We love our dog. But not his bad breath. This is a common problem in older dogs, and our pup is closing in on 16 years.
Older dogs don’t digest food as easily as younger dogs. Their internal organs do not work as efficiently, resulting in more toxins in their body. They are also more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. These factors can all contribute to bad breath.
Of course, if it comes on suddenly, or it’s very severe, you need to contact your vet. Teeth cleaning may not be recommended for senior pets, as going under anesthesia is too risky for an elderly dog. (Since I’m not an animal care professional, I always recommend my readers to work closely with their own vet.)
Dog Mints for Bad Breath
Regular brushing, feeding your dog a healthy diet (more on this later), not feeding him offense smelling food and making sure he doesn’t eat his feces (some dogs do this), may help alleviate bad breath.
Special dog treats called Bone-A-Mints are also available. These bone-shaped, mint-flavored treats contain dill, fennel and parsley, herbs that help with digestion, for dogs as well as humans. Peppermint is also added. This medicinal plant has been used for centuries after meals, as it supports the digestive process.
Dog Treats for Bad Breath
The chlorophyll in these treats is added as a blood cleanser. Many people take this plant-based supplement as a health tonic. What I especially like about Bone-A-Mints is that they seem to work to help address the underlying causes of bad breath, instead of just covering it up.
Natural Remedy for Dogs Bad Breath
If your older dog has foul breath, you may want to discuss with your vet is the idea of putting your pet on a gluten-free or grain free diet. Last fall, our elderly dog was having a lot of trouble digesting his regular high-quality, but grain-based kibble. So we switched him to a grain-free formula.
This was grain-free kibble made by Taste of the Wild, which contains no grains and minimal carbohydrates. It also contains antioxidants (blueberries and raspberries), as well as probiotics to assist with the digestive process.
Because our dog was clearly failing before we changed his diet, I can’t help but think this food has helped him immensely. It also relieves me of the burden of cooking all his grain-free meals from scratch, although he still gets a lot of organic food table scraps.
Update: Our dog stayed on Taste of the Wild Kibble for about a year. His diet needs to be nearly grain free. Another option would have been to cook his meals from scratch. Because he’s hit the ripe old age of 15, this is what we’re doing now. I honestly believe organic people food is what’s best for dogs. But it’s not the most practical solution. For instance, we wouldn’t have been able to take a cross-country trip last summer, if we didn’t have good kibble. We had someone come in to feed and water our dog, and take him for walks. But we couldn’t expect a teenage dog sitter to cook organic meals.