In this article you will find:
- What’s The Best Dog Food For Bad Breath? What to Look For?
- 7 Best Dog Food for Bad Breath
- Top Picks – Prescription Diet for Dental Health
- Non-Prescription Dog Foods for Bad Breath
- FAQs About Dogs and Their Dental Health
- What Dog Breeds Are Prone to Smelly Breath?
- How to Combat Bad Breath in Dogs?
- Is Dry Food Better in Reducing Bad Breaths in Dogs?
- What can I feed my dog for bad breath?
- Can dog food Make dog's breath stink?
- Why does my dog's breath stink so bad?
- Does wet food cause bad breath in dogs?
As pet parents, we definitely love our dogs so much, but let’s face it, our cuddle and nibble time with them would be greatly affected if their breath stinks.
While there can be several causes for this, your dog’s diet and bad oral hygiene are two of the top reasons. And that’s why it’s important to find the best dog food for bad breath as soon as possible, so we can kiss them again the way we used to.
However, we know you’ve been in this lane before. It can be hard and exhausting to choose a single or primary dog food that is best suitable for your canine companion. There are just a lot of options out there.
And while some are just as good as the others, some are way too unhealthy and ineffective in addressing oral health issues in dogs.
So, to narrow down your options, we’ve created a list featuring only the best dog foods out there for your pup’s acute or chronic bad breath.
Here at DogFood.Guide we have a dedicated mission to provide dog owners like you with well-researched information so they can provide the best care and nutrition to their dogs.
Our readers rely upon the dog food reviews, articles and recall alerts that we research and publish. We also routinely update and review our own reviews ensuring that any changes by manufacturers are brought to your attention.
DogFood.Guide is maintained by Mary Nielsen & her staff. Mary is an animal lover of both dogs and cats. She and her staff are passionate about animals and work hard to provide you with a wealth of information for you and your dog.
What’s The Best Dog Food For Bad Breath? What to Look For?
There are different factors to consider in choosing your dog’s dry or wet food to address his foul breath. Ultimately, the final choice that works best for your dog will have to depend on the current condition of his teeth and gums.
Hence, before you shift your dog to any dental health food, it’s recommended that you seek your vet’s advice first. Your pup may even need a good clean and comprehensive checkup done by an expert.
And you’ll never know if your dog may need a veterinarian prescribed diet or not if you won’t schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
When looking for the best dog food for bad breath, you should also remember that there are two major types to choose from: prescription and non-prescription diet. But don’t worry, because we will also cover both in our top picks below.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOODS FOR BAD BREATH
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Generally, when choosing a dental health food for your pooch, you have to consider his size and age. Younger, as well as smaller dogs, can benefit from a high fiber diet to help loosen up the plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth. For larger dogs, you’d definitely go for larger kibbles, also for the same reason.
Additionally, wet or dry food with slightly reduced protein content would also help by limiting one of the components of plaque.
You’d also want to look for a dental diet with slightly controlled calcium to help decrease the amount of plaque that hardens into tartar.
For dogs with periodontal diseases, you can seek advice from your veterinarian regarding the best veterinary diet.
If you have one in mind or if you want to try what we have included in our list below, you can ask your vet for a prescription because you can’t buy this type of dog food without it.
7 Best Dog Food for Bad Breath
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health
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Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care
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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Formula
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Oral Care
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Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
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Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
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Royal Canin Dental Care Small Dog
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- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health
- Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Formula
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Oral Care
- Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
- Royal Canin Dental Care Small Dog
Top Picks – Prescription Diet for Dental Health
1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health
Prescription diet doesn’t have to be boring and bland, and that’s exactly what Purina Pro Plan Dental Health Veterinary Diet is.
This recipe is packed with tasty and crunchy small bite kibbles that are uniquely shaped to scrape tartar off your dog’s teeth safely and effectively.
It’s crafted using high-quality lean protein from real chicken meats and is specially formulated by veterinarians, nutritionists, and researchers to reduce the buildup of tartar, and restore good dental health for dogs suffering from chronic bad breath.
