Smelly Breath Golden Retriever

The Best Dog Breath Freshener Options Australia

Our #1 Pick

Savourlife Australian Natural Dental Bars

The Best Value for Money

Savourlife Australian Natural Dental Bars

  • Contains mint and parsley for natural fresh breath
  • No artificial flavours or colours
  • Textured to naturally clean teeth while chewing
  • Made in Australia

Uh-oh, doggie breath! If your dog’s mouth suddenly smells disgusting, don’t feel bad. You are certainly not the only pet parent who thought that. But what can we do about it? Is there a breath mint for dogs that can just which the breath problems away?

Unfortunately, dogs don’t like mints, however, we’re here to help you find the best dog breath freshener available.


How to Choose a Dog Breath Freshener

When it comes to doggie breath, there is one thing we should say first: always look for the underlying cause before searching for quick-fix solutions.

Bad breath in dogs can be caused by a variety of issues, including cavities and periodontal disease, but not only. For example, bad breath can also be a sign of diabetes, kidney, or liver disease (1). For this reason, we would always advise consulting your veterinarian about persistent smelly breath issues in dogs.

Related: Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell?

However, sometimes there is no underlying cause you can treat. Some dogs simply have smelly breath. It might be the food they eat, or it might be something else, but if the dog is otherwise healthy, bad breath is not a problem for them. But it can be for you. If that’s the case, you might as well try some commercially available breath freshener for dogs.


Types of Breath Fresheners

When it comes to dog breath solutions, always wary of any products that promise instant fixes. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, there are certain products that can help, but not the same thing works for every dog. These are the main types of doggie breath fresheners:

Dental Treats

Dental treats are by far the easiest to use among all the breath freshening products. After all, what do dogs love more than being fed with treats? A good dental treat, or a dental stick can often be all it takes to deal with mild breath issues in dogs.

“Dental treats can either help physically remove plaque as your dog chews or may contain additives that promote a healthy oral environment.” - Riley Shugg, DVM, PetMD (2)

In short, some dental treats work by acting as a toothbrush and physically cleaning your dog’s teeth, while others use ingredients like those in toothpaste to keep the teeth clean. Finally, some also have aromatic components that will, at least temporarily, mask the foul smell coming from your dog’s mouth

Gels & Sprays

A quicker way, albeit less natural than dental treats, are various products that you’ll need to apply to your dog's mouth yourself. These often come in the form of a gel or a spray. They contain components that help clean the teeth and fight the bacteria in your dog’s mouth that cause bad breath. These products usually work very quickly and are a great solution in a pinch. However, they also often come in a minty flavour or something similar. The problem with that is that many dogs will hate the smell and will quickly learn to run away from the spray bottle like it’s the devil.

Water Additives

A relatively new solution on the market are various additives you can add to your dog’s water bowl. These additives contain active ingredients that fight plaque formation in your dog’s mouth. They are usually advertised as flavourless and colourless, but that’s not always the case. As you know, dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell and often refuse to drink water with additives. If you choose to try this route, consult your vet beforehand due to the potential adverse reactions to the ingredients in these products.

Dental Wipes

Dental wipes are another easy solution for your dog’s breath. Not as easy as feeding a dental treat, but a dental wipe allows you to clean your dog’s teeth with ease. Choose wipes with a pleasant scent and your dog’s mouth will be smelling nice within seconds.

A Note About Ingredients

If you care about what you put into your pooch’s body, dental care products are one area you should be especially careful about. Dental treats, for example, often contain a bunch of unnecessary ingredients such as artificial colourings and flavours. Not to mention that they are often basically made mostly from fillers like wheat or potato starch. Just take a look at some of the most popular products, and you’ll quickly notice the list gets too long and too confusing with all the mystery ingredients.

So what can one do about this? In the end, it’s up to you, as a pet parent, to make an informed decision. Some dental products for dogs are more effective and work more quickly than others because they contain active ingredients often used in dentistry like sodium bicarbonate or various phosphates. Now, in some cases of bad breath, these strong formulas might be a necessary solution, but it’s up to you to decide whether your dog needs that.

More natural versions of dental treats, on the other hand, don’t contain too much teeth-cleaning magic. They will often contain meat, as that’s the most natural thing for a dog to chew and rely on the chewy texture to help clean teeth. Some herbal aromatics might be added, like parsley and mint. This type of dental treat will probably have the same effect as feeding your dog a raw bone, but at least you know you are not giving your dog anything potentially harmful.


Dog Bad Breath Remedies 2022: Our Top Picks

Savourlife Australian Natural Dental Bars

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Contains mint and parsley for natural fresh breath
  • No artificial flavours or colours
  • Textured to naturally clean teeth while chewing
  • Made in Australia

The easiest solution for dealing with bad breath in dogs are dental chews. However, the main problem with various dental chews and sticks is that they contain a bunch of suspicious chemicals.

