The dog greets you after a long day. It comes bounding towards you, enveloping you in a hug and raining slopping kisses on you. This seems like an adorable movement between you and the pet. But what ruins this moment is the dog’s stinky breath. Have you had a similar experience?
The issue with bad breath is that it is often a sign of something being wrong with the dog. It could be poor oral hygiene, periodontal diseases, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, diet, and deficiencies.
Now, there are plenty of dog chews and treats on the market, and it can be overwhelming to pick one. This article will focus on helping you find the best dog treat for bad breath.
Our Top Recommendation for Dog Treats For Bad Breath!
A 4-in-1 NATURAL DOG DENTAL CHEW designed to clean teeth and help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Fights bad bacteria. A Natural Brushless Toothpaste for Medium Breeds. For best results, give two brushless chews per day. Recommended by veterans. Made with high-quality ingredients with no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives.
*We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you
- Top Dog Treats for Bad Breath
- 1. ARK Naturals Brushless Toothpaste
- 2. Merrick Fresh Kisses
- 3. Greenies Dental Treats
- 4. Vetality Brush Free Twist & Lick Dental Gel
- 5. Yummy Combs Dog Dental Treats
- 6. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews
- 7. Pedigree Dentastix
- 8. Pet Naturals Breath Bites
- Things to Consider When Buying Dog Treats for Bad Breath
Top Dog Treats for Bad Breath
Dental treats are not a substitute for regular dental check-ups, but they go a long way in keeping dental issues at bay. Now that we have gone through the overview of your top picks, let us explore each dental treat.
|ARK Naturals Brushless Toothpaste||• Abrasive teeth cleaner|
• Patented toothpaste center freshens breath
• Fights tartar and plaque
|Merrick Fresh Kisses||• All-natural ingredients|
• Unique brush design
• Cleans teeth and freshens breath
|Greenies Dental Treats||• Veterinary Oral Health Council accepted|
• Easy to digest
• Available in different varieties
|Vetality Brush Free Twist & Lick Dental Gel||• ProLong Technology keeps teeth clean for 24 hours|
• Eliminates bad breath
• Chicken-flavored gel
|Yummy Combs Dog Dental Treats||• Patented honeycomb shape|
• 360° dental flossing and scrubbing action
• Packed with nutrients
|OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews||• Cleans and protects teeth from bacteria|
• Freshens breath
• Available in different sizes
|Pedigree Dentastix||• Triple action cleaning|
• Available in different flavors
• Includes proteins, vitamins, and minerals
|Pet Naturals Breath Bites||• Reduces bad breath in mouth and digestive system|
• Chicken-liver flavored breath bites
• Manufactured in the USA
1. ARK Naturals Brushless Toothpaste
The ARK Naturals Brushless Toothpaste are dental chews that provide 4-in-1 benefits. It is a dental chew made up of two parts. Shaped like small logs, the outer ridge of the chew helps clean teeth and reduces staining.
In the center of the chew is Ark’s patented toothpaste. The toothpaste helps kill bacteria and eliminate the buildup of tartar and plaque, preventing bad breath.
Rice Flour, Honey, Water (For Processing), Glycerin, Canola Oil, Gelatin, Dried Cultured Whey, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Lecithin, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flax Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Cinnamon, Natural Flavor, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Clove, Alfalfa, Vanilla, Glucose Oxidase, Sodium Pyrophosphate.
If you rarely clean the pet’s teeth, it can lead to plaque buildup. This pushes the gums away from the tooth and creates more surface area for bacteria to grow.
The texture of the outer ridge of the dental chew can help abrasively clean the teeth and the gum line. The surface also polishes teeth and reduces staining.
The core of the dental chew contains the patented toothpaste by Ark. It is prepared from natural ingredients like vanilla, alfalfa, cinnamon, and clove. The toothpaste can kill harmful breath-causing bacteria and freshen the dog’s breath.
Available in Different Sizes
One of the best features of these dental chews is the varying sizes available. For example, the sizes offered according to dog breeds are:
- Brushless Toothpaste Mini – For small dog breeds under 8 lbs
- Brushless Toothpaste Small – For dog breeds 8 -20 lbs
- Brushless Toothpaste Medium – For dog breeds 20 – 40 lbs
- Brushless Toothpaste Large – For dog breeds over 40 lbs
The product is made using quality and natural ingredients. The dental chew is free of corn, soy, and wheat. There are no artificial colors or preservatives used while manufacturing.