It is so effective with this function that it was awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance.
Additionally, this recipe is loaded with other essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system, and overall health and wellness.
And to top it all, this formula is popular among dog owners for its excellent flavor profile. So, even if your dogs are picky eaters, they won’t have a hard time transitioning into this prescription diet.
2. Hill's Prescription Diet Dental Care
Ensuring your pet’s dental health may be more important than you think. The buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line can lead to long-term dental problems.
Studies even show the association between oral health issues and systemic diseases in dogs affecting the major organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.
Hill’s Science Prescription Dental Care Diet is clinically proven to promote oral health and bad breath in dogs.
This recipe has also been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for its effectiveness in reducing plaque, stain, and tartar buildup, which further helps in promoting fresh breath in canines.
This diet is not just good for dogs needing special attention to their oral health, but it’s also beneficial for pups who need help with their digestive health, immune system, and overall health.
It’s worth noting, though, that this is a prescription diet, so you would need to ask your vet for a prescription or authorization.
So, if you haven’t sought a vet consult, yet, maybe it’s high time that you should because you can’t purchase any prescription diet without the approval of your veterinarian.
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for small dogs with dental problems and bad breath.
It promotes good oral health with its proven triple action dental care in removing tartar and plaque buildup, preventing gingivitis, and eliminating bad breath in dogs.
Its size, shape, and special texture create an abrasive action with every bite, which helps produce a brushing effect to reduce the accumulation of plaque and tartar.
Additionally, it’s formulated to be a complete and balanced diet, apart from having special ingredients and features that make it effective in preventing dental problems and promoting fresh breath in small breed dogs.
It’s also packed with easily digestible high-quality protein, prebiotic, and fibers to help promote healthy digestion.
It features key nutrients that support skin and coat health, and it’s enriched with a proprietary blend of antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system and support cellular health.
Just like the first two dog foods featured above, this is also a prescription diet that requires veterinary authorization.
Non-Prescription Dog Foods for Bad Breath
1. Hill's Science Diet Adult Oral Care
Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care is one of the constant top picks for the best dry dog food for dogs with bad breath, and we are not surprised.
It features large kibbles and uses interlocking fiber technology which helps in cleaning dog’s teeth and in promoting fresher breath in dogs of all sizes.
This premium dog food for dental health uses wholesome ingredients such as chicken, and whole grain wheat.
It’s a low-calorie diet that provides dogs with precise nutrition, making it effective in helping your pup achieve and maintain a healthy body weight while also keeping his breath fresh all the time.
It’s also free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors that can be harmful to a dog’s overall health. And it’s loaded with nutrients that help support healthy skin, coat, and stool.
To top it all, this dental diet also contains antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and it’s packed with great-tasting ingredients that can make even mature and senior dogs wiggle their tail out of excitement.
2. Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
There is a Nutro Natural Choice dry food that is fit for dogs of all ages, sizes, and special health considerations.
This specific formula starts with high-quality protein and real lamb as its primary ingredient. Also, based on its price and what it has to offer, this dry dog food provides the best value for your money.
Each bite is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, natural fiber, and antioxidants to help promote good digestion, a healthy immune system, and overall health and wellness.
Additionally, aside from helping with dental health, this recipe is also specially formulated to help promote weight loss with its tailored protein and fiber content.
This premium dog food is crafted with ingredients that help gently scrape plaque accumulation from your dog’s teeth and gums.
The brushing effect brought with each bite of the crunchy and textured kibbles helps promote dental health and prevent bad breath among puppies, mature dogs, and senior canines.
Moreover, dental problems in dogs usually start with swollen gums. And the good thing is that this formula is loaded with anti-inflammatory nutrients that help with a dog’s nutritional deficiencies that contribute to his eventual teeth and gum infections.
This recipe is also non-GMO and is free of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy.
3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
Taste of the Wild is one of the most trusted dog food brands, so you can breathe well when feeding your pup any of their recipes.
And one of the notable features to almost, if not all of their formulas, is their use of novel proteins or meat sources that are not commonly used.
