As much as we all love our wonderful, four-legged friends, there’s no denying that their breath can sometimes be a little hard to handle. It’s for this reason that adding any one of the best dog breath fresheners in this guide to your canine care kit can prove essential.
AT A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Dog Breath Fresheners
- GREENIES Original Large Dog Natural Dental Treats – Our Top Pick
- Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Dental Spray
- Minties VetIQ Dog Dental Bone Treats
- Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid
- Arm and Hammer Advanced Care Dental Spray
Whether it’s a mint chew, a spray, or a solution that you simply mix with their water, these handy products ensure they enjoy better oral hygiene while you enjoy those cherished puppy cuddles without getting a face full of stinky dog breath.
Below, we’ve teamed up with our own pets to bring you our honest opinion (and theirs) on ten of the very best dog breath fresheners around.
Before we get into that however, there’s one important question we need to answer.
What Causes Bad Breath in Dogs?
The reasons why dogs get bad breath are the same reasons why you or I might get it.
Mostly, it comes down to oral hygiene. A build-up of plaque and tartar can leave them with a foul smell in their mouths. This is why we mainly went for dental products as they not only treat the symptoms (the bad breath) but also the root causes.
Of course, there are more benign reasons why your pooch’s breath may be a little funky. Again, just as with us humans, strong-tasting foods can leave an equally-as-strong aftertaste that can easily leave their breath smelling, *a little off* to put it nicely.
If you’re concerned about their breath and you’re convinced that you’re already taking care of their teeth, then checking on their diet may be a useful first course of action.
If you eliminate any offending foods and there’s still a problem, then it could be as harmless as the fact that some dog breeds have worse breath than others or it could be as serious as the fact that persistent bad breath can be a sign of health problems such as periodontal disease, liver and kidney disease or diabetes.
If you suspect it’s any of the latter, then it pays to consult your vet just to be on the safe side. If your dog is perfectly healthy but just has a bit of a stinky mouth, the following top ten dog breath fresheners should more than do the job.
Top 10 Best Dog Breath Fresheners[sc name=”best-dog-breath-freshener”]
1. GREENIES Original Large Dog Natural Dental Treats
Greenies are one of the leading names in doggy dental products and produce chews for pets of all sizes, but it’s these GREENIES Original Large Dog Natural Dental Treats that we love best.
Sure, that’s mostly because we love large dog breeds here at Canine Weekly, but honestly, even if we didn’t, we’d be hard-pressed to find a better brand of breath fresheners.
Each 54-ounce pack contains 34 dog treats with a unique texture which ensures that chewing them cleans right down to the gumline, combating plaque and tartar in the process
Another reason why we love these -and no doubt why they’re recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)- is that each chew is packed full of vitamins and minerals to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Most importantly of all, they do a great job of eliminating odors to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh all day long.
2. Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Dental Spray
Chews are great, and we’ll certainly meet more of them in this guide, but they’re not always the most suitable option.
For puppies, older dogs, or for any pet that has trouble digesting foods, a solid dog chew can do more harm than good.
That’s one of the main reasons why we love Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Dental Spray. Simply spray a bit in their mouths or add it to their water, and this non-toxic product gets to work on cleaning their teeth and gums, leaving them with fresher breath in the process.
It’s non-toxic, doesn’t contain grains, alcohol, or any pesticides, but does a great job of tackling plaque and tartar build-up as well as periodontal disease. Pets Are Kids Too also boast that their spray has a taste that dogs love, and judging by the countless positive customer reviews of this one, we have to say we’re inclined to agree.
3. Minties VetIQ Dog Dental Bone Treats
As you’ve probably already worked out from the name, Minties VetIQ Dog Dental Bone Treats have a cool, minty property that freshens their breath.
There are actually five different flavors in one bag here, including alfalfa, parsley, fennel, dill, and peppermint and while your pooch may have a preference, all of them ensure that you’ll have a much more pleasant (and much less smelly) experience if your dog likes to lick your face.