- Abrasive cleaner
- Freshens breath
- Reduces plaque and tartar buildup
- Can be expensive
- Some pets may take time to get through the outer ridge
2. Merrick Fresh Kisses
Merrick’s is one of the famous brands of dental treats that are made in the USA. The unique design of the treat can effectively help clean your dog’s teeth. They are available in two varieties – mint-flavored and coconut + botanical oils. The ingredients used can keep your dog’s bad breath at bay. The texture of the breath strips is soft and chewy.
Pea Starch, Tapioca Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Calcium Alginate, Alfalfa Extract, Turmeric, Spearmint Oil.
The dental treats by Merrick’s are shaped like small brushes. Two brushes are connected in the middle while they face different directions.
When the dog chews on the treat, the brush twists and moves in two directions – up and down, so one chewing motion effectively cleans the top and bottom row teeth.
These breath strips are available in four different sizes. These sizes are:
- X-small: For dogs 5 – 15 lbs
- Small: For dogs 15 – 25 lbs
- Medium: For dogs 25 – 50 lbs
- Large: For dogs over 50 lbs
These dental breath strips are made using all-natural ingredients. They are tasty as well as healthy for pets. They are one of the few dental treats in the market that do not contain grains, gluten, or potatoes.
These easy-to-digest treats are crafted and cooked safely in the kitchens of the USA.
- Unique two-sided brush design
- Cleans teeth and freshens breath
- All-natural ingredients
- Limited flavors
- Large dogs may swallow the treat whole
Also Read: 5 Best Ground Cover for Dogs
3. Greenies Dental Treats
The primary goal for buying dental treats is that it should help clean the animal’s teeth and fight bad breath. The dental treats from Greenies do precisely that. The treats have a chewy and firm texture for them. The unique texture and the chewing motion help fight tartar and plaque.
The ingredients used to ensure your dog’s breaths are freshened up. The components are also highly soluble, making the treat easy on the dog’s tummy. The treats are available in four sizes – Teenie, Petite, Regular and Large.
Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Glycerin, Gelatin, Oat Fiber, Water, Lecithin, Natural Poultry Flavor, Minerals (Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium, Potassium Iodide), Dried Apple Pomace, Choline Chloride, Fruit Juice Color, Vitamins ( Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid), Turmeric Color.
If you are looking for a vet-recommended dental treat option, explore the range of treats Greenies offers. The VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) accepts dental treat.
The VOHC awards a Seal of Acceptance to products that meet the set conditions of effectively controlling plaque issues in dogs and cats. So you know you are buying dental treats from a trusted brand.
The Greenies Original are a popular variety that is tasty for pets and also keeps their teeth clean. But there are other varieties you can buy depending on your dog’s condition.
For example, a grain-free, easy-to-digest Greenies option is available if your dog does not digest grains well. There is a version available for puppies wherein the treats are designed to support teeth and jaw development.
Then you have dental treats for aging care. Compared to the Greenies Original version, these treats have a 50% softer texture.
Healthy Dental Treat
Apart from natural ingredients, the treat includes nutrients like vitamins and minerals. The ingredients section above provides the complete list of healthy nutrients available in the treat.
Suppose you are concerned about giving treats to your overweight dog. In that case, you could select a weight-management dental treat variety and ensure your pet’s teeth are taken care of.
- VOHC accepted
- Clean teeth and gums
- Breath-freshening dental treats
- Natural ingredients with the addition of vitamins and minerals
- Not suitable for dogs under six months of age
- Not ideal for dogs under 5 lbs
4. Vetality Brush Free Twist & Lick Dental Gel
It is a made-in-the-USA product that differs from the usual dental chews. It comes in the form of a gel that your pet can lick. The product packaging has a section at the bottom that, when twisted, pushes gel out from the top. The gel pushed out from two twists should be enough for small dogs. For large dogs, you will have to twist the dial four times.
Once the dog licks off the product, you can clean the top part with a paper towel. You can use the product two times a week. The manufacturer claims you can ditch the toothbrush with the use of this product.
Chlorhexidine, Baking Soda, ProLONG Technology (a proprietary blend of Sorbitol, Glycerin, Water, Soy Lecithin, and Mineral Oil), Natural Chicken Flavor.
The licking motion ensures the gel spreads uniformly across the dog’s teeth. The proprietary technology ensures that the ingredients safely bond with the teeth and gums and keep them in place 24 hours after the application.
The active ingredients control the buildup of plaque and tartar. They also protect the dog’s gums and eliminate bad breath.
Getting dogs to brush their teeth can be a hassle. If the pet-safe toothpaste tastes weird, the dog may not let you brush its teeth.
Vetality overcomes this challenge by making its gel taste like chicken. The other ingredients in the recipe are all safe and natural. Once your dog gets a taste of this gel, it will ask for more. Most customer reviews confirm the taste of this dental gel is well-approved by canines.