Hence, aside from providing your pup with the balanced nutrients that he needs to thrive each day, you can also protect him from the possibility of having allergic reactions.
This smoked salmon dry food is packed with high-quality protein to help promote bone health and support lean muscles.
Aside from its protein content, this recipe is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids, that don’t just help promote dental health.
Its important nutrients also help support your pup’s immune system, brain health, heart health, digestive system, skin and coat health, and overall wellbeing.
Also, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, peas, and dried beet pulp are just some of the fiber-rich ingredients in this recipe that help erode the plaque buildup in your dog’s mouth each time he chews.
To top it all, this premium dog food also comes in a reasonable price tag, so you are guaranteed to smell your dog’s fresh breath anytime soon without costing you a fortune.
4. Royal Canin Dental Care Small Dog
This dental care diet is specially formulated for smaller dogs to provide extra TLC to their gums and teeth. Small dogs are more prone to tartar accumulation, which causes bad breath and even periodontal diseases.
As such, transitioning your toy dog to a dental diet as soon as you notice any red flag can help in his good prognosis if he does have an underlying dental or medical condition.
Royal Canin Dental Care Diet is designed to maintain oral health by preventing plaque and tartar buildup.
It also features a special kibble with a distinct texture that encourages chewing and helps brush debris off his teeth to keep them smelling fresh and looking as pearly white as possible.
FAQs About Dogs and Their Dental Health
What Causes a Dog’s Bad Breath?
It can be easy to say that tartar buildup or eating smelly food is the primary cause of why your dog’s breath smells like poop. But we know that these are not the only reasons.
We can undermine the possibility that our dog’s foul breath is caused by more serious medical conditions, but we cannot stop it from causing harm to our pup.
Sometimes, being able to notice bad dog breath can pave way for your pup’s early diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. So, again, even if it’s easy to say that your pup’s foul breath is due to the food that he eats, or his poor dental health, it’s still best to consult your veterinarian.
Whether you like it or not, there can be far more serious reasons why your dog’s mouth stinks. Below are some of the common causes of bad breath dogs that might be afflicting your pooch:
Bad Oral Hygiene
Contrary to popular belief, we should also brush our dog’s teeth to avoid tartar and plaque buildup that can promote the growth of bacteria causing bad breath. It also helps to provide your pup with dog chews and dental treats that he can bite on.
If you can’t brush your pet’s teeth regularly, you can hire the service of a dog groomer. It’s really important to promote good dental health to ensure that your dog has clean teeth and gums all the time and to avoid future problems.
It might cause you extra to hire the service of a groomer, but over time, the absence of good oral health can lead to regular tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems, which can be more expensive to manage and treat.
Periodontal disease is the umbrella term for infections that involve a dog’s teeth, gums, and dental bones. It is primarily caused by bad oral hygiene, which starts when the bacteria inside a dog’s mouth form plaque that sticks to the teeth.
The minerals in a dog’s saliva harden the plaque, thereby transforming it into tartar. Eventually, the tartar buildup can trigger inflammation of the gums, which starts the first stage of periodontal disease, called gingivitis.
When it reaches its fourth and final stage, more than 50% of the connective tissues that support the teeth become rotten. Hence, tooth extraction is very much imminent by this time.
Dogs that eat poop will obviously have smelly breath, but if your dogs’ breath stinks like urine, chances are they did not drink urine. Instead, it may be caused by an underlying problem affecting their kidneys.
A urine odor breath is one of the indications of kidney problems in dogs, which are serious problems that need immediate veterinary guidance.
While kidney disease is a huge problem by itself, it can also be a secondary effect of a much serious or advanced medical condition. As such, it’s an emergency situation that warrants veterinary attention the soonest time possible.
Foul-smelling breath, coupled with vomiting, decreased appetite, and yellowish gums – these are common signs of liver disease in dogs.
So, if your pup’s bad breath is also paired with these other alarming symptoms, then, it’s best to consult your vet right away.
And just like kidney disease, liver problems can also be an indication of a much serious medical condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Canine diabetes is a serious medical condition that can have grave negative effects on a dog’s overall health when not managed on time.