Of course, there is more to these than just the fresh smell. When they chew these treats, your dog will actively be rubbing them against their teeth which can clear away plaque and keep tartar under control.
They’re also gluten-free and contain zero wheat, corn, or soy, making them the perfect treat for dogs with dietary sensitivities.
4. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid
A popular alternative to chews and sprays, the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid is a water additive that you can simply mix into their water bowl.
The solution is made from the patented Denta-C, a scientifically-formulated blend of ingredients such as Vitamin C and Sodium Hexametaphosphate which has been proven to reduce plaque, promote healthy teeth and gums and, above all else, leave them with clean, fresh-smelling breath.
5. Arm and Hammer Advanced Care Dental Spray
Our pick of the best dog breath freshener for those on a budget, Arm and Hammer Advanced Care Dental Spray not only comes with an affordable price tag, but requires very little to be effective.
Just one or two pumps into their mouth will put the natural ingredients to work in freshening their breath. That means that a single bottle is going to last longer than your average pack of chews, ensuring better value for money.
Though Arm & Hammer do promise that this will clean your dog’s teeth too, it isn’t quite as effective as a stand-alone teeth-cleaner like some of the other products on this list are. However, if you need a convenient, portable, and affordable breath spray you can take with you simply to make their breath smell nicer while on the go, this will more than do the job.
6. Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats
Much like Greenies, the Milk-Bone Brand makes their Fresh Breath Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats available for dogs of all breed sizes.
This is great news for anyone who finds themselves frustrated when they come across what looks to be an effective brushing chew only to discover that it isn’t suitable for their pet.
While we’ve again picked the large-breed variety, the Milk-Bone brushing chews aimed at small and toy breeds are just as effective at reducing plaque build-up and come with the same calcium-fortified formula that keeps their teeth healthy and strong.
Lots of customer reviews state that their dogs love these treats, and while some say it takes more than a handful for them to be effective in freshening breath, we’ve generally found that a single chew works just as quickly as any other brand.
7. Fresh Breath by TropiClean
Another budget-friendly breath freshener for dogs, Fresh Breath by TropiClean is an affordable water additive that requires little more than a single capful of the formula per 16 ounces of water to be effective.
The main selling point here is that the blend of natural, active ingredients (including green tea extract and Zinc Gluconate) do a great job of eliminating the bacteria which lie at the root of many bad breath problems and help to control plaque and tartar build-up.
Unlike other breath fresheners, however, this one is flavorless, so rather than leaving them with a minty-fresh breath, it simply neutralizes bad odors and leaves them with pleasant, natural-smelling breath.
8. Purina DentaLife Oral Care Small and Toy Breed Mini Adult Dog Chew Treats
If you’re looking for the best dog breath fresheners for small dogs, then Purina DentaLife Oral Care Small and Toy Breed Mini Adult Dog Chew Treats have everything you could ask for and then some.
The unique design and texture of each bite-sized treat ensure that chewing gets them right down to the gumline to fight bad breath at its source.
Made in the USA, these treats forgo artificial flavors and flavors in favor of an all-natural blend that prominently features honey and spirulina.
We also like that they have a distinct chicken flavor which your dog may find pleasing, especially if they’re already familiar with other top Purina dog foods.
9. Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution
Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution is a water additive which we love because it takes practically no effort to use and which you might love if your special buddy doesn’t take too kindly to sprays or chews.
What we especially like about this one is that it’s both tasteless and odorless, so they won’t even realize that you’ve added any to their usual water. If you find that they can easily sniff out other water additives and don’t respond well to them, this may be a very welcome benefit.
Like other quality products, this one gets to the root cause of bad breath and has natural properties which fight plaque and control tartar, making this one of the easiest ways to provide all-round oral hygiene care.
