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What Is a Dog Breath Freshener?

What happens when good dogs go bad ... with their breath? Discover why stinky dog kisses should never be ignored, plus get the scoop on the different types of dog breath fresheners.

What Is a Dog Breath Freshener?

Dogs utterly adore their human parents ... and it’s not just opinion, it’s FACT! Science shows that just the smell of their "person" activates the reward center in a dog’s brain. (No other smell will do this – not even chicken treats!)

One of the top ways dogs show their love? By showering us with slobbery kisses, of course!

But if their breath is bad ... YUCK! That’s why adding a vet-recommended dog breath freshener into their daily routine is a great way to ensure we don’t have to shy away from sweet kisses.

Keep reading to discover all your options and see what’s right for you and your pup.

But First ... What’s Up With That Stinky Dog Breath?

Similar to when humans get bad breath, a lack of dental care is most often to blame for stinky dog breath.

Sure, you may notice a temporary smell if they’ve just gobbled up a bowl of dog food doused with salmon juice (my pet’s personal fave). However, if the bad breath is ongoing, then it’s likely due to plaque and tartar buildup.

Plaque and tartar are both filled with bacteria, which increase the number of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) found in the mouth. VSCs are what produce that nasty smell!

If you think your dog won’t get plaque, think again! Plaque is unavoidable. It naturally forms after meals as saliva, food and bacteria mix and mingle.

Left to party on the teeth, it can take pets down the path of gum disease, which affects more than 80% of dogs by age three. Advanced gum disease can shorten pets’ lives by several years and decrease their quality of life. (It’s painful and can affect their ability to chew food.)

Dog Breath Fresheners Explained

A dog breath freshener is exactly what it sounds like: a product that freshens a dog’s breath.

There are lots of products to choose from, but the most important thing is that the product doesn’t just MASK bad breath. (That doesn’t fix the problem.)

You’ll want a product that works because it’s removing plaque, which is the starting point of gum disease and bad dog breath.

Do Treats Work as Natural Dog Breath Fresheners?

Here’s some food for thought. In our own diets, crunchy, fibrous fruits and veggies (shout out to celery and apples) will help clean our teeth and remove plaque. But we wouldn’t eat those in place of brushing, would we?

Well, pets are no different. High-quality dental chews can help scrape plaque off their teeth, but they should not take the place of other dental options. (Before you choose a dental treat, be sure to read "3 things to watch out for with dental chews.")

What about all those DIY natural dog breath freshener recipes you can find online? They’re simply masking bad breath, rather than getting to the root of the problem. Additionally, many of them contain mint, which is a taste that dogs just don’t like.

Types of Dog Breath Fresheners

Pet Toothpastes

Using a vet-recommended dog toothpaste and getting into a routine of toothbrushing (done at least 3x a week to see benefits) is the gold standard of dog dental care. However, for many pet parents and their stubborn dogs who want to run from the toothbrush (or chew it up), this is just not feasible.

Tip: If you’re just as stubborn as your pet, using finger brushes (they slip on right over your finger) versus a toothbrush may make brushing more tolerable for your pet. And like anything, practice will make perfect.

Dental Sprays

Dental sprays are most effective as a supplement to oral care. They can instantly improve pet’s breath, which is super handy for when company pops over unannounced or you’re traveling with your pet. The key is to find a product that will control harmful bacteria in the mouth. This is where looking at product labels comes in handy.

Chlorhexidine is a tried-and-true antimicrobial that will do the job, but it does have a bitter taste and therefore requires masking agents. It can also lead to tooth staining. That’s why Oxyfresh Pet Dental Spray is so pupular (sorry). It’s formulated with proprietary Oxygene® (stabilized chlorine dioxide), a non-toxic oxidizer proven to work as well as chlorhexidine, yet it’s tasteless and odorless.

Tooth Wipes

Tooth wipes can be used after meals to help remove leftover food particles as well as plaque. If you go this route, be sure to roll with a compostable wipe, otherwise this is not the most eco-friendly option.

What If Dogs Hate Having Their Mouths Handled?

Toothpastes, dental sprays and wipes all require handling of a pet’s mouth. If your dog hates that and you want to be more hands-off, no worries.

Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive is a vet recommended dog breath freshener that’s easy, NO BRUSH and no fuss: just add to your dog’s water bowl and call it good!

It’s paws down the easiest way to freshen your dog’s breath, keep their teeth free of plaque and tartar, and support healthy gums.

Here’s what makes Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive stand out from the pack:

  • Free of Flavors – Green tea, rosemary extract, mint, rotisserie chicken, the list of flavors in other water additives is a long one! Imagine if your water was always flavored with this stuff. No thanks! Dogs want their water to taste like, well, water! (OK, granted, we’ve seen them drink from mud puddles, but you get the point.)
  • Free of FD&C Blue & Yellow Dyes: Just like dyes aren’t good for our own bodies, they’re not good for our pets!
  • Formulated with Oxygene®: Only Oxyfresh USA-made pet dental products contain proprietary Oxygene®, a non-toxic ingredient that oxidizes the bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque.

Just add Pet Dental Water Additive straight to your dog’s water bowl each day for a simple, no-brush dental routine. They’ll get a healthier smile with every drink, and best of all, they won’t even know it’s in there!

From being a Family Choice Award Winner to a top pick in a variety of doggy circles, this vet recommended dog breath freshener will work wonders for your dog’s smile and breath. But why take our word for it? Try Pet Dental Water Additive today and see for yourself!

oxyfresh pet water additive for fresh pet breath

melissa gulbranson oxyfresh cmo

Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.