Just like with humans, early diagnosis and treatment of canine diabetes can lead to a better prognosis. Diabetes is treatable, but timely and religious treatment should be enforced.
One of the common symptoms of canine diabetes is sweet or fruity breath. So, if your dog’s breath smells like he has just eaten loads of fruits and chocolates even if he did not, then, consider that a red flag already.
As always, it’s best to seek your vet’s advice, so tests can be done. If in case your pup really has diabetes, at least you can start him immediately with his treatment.
You can also make the needed changes to his lifestyle and diet gradually and as advised by your vet.
Unsanitary or Unpleasant Dietary Habits
No matter how full your dog’s tummy is, for some reason, their curiosity can get the best of them.
And maybe that’s why some dogs would dig on your garbage bin at home and eat rotten leftovers, while others find satisfaction in eating all kinds of poop or carcasses during your outdoor walk.
If your dog has this unpleasant habit, you should not feel alone. According to research, 24% of dogs will scavenge for poop once in their lifetime, while 16% would develop a condition called coprophagia, which will cause them to have poop-smelling breath regularly.
What Dog Breeds Are Prone to Smelly Breath?
Smaller dogs, toy dogs, in particular, are more prone to periodontal disease, which also makes them at risk for bad breath.
However, it’s important to remember that just because your dog’s breed isn’t prone to dental disease and foul breath doesn’t mean that you can take easy on their dental hygiene.
Aside from smaller breeds, dogs with narrow muzzles, such as Greyhounds are also prone to bad breath and dental problems because just like smaller dogs, their teeth are also close together. And the proximity of their teeth to each other promotes plaque buildup and tartar buildup.
Hence, it’s important to brush their teeth regularly and to provide them with dental treats or chews from a young age to prevent these buildups while also preventing boredom.
How to Combat Bad Breath in Dogs?
The most straightforward way to prevent bad breath in dogs is to brush their teeth regularly. It may be challenging at first, but once you start them young and you do it repeatedly, they will also get used to it. It would also help to be gentle with them and to give them their favorite dog treats after to create a positive experience.
Providing your dog with treats and chewable toys can also help in preventing plaque and tartar buildup, which are the main causes of bad breath and dental problems in dogs. Just make sure to choose a dog chew or toy that is appropriate for the size and age of your dog.
Additionally, giving your dog a healthy and balanced diet, and encouraging them to have an active lifestyle also helps in preventing chronic diseases, such as diabetes. And as mentioned earlier, this systemic disorder can also cause a foul, fruity breath in dogs.
And of course, you can shift your dog’s food to something that is friendlier to their breath and oral health, as a whole. If you are looking for more products to add to your dog’s oral hygiene, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your vet.
Is Dry Food Better in Reducing Bad Breaths in Dogs?
One of the common denominators among all of the featured dry foods in this guide is the special shape and texture of their kibbles. These physical features play an important role in preventing tartar and plaque buildup that leads to bad breath.
Additionally, wet food can easily lodge in between your dog’s teeth. And if you don’t brush his teeth regularly and provide him with dental chews and treats, it can cause bacteria buildup, which eventually leads to bad breath and dental problems.
What can I feed my dog for bad breath?
Just sprinkle some fresh mint leaves into your dog's food every morning and night and look forward to minty-fresh dog breath! By adding just a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl, you'll be giving him a an easy and effective way to lap up better breath.
Can dog food Make dog's breath stink?
Certain ingredients in your dog's food and/or treats could be negatively impacting your dog's digestive system, resulting in bad breath due to an imbalanced gut microbiome. Furthermore, nutrients missing from your dog's diet can also negatively affect your dog's oral health.
Why does my dog's breath stink so bad?
The most common causes of bad breath in dogs are bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Just like in humans, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Does wet food cause bad breath in dogs?
Dry food and wet food both have pros and cons when it comes to how they affect breath; some types of dry food can be better for teeth and helping keep the mouth clean overall, but wet food has more water which is also good for a dog's mouth.