10. Arm & Hammer for Pets Smilies Tartar Control Dental Treats for Dogs
Last but certainly not least, if you’re a fan of the Arm & Hammer brand but find that your dog didn’t respond well to the spray we looked at earlier, then these Arm & Hammer for Pets Smilies Tartar Control Dental Treats for Dogs may prove to be a valuable alternative.
Another affordable option, this value-sized tub contains 62 toothbrush-shaped chews made from a natural formula enhanced by baking soda which is well-known for its cleaning properties.
Some customer reviews claim that Arm & Hammer’s promise of “minty fresh breath” ends up being somewhat disappointing, with the mintiness not being as strong as they’d like, but they will at least neutralize bad breath.
Add in strong tartar-controlling properties and what you’ve got here is another quality option for keeping bad breath at bay.
How to Choose The Best Dog Breath Freshener: A Buyer’s Guide
With so many different types of dog breath fresheners out there, how do you pick the one that’s best for your beloved companion?
While budget may be an important factor as it is with most things, there are a few key aspects you may need to consider before determining which one to spend your hard-earned money on.
Type of Dog Breath Freshener
If you’ve read through our top ten reviews, you’ll no doubt have noted that most breath fresheners come in one of three formats:
- Water additives.
All three types have their good and bad points.
Chews are great if your dog tends to enjoy chewing on treats anyway, and the distinctive design means they’re often better for really getting into the gumline to reduce plaque and manage tartar, however they may not be such a good option if your pet has trouble chewing.
Sprays can work well if your dog is patient enough to let you spray them into their mouths, but they don’t always have the same kind of cleaning properties as chews, while flavorless water additives can be a good way of sneakily cleaning their teeth without them knowing it.
Tackling Symptoms vs. Causes
All dog breath fresheners do pretty much what they say they’re going to do in as much as they eliminate bad breath.
If your dog generally has good oral hygiene and doesn’t mind you cleaning their teeth but they do occasionally have smelly breath, then any breath freshener that simply eliminates odors will do just fine.
If, on the other hand, your dog doesn’t like having his teeth cleaned and doesn’t respond well to other attempts at taking care of their teeth and gums, then you’ll be better off choosing a breath freshener with good teeth-cleaning properties.
Since a lot of bad breath is usually caused by plaque and tartar build up, look for those products which promise to reduce and control these rather than just masking smelly breath.
Size of Your Dog
While this may not be relevant if you’re opting for a spray or water additive, if you’re going with chews, make sure that they’re suitable for the size of your dog.
Large, hard chews, for example, maybe too much for puppies and small dogs with tiny teeth, while those chews designed for smaller breeds may simply be ineffective going up against your Great Dane’s giant gnashers.
Of course, many of the bed brands will make their chews available in a variety of sizes so that you can choose them no matter how big, or small, your pet happens to be, but it’s still worth paying attention to what it says on the packaging about their suitability for your dog’s breed size.
Which is the Best Dog Breath Freshener of 2022? Our Verdict
So, keeping all that in mind, which is the best dog breath freshener to actually buy for your dog?
If you want our honest opinion, the answer to that all depends on what type of freshener is going to work best with your pooch.
If you’ve tried everything to clean their teeth and found that they reject regular toothbrushing, won’t let you spray anything in their mouths, and want nothing to do with chews, then you may need to do things ninja style and care for their oral health in a way that your dog can’t detect. As such, we’d recommend a water additive such as Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid.
If you’d prefer a spray option, then Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Dental Spray is premium by name and premium by nature. It’s a high-end quality product that proves itself to be very effective against things like periodontal disease and leaves them with fresh, clean-smelling breath.
If, on the other hand, you simply want the most effective way of all to take care of their teeth and gums, then you can’t go far wrong with Minties VetIQ Dog Dental Bone Treats. Though chews aren’t always suitable for every type of dog, for those that do enjoy nibbling on a tasty treat, these consistently prove to be the next best thing to actual tooth brushing and ensure that not only does their bad breath go away, but that the root causes of that bad breath are taken care of once and for all.