar. Remember to use these in small concentrations and find a flavor your dog enjoys, so they are excited to drink it.

5. Regular Cleaning of Food and Water Bowls

It's easy to overlook the cleanliness of your dog's food and water bowls. However, these can be breeding grounds for bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Aim to clean your dog's dishes daily, ensuring they are thoroughly washed. Stainless steel bowls are a good choice as they are less prone to developing bacteria compared to plastic or ceramic bowls. Don’t forget to mix their favorite Yummers recipe into their food to add more flavor, variety, and nutrients to every bite!

6. Vet Checkups and Professional Teeth Cleaning

Even with regular home dental care, it's crucial to have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. Your vet can reach those hard-to-access places and remove any plaque and bacteria that might have accumulated. Regular vet check-ups also help detect any potential underlying medical conditions that may be causing their bad breath.

DIY Fresh Breath Dog Treats

DIY Fresh Breath Dog Treats

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DIY Treat


  • 1/2 cup chopped green apples
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup curly parsley
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Yummers Digestive Supplement (1 tsp per 10 lbs of dog’s body weight)


blender with ingredients for DIY Fresh Breath Dog Treats
  1. Add ingredients to blender
  2. Blend ingredients
  3. Pour mixture into molds
  4. Freeze for 4-5 hours
  5. Serve to your pup for a tasty treat they’ll love!

These treats will not only help freshen up your dog's bad breath, but will also give them a fun and delicious way to take care of their oral health.

Dog Bad Breath: Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath?

Dog bad breath can be due to several reasons, including poor dental hygiene, dental and mouth disorders, or diseases that cause bad breath. If your dog has persistent bad breath and shows symptoms of other medical conditions, it's important to take them to the vet right away.

How Can I Improve My Dog's Bad Breath?

Improving your dog's bad breath can be as simple as brushing their teeth regularly, giving them dental chews, and taking them for professional dental cleanings. If your dog's bad breath persists despite these measures, it's important to consult with your vet to treat any underlying conditions.

How Often Should I Brush My Dog's Teeth and Have Their Teeth Cleaned?

You should aim to brush your dog's teeth at least 2-3 times per week, although daily brushing is ideal. Regular brushing helps prevent dental disease and bad breath. It's also recommended to take your dog for professional teeth cleaning at least once a year.