How to Choose the Best Foods for Dogs with Bad Breath
Dogs may suffer from bad breath for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, there is an underlying health condition resulting in breath that smells far less than minty fresh. Other times, it is a dental issue at play.
Prior to addressing any dietary change for dogs with bad breath, it is a good idea to visit a veterinarian for a thorough wellness examination and assessment of the dog’s teeth and gums. The best foods for dogs with bad breath typically have a crunchy outer coating that helps to remove any accumulated plaque or tartar to help reduce unpleasant smelling breath and promote better oral health.
Among the problems that could be plaguing dogs with recurring bad breath are:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Periodontal disease
- Regular eating of garbage or feces
- Kidney or liver disease
- Tumors of the mouth
- Metabolic disorders
- Certain foods
Some dog breeds are naturally predisposed to having bad breath. For owners of these breeds, it is even more important to stay on top of proper oral care to prevent dental-related disease from occurring and to help keep bad breath at bay.
Because of their small mouths, toy breeds are particularly prone to tartar build up. Greyhounds also are known for dental issues and bad breath due to the narrowness of their muzzle.
Since wet foods easily stick to a dog’s mouth and gums, they are best avoided for dogs suffering from bad breath issues.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dogs with Bad Breath
It can be challenging trying to determine the correct amount of the best food for bad breath to feed a dog. As a basic guideline, it is a good idea to use the suggested serving size printed on the bag as a starting point. The amounts can then be adjusted to reflect the dog’s weight and appetite until the correct portion is found.
Free feeding is not recommended as it can lead to weight gain.
Adult dogs should be fed a high quality diet that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. By comparison, puppies require higher amounts of both of these items with 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat being ideal.
Dietary Requirements for Dogs with Bad Breath
Dogs that suffer from bad breath often also have dental issues, and thus, a food that helps to remove tartar buildup is a great help in reducing any offensive mouth odors. Most typically, a food that takes a lean meat as its primary ingredient is the best choice in a dog food for bad breath. However, since dogs suffering from oral odors often need a food that helps provide a scrubbing action against the teeth, plant-based proteins or a heavy emphasis on fiber-rich carbohydrates is often desirable to reduce bad breath.
The best foods for dogs with bad breath avoid the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. These ingredients are often common allergens for dogs and add little nutritional value to a dog’s diet.
Healthy fats play an important role in any excellent quality diet to promote canine wellness. These are best derived from animal sources and include such ingredients as chicken fat and oily fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and herring. Their emphasis on omega 3 and 6 fatty acids encourages coat and skin health.
Carbohydrates included in any diet for dogs with bad breath should be easily digestible and rich in antioxidants. Poor digestion can also play a role in bad breath. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and help form the basis of a premium quality diet for dogs.
Supplements can be a great help in ensuring excellent digestion, healthy skin, coat, and joints and can even help eliminate some of the causes that may be contributing to bad breath in dogs. Among the most beneficial ingredients to look for in the best food for dogs with bad breath are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
There are several natural ingredients owners can give to their dogs on their own or look for in a premium quality diet to help eliminate bad breath. These include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut oil
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Bad Breath
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a dog food for bad breath:
- Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list if possible
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
- Crafted with a hard, crunchy outer coating that provides scrubbing action for the teeth