Considering that, the Savourlife Dental Bars come as a real refreshment because they are based on natural ingredients. The base ingredients in these bars are rice and kangaroo. While these are not the first thing we think about in connection to fresh breath, they are a good option for dog dental treats because these are foods that dogs love.

The Savourlife Australian Natural Dental Bars being tested by our independent expert team.

Savourlife Australian Natural Dental Bars being tested by our review team.

In addition to those, these sticks contain a mix of vitamins and minerals as well as things like tapioca, glycerine, and gelatine that give the treats their rugged texture. These dental bars are, in fact, quite tough, which allows them to gently clean your dog’s teeth while they chew.

Clean teeth are a necessity to prevent bad breath in dogs, but some dogs still have stinky breath even if their teeth are clean. For this reason, the Savourlife Dental Bars contain parsley and mint which help give a fresh note to your dog’s breath in a healthy and natural way.

Verified Review - 3/11/2021
They actually work
"My dog loves these chews. He takes longer to chew through them so they actually work. Not like other denture chews that he eats like lollies."

Pros

Cons

  • Contains mint and parsley for natural fresh breath
  • Might be too tough for dogs with sensitive teeth
  • No artificial flavours or colours
  • Textured to naturally clean teeth while chewing
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  • Made in Australia
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Greenies Original Dental Care Chews
  • Easy to use
  • Helps clean teeth without brushing
  • Special formula eliminates bad breath
  • Available in a range of sizes

Greenies are probably the most popular dog chew treat in the world. But do they work? Yes, to an extent. There seems to be something in the Greenies formula that does help freshen a dog’s breath. So, if that’s what you are looking for, go ahead and try these treats.

The Greenies treats are also designed to have a chewy texture that should, at least in theory, help clean the dog’s teeth mechanically. However, Greenies are noticeably softer than other similar products, and most dogs seem to go through them within seconds. If that is the case, it might not surprise you that your dog’s teeth will not get cleaned by simply chewing one Greenie treat per day.

The Greenies Original Dental Care Chews being tested by our independent expert team.

Greenies Original Dental Care Chews being tested by our review team.

Since clean teeth without tartar buildup are the main condition for fresh breath and good dental health overall, simply feeding Greenies is not a complete solution. However, they do appear to be exceptionally helpful in keeping the smelliness of your dog’s breath down.

Verified Review - 21/12/2021
Our Doodle LOVES these!
"Our Golden Doodle loves these greenies !! She gets them when we leave the house as a treat. She waits so patiently when she sees me grab the bag. One of her very favourite treats. Keeps her busy for a little while when we are gone. We get the Large for her, she is 30kg's ."

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Very long list of ingredients
  • Helps clean teeth without brushing
  • Special formula eliminates bad breath
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  • Available in a range of sizes
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#3: Quickest Dog Breath Freshener: TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Original Gel

TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Original Gel
  • Easy to use
  • Fresher breath within seconds
  • Helps fight plaque and tartar buildup

Do you sometimes wish you could simply give your dog a breath mint? Unfortunately, dogs usually don’t like mints made for humans, and they are not very good for them either. The closest to instant relief for dogs is probably the TropiClean fresh breath gel.

This gel works somewhat like a toothpaste that doesn’t need rinsing. To use it you, you need to apply two drops to your dog's teeth. As the dog starts licking around to get rid of the substance, the gel will spread across the surface of the teeth and the active formula will start eliminating plaque and tartar buildup. For best results, TropiClean recommends applying the gel daily.

The TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Original Gel being tested by our independent expert team.

TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Original Gel being tested by our review team.

The TropiClean formula also contains spearmint and green tea leaf extract which will freshen your dog’s breath almost instantaneously.

The thing we don’t like about TropiClean is how aggressive the ingredients on the list are. Spearmint and green tea certainly work for fresher breath, but not every dog will love the smell of those or even tolerate it.

Moreover, this product contains zinc chloride. This is a common ingredient in many mouthwash products made for humans due to its ability to neutralize bad breath, but zinc in high amounts can be toxic to dogs (3). While the concentration of zinc chloride in this gel is quite low, being careful about the dosage is still recommendable.

Verified Review - 01/09/2021
It works!!
"It took me 6+ months but I was able to get both of my chiweenies teeth to look fantastic. They were terrible when we first adopted them from the shelter. The vet said the only way would be a professional cleaning but I know now they just want that money! I was determined to try my best knowing my husband wouldn’t fork out $1000 to have teeth cleaned. I brushed their teeth once a day with this (now we’re down to once a week if that) and we give them one dentastix for a treat each night. Unbelievable difference."

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Slightly aggressive ingredients
  • Fresher breath within seconds
  • Helps fight plaque and tartar buildup
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  • List Element
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#4: Best Dental Wipes for Dogs: Vet’s Best Teeth Finger Pads

Vet’s Best Teeth Finger Pads
  • Shaped like your finger for ease of use
  • Freshens the breath
  • Helps reduce plaque

All the breath mints in the world will not help if there is some nasty food debris stuck in your dog's teeth! The quickest solution? Dental wipes! These dental wipes from Vet’s Best come soaked in a solution with active ingredients that help clean your pup’s teeth and freshen their breath.