- Easy to use
- Get rids of bad breath
- Chicken flavored
- Cleans teeth and protects gums
- Expensive compared to other dental treats
- The application can get messy
5. Yummy Combs Dog Dental Treats
The dental treat from Yummy Combs is one of the unique options on the list of best dog treats for bad breath. The design of the treat is such that it doubles up as dental floss as well. The firm texture of the treat scrubs and cleans teeth more thoroughly than other dental treats. In addition, the treat is prepared using superior animal protein, which makes it a popular choice among canines.
The dental treat helps clean teeth right to the gum line, polish teeth, and reduce harmful plaque and tartar buildup. It also has a patent pending technology that ensures the treat is slippery, allowing it to be easily swallowed while minimizing the chances of choking.
Spray-Dried Chicken, Gelatin, Spray-Dried Casein, Dried Honey, Powdered Cellulose, Maltodextrins, Glycerin, Natural Liver Flavor, Salmon Oil, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Attapulgite Clay, Lecithin, Natural Smoke Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Monoglycerides Of Edible Fatty Acids, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Stearate, Turmeric, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, And Biotin) Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate And Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide) Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Yucca Schidigera Extract.
Patented Honeycomb Shape
As the name suggests, the dog treat is shaped like a honeycomb. It is the world’s first patented, uniquely designed dental chew. The deep pockets in the honeycomb make for superior cleaning as the teeth get cleaned up to the gum line.
The raised parts of the treat separating the pockets act as dental floss, getting inside those difficult-to-clean nooks and crannies. This helps eliminate bad breath from food and other foreign objects stuck in the dog’s mouth.
Healthy Treat Packed with Nutrients
This dental treat is a powerhouse of nutrients. It consists of 44% of superior animal protein. The ingredients are NON-GMO and all-natural. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives used.
Moreover, the treat includes nutrients that promote heart, joint, gut, skin, and coat health. Treats are often looked at as indulgences, but these honeycomb treats to ensure that even this indulgence is healthy.
Available in 5 Sizes
For your pet’s safety, it is best to stick with treats designed for their size. For example, the Yummy Combs treats are available in 5 sizes:
- XS: For dogs 5.5 – 12 lbs
- S: For dogs 13 – 25 lbs
- M: For dogs 26 – 50 lbs
- L: For dogs 51 – 100 lbs
- XL: For dogs over 100 lbs
- Patented honeycomb-shaped dental treat
- Packed with protein and healthy nutrients
- 360° dental flossing
- Reduces bad breath and tartar
- Not suitable for puppies
- It may be hard to chew for dogs with sensitive teeth
6. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews
OraVet is a brand that veterinarians trust. It is one of the dental chews that AKC recommends to help fight bad breath in dogs. The chew claims to clean dog teeth and keep them that way because of the ingredient delmopinol. The ingredient forms a barrier around the teeth, protecting them from harmful bacteria.
The chews are packaged into individual wraps. You can pop one out and give it to the pet. Initially, the treat will be tricky; once the dog chews, it will have a sticky texture. You can give one of these chews a day to the dog.
Pork Protein, Wheat, and Soy. * Each chew contains 0.7% (wt/wt) Delmopinal HCI delivered in a proprietary chewable formulation
Dual Action Cleaning
A distinguishing feature of the chew is that it cleans and protects the pet’s teeth. For example, as the dog chews on the treat, it dislodges plaque and cleans teeth down to the gum line. And delmopinol creates a barrier against bacteria.
Proven to Clean
Studies have shown that OraVet chews significantly reduce tartar, plaque, and bad breath in dogs. For example, dogs that received these chews showed a reduction of 57% in tartar, 39% in plaque, and 59% in bad breath.
Available in Different Sizes
The four sizes offered by OraVet are:
- Extra-Small: For dogs 3.5 – 9 lbs
- Small: For dogs 10 – 24 lbs
- Medium: For dogs 25 – 50 lbs
- Large: For dogs over 50 lbs
- Dual action that cleans and protects
- Cleans mouth and freshens up breath
- User-friendly packaging
- It can be harder to chew for smaller dogs
7. Pedigree Dentastix
One of the trusted brands manufacturing dental chew in the pet industry – Is pedigree. The treat comes in a unique X-shape. The texture of the treat is chewy. As the dog needs to work with the treat to break it down, the texture and chewing motion reach hard to get teeth and dislodge plaque.
The treat does not contain any added sugars or fillers. It includes vitamins, minerals, and proteins, which makes the treat a healthy option.
