Can You Give a Dog Mouthwash to Freshen Stinky Breath?

Can you give a dog mouthwash image showing dog breath and teeth

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One of the most common problems we address at Senior Dog Days is stinky, malodorous dog breath.  And with over 70% of dogs over the age of 3 showing signs of periodontal disease, it stands to reason that bad dog breath is a top concern of dog owners.

Can you give a dog human mouthwash?  

Many mouthwash and toothpaste products made for humans contain the artificial sweetener called Xylitol (Zy-la-tall) which even in tiny amounts can kill a dog. If your mouthwash doesn’t contain xylitol, it probably contains alcohols, fluoride or harsh chemicals that can harm your dog if swallowed or burn your dog’s mouth and digestive tract.  Never give your dog human mouthwash or human toothpaste for any reason.

Now let’s move onto mouthwash made for dog’s and other ways to freshen your dog’s breath.

Mouthwash Made for Dogs

Most mouthwash made for dogs (and cats) recommends 2 forms of administering.

Doggie Dental Additive (for Water Bowls) product link

Premium Pet Dental Spray (teeth spritzer) product link

And there are 2 ways to go about these administration methods: Iron Fist vs. Sly Fox. 

Since forcing a dog (iron fist) causes stress and dissolves trust, we are going to learn how to freshen our dog’s breath with pet mouthwash using the Sly Fox method.  In other words: we’re going to outsmart our best friend.

trick dog into taking breath freshener mouthwash

The Sly Fox process only takes a couple of day and when done properly, your dog will AGREE to drink water that contains breath freshener and your dog will AGREE to mouth spritzing. 

We’re going to start with the water bowl additive and that will be followed by dog mouthwash spritzer.

Adding Breath Freshener to Dog’s Water Bowl

Sly Fox Method

Dog’s smell everything before they taste it, so your dog is going to know something about his water is different.   And unless he’s really thirsty, he’s probably going to give you the stink eye if you simply try adding a freshener to the water bowl.  Therefore, the best results will be achieved when you take a day or two to acclimate your dog to the new smell.  Here’s how to improve results:

Step 1 – Day 1: Dab the dog breath freshener  on a paper towel and place the paper towel near (within 2 feet) your dog’s food and water bowl. 

Make sure your dog consumes at least 1 meal, preferably 2 meals with that scented paper towel nearby. This will get your dog used to smelling that scent near his or her food and water supply. 

Step 2 – Day 2: You’re going to do 2 things on this day.  1- Again, dab the paper towel with the dog breath freshener again and move it within 12 inches of your dog’s food and water.

2-Dab a little onto a treat dispensing toy or a favorite toy and play with your dog.   If your dog is having fun with his toy or using his treat dispensing toy without issue:  YOU HAVE SUCCESS! You may now move onto Step 3.

Step 3: Time to Freshen that Dog Breath! Keep the scented paper towel near your dog’s food and water but also add the tiniest amount (about ¼ of what’s recommended) to a generously filled doggie water bowl. 

image breath freshener added to dog water bowl
Start SLOW when Adding Freshener to Dog Water

Since it’s really all about “smell” for your dog, he or she should be in agreement that this new smell is acceptable.

Step 4: Gradually increase the amount until you reach the recommended dose for your dog. Never over dose your dog using these breath fresheners.

Now we’ll move onto the 2nd method which is mouth spritzing.

Spritzing Dog Mouthwash Breath Freshener Directly Onto Teeth

You’re going to use the same exact Sly Fox method as above only this time you’ll spritz the mouthwash onto the paper towel and leave it by your dog’s food and water dish. 

Step 1 – Day 1: Spritz the dog breath freshener on a paper towel and place the paper towel near (within 2 feet) your dog’s food and water bowl. 

Step 2 – Day 2: Again, spritz the paper towel with the dog breath freshener again and move it within 12 inches of your dog’s food and water and you’re also going to spritz a treat dispensing toy. You want to associate the scent with food and water, in other words…it’s going in the mouth on a regular basis.

If you think you’re ready to try spritzing,  the biggest obstacle now is whether or not your dog finds the “spritz” sound annoying or harmless. 

If your dog doesn’t mind the sound of a spray bottles you are ready to start using the dog mouthwash as directed. If, on the other hand, your dog freaks out when it comes to spray or spritz bottles, you can try (once again) to acclimate your dog to this new routine involving spray bottles.

A method that works like a charm is to fill a clean spray bottle with chicken broth or beef broth and introduce your dog to this new tasty spray.  Once your dog gets the hang of it, lift the gums and practice spraying it on the teeth.  It really should not take too long for your dog to agree to spray bottles using this method.

Dog Mouthwash – In Summary

There you have it; between one of these two methods, you are well on your way to fresher dog breath.  All you need now is dog friendly mouthwash and a couple of days using the Sly Fox method of getting your dog to drink water with breath freshener or allow teeth spritzing. Here are 2 recommended products on amazon:

Doggie Dental Additive (for Water Bowls)

Premium Pet Dental Spray (spritzer)

And of course Chewy has a comprehensive selection of dental hygiene for dogs including breath fresheners. You can find them here:

Stinky Dog Breath Remedy Line (link to products)

Remember; never give your dog human mouthwash or human toothpaste.  Even if the mouthwash label has words like “natural” or “organic” they could cause serious harm when used in dogs.  Makers like Tom’s, Jack and Jill, Justin’s, Dr.Organic, all boast of their quality, natural ingredients, but they all use xylitol and remember…xylitol in small amounts kills dogs. 

The toothpaste I use on my dog is Enzadent (link to product). You can learn all about it and how I use a waterpik to remove plaque from my dog’s teeth twice a week. Here is that article: Waterpiks for Dogs

Invest in a mouthwash for pets if you’re looking to incorporate a mouth rinse or breath freshening routine.   Use the Sly Fox approach and you should be pleasantly surprised with the results and start to enjoy fresh kisses

Thanks for visiting SeniorDogDays!

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Too Old for Teeth Cleaning?

Waterpiks for Dogs

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