These particular wipes are shaped as ‘finger pads’. That means you simply need to slip one over your finger and gently clean your dog’s teeth. The finger pad shape is more useful than one might think at first. Namely, other dental wipes that are not shaped as conveniently as these ones, but rather as regular wipes tend to be tiny, and this makes them quite awkward to use without dropping them. This can be dangerous as your dog could end up swallowing the wipe.

The Vet’s Best Teeth Finger Pads being tested by our independent expert team.

Vet’s Best Teeth Finger Pads being tested by our review team.

In any case, these moist dental finger pads are a great way to quickly freshen your dog’s breath as well as keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Verified Review - 16/01/2021
Great product!
"Very easy to use! The dogs don't mind it at all, as a professional dog walker I have a cleaning service for the dogs, these are so handy! Use is a circular motion and see what it removes you'll be amazing!"

Pros

Cons

  • Shaped like your finger for ease of use
  • Not all dogs like having their teeth touched
  • Freshens the breath
  • Helps reduce plaque
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#5: Most Effective Dental Chew: Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste

Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste
  • Chewy exterior helps mechanically clean the teeth
  • Toothpaste core for extra cleaning action
  • Breath-freshening ingredients
  • Prevents calculus formation

Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste is yet another dental chew that claims to fix your dog’s breath issues. However, what makes these chews different from other options is the brushless toothpaste core.

When you feed these chews, you are basically administering doggie toothpaste without having to place your finger in your canine companion’s mouth. The external layer gets the dog chewing, and the core actively cleans the teeth. Truth be told, this will only work if your dog spends some time chewing these treats rather than just swallowing them in two bites (they are quite small). Thus, Ark Naturals work best for smaller dogs who do not chew too aggressively. 

The Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste being tested by our independent expert team.

Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste being tested by our review team.

These treats seem to be quite effective in helping freshen a dog’s breath, and there are two reasons for this. The first one are the antibacterial and fragrant ingredients like cinnamon, alfalfa, and vanilla.

The second reason is the cleaning and calculus-preventing action of the toothpaste core. However, this is also the main problem we have with this product: it contains ingredients like sodium pyrophosphate and dicalcium phosphate (+more) which are known in dentistry to help fight cavities and plaque but are also not the healthiest ingredients for feeding dogs.

Verified Review - 20/01/2021
Works great fur child will love
"Great for the price... strong smell *cloves yet it is natural ingredients that really is working for my fur baby breath and he does not like Greenies or Dentastix which are too thick and hard on his teeth. These are perfect he loves em he gets excited about his 2x daily dental chew."

Pros

Cons

  • Chewy exterior helps mechanically clean the teeth
  • Aggressive formula
  • Toothpaste core for extra cleaning action
  • Contains sugars 
  • Breath-freshening ingredients
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  • Prevents calculus formation
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Final Thoughts

In the end, what’s the best breath freshener for dogs? Going with a good old dental chew treat is always a good place to start. We like the Savourlife dental bars because they are made with wholesome ingredients and have a tough texture that will keep a dog chewing for some time.

On the other hand, you might also try something like Greenies. They are not the healthiest treats, but they seem to work wonders against bad breath.

FAQ

How can I get rid of my dog’s bad breath?

The right way to get rid of a dog’s breath depends on what caused the breath issues in the first place. If your dog’s breath is mildly smelly, and it’s been like that their whole life, then this might just be natural, and it could be best to just let it be. Sometimes, bad breath in dogs can be caused by disease (periodontal, kidney, or liver…) and in that case, the key is in treating the underlying cause.

How can I freshen my dog's breath without brushing?

A dirty mouth is the number one cause of bad breath in dogs! Brushing their teeth is the easiest way to improve their condition (and keep their teeth healthy). However, this is not always possible, and some dogs don’t respond well to toothbrushes. So, what can you do in that case? Getting a good dental chew for your dog is one option. In that way, they will be able to clean their teeth, at least to an extent.

Can I use human toothpaste on my dog?

No, never use toothpaste made for humans on your dog. Most brands of toothpaste contain a bunch of ingredients that are not safe for dogs. For example, xylitol is a very common ingredient in toothpaste made for humans which can be toxic to dogs.

References

  1. Burke, A. July 08, 2021. “How to Get Rid of Stinky Dog Breath”. AKC. Retrieved April 18, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/get-rid-of-stinky-dog-breath/
  2. Shugg, R. February 15, 2022. “9 Reasons Your Dog Has Bad Breath”. PetMD. Retrieved April 18, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/symptoms/9-reasons-your-dog-has-bad-breath
  3. Austin, S. June 18, 2021. “Zinc Toxicity in Dogs & Cats”. Preventive Vet. Retrieved April 18, 2022. https://www.preventivevet.com/pets/zinc-toxicity-in-dogs-and-cats
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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