Rice Flour, Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Sufficient Water for Processing, Gelatin, Gum Arabic, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C], d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Parsley, Zinc Sulfate, Eucalyptus Oil, Green Tea Extract, Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin, Copper Sulfate.
Triple Action Cleaning
The dental treat has been clinically proven to clean teeth, reduce tartar buildup, and freshens up breath. When used as a part of the dog’s daily oral care routine, it can reduce tartar buildup by about 80%. Investing in the dental treat and consistently using it can save you money on vet visits in the future.
If your dog is picky or you want to add flavors to its routine, Dentastix has many flavors available. They are:
- Fresh minty
- Dual Bacon and Chicken
- Unique X-shape design for cleaning
- Triple action cleaning
- Variety of flavors
- Some dogs have had stomach upset with this treat
8. Pet Naturals Breath Bites
The breath bites by Pet Naturals attempt to freshen up your dog’s breath by treating the root cause of the issue. It contains ingredients that support a healthy digestive system. So, it is suitable for dogs that have sensitive or weak teeth. These are one of the soft chews available on the market.
The chews are manufactured in the USA and are approved by the NASC. The formulation of the product is such that it breaks down food debris stuck in your dog’s mouth. This helps clean teeth and improves overall oral hygiene.
(per 1 chew): Spirulina 100 mg yielding Chlorophyll 2 mg Parsley 70 mg Champignon Mushroom Extract (Champex™ brand) 30 mg Yucca Schidigera Extract 10 mg Cinnamon Powder 10 mg Inactive Ingredients: Brewers Yeast, Calcium Sulfate, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Mixed Tocopherols, Propionic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Alginate, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Oil.
Promotes healthy GI function
The chews contain ingredients like Spirulina, Parsley, Yucca extract, and Champignon mushroom extract. Spirulina provides a deodorizing effect. Yucca extracts alter hydrogen sulfide production in the gut, leading to odor reduction.
These ingredients help control flatulence, promote gut health, and stop odors at their source.
- Chicken-liver flavored soft chews
- Dental formulation improves oral hygiene
- Promotes gut health
- Not proven to be safe in pregnant animals
Things to Consider When Buying Dog Treats for Bad Breath
Dental chews and treats are efficient ways of caring for your dog’s teeth. They are not a substitute for brushing or dental check-ups, but they can surely help prevent dental issues. For example, a simple buildup of plaque can lead to inflamed gums, cavities, infection, and even tooth loss.
So, practices like giving the dog dental chew can prevent dental issues from escalating. It also keeps the dog engaged in an activity for some time.
With plenty of options in the marketplace, here are some pointers that can help you pick the right treat for your pet’s oral health.
- The dental chew should not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients.
- If your pet is allergic to soy or gluten, ensure you pick an allergen-free product.
- The dental treat should fulfill basic dental needs like preventing tartar buildup and eliminating bad breath.
- If your dog is picky, opt for meat-flavored treats.
- Pick the correct version of the dental treat according to your dog’s size.
- Follow the directions and recommendations mentioned in the packet.
- Look for customer reviews as they provide insight into long-term use and results of the product.
As always, with any chew or treat, you should monitor the pet while eating.
If poor oral hygiene is a concern, then start with basic practices like regular brushing and including dental treats in the pet’s routine.
What are the causes of bad breath in dogs?
Some common causes that can lead to bad breath in dogs are poor oral hygiene, dental or gum disease, foreign material like meat or bones stuck in the dog’s teeth, issues with the kidney or liver, unhealthy diet, diabetes, and oral tumors, among others.
What benefits do dental dog chew and treats offer?
The benefits of giving dental chews and treats to dogs are:
• Reduce teething pain
• Reduces tartar and plaque buildup
• Eliminates bad breath
• Can keep bored dogs engaged
• Chewing motion can relieve anxiety and stres
Are dental treats and chews an alternative to brushing and dental check-ups?
No, they are not. Dental treats and chews should always be considered supplements for brushing and dental check-ups. They can surely help reduce tartar, but the dentist can perform a complete deep clean-up.
How to prevent bad breath in dogs?
According to AKC, you can prevent bad breath in dogs by regularly brushing the dog’s teeth using a pet-safe toothpaste, providing dogs with chew toys and dental treats, water additives, and feeding dogs a quality and balanced diet.
When looking for the best dog treat for bad breath, consider factors like ingredients, application, flavor, treat size, cost, and customer reviews.
The above list consists of allergen-free, all-natural, flavorful, efficient, and cost-friendly dental treats options. We hope the list helped you pick the right dental treat for your pet.
Bad dog breath can be unpleasant, but it also indicates an issue with the dog’s health. Check with the vet for any underlying issues.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.