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The 12 Best Dog Treats for Bad Breath [2022 Review]

Does your dog’s breath make you gag? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, bad dog breath is one of the most common complaints pet owners have. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to help combat this issue, including giving your dog dental treats and chews. That way you can still give your dog all the attention they deserve without having to hold your breath.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the four best dog treats for bad breath. We’ll also talk about why your dog’s breath smells so terrible in the first place, and how dental treats can help improve your pup’s overall health. Let’s dive in!

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Why does my dog’s breath smell so bad?

Bad breath in dogs is typically caused by plaque and tartar build-up on your dog’s teeth. This can result from poor dental hygiene, genetics, or certain medical conditions.

Regardless of the cause, bad breath is not only unpleasant for you bad breath can lead to periodontal disease in your dog’s dental health so it’s very important to help your dog keep their teeth clean.

How can giving my dog treats help with their bad breath?

Let’s face it, nobody likes a dog with bad breath. Not only is it unpleasant for you, but it can also be a sign of poor dental health. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to freshen your dog’s breath easily and they will enjoy it too!

For starters, give them dental treats and chews approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). These treats are designed to help remove plaque and tartar from your pup’s teeth.

As an added bonus, dog dental chews will also help keep your dog’s breath smelling nice and fresh and give it a great opportunity for a few minutes of canine enrichment to make its day better. So go ahead and give your pups the gift of fresher breath, they’ll thank you for it!

Benefits of dental treats and chews

The main benefit of dog dental chews for pet parents is that they will take care of your dog’s bad breath easily without the need to use a dog toothbrush every day. However, it is still a good idea to use quality dog toothpaste on a regular basis too in order to ensure your dog has the best care possible.

The biggest problem most pet owners face with using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste is that most puppies aren’t socialized to the feeling and flavor of these products, and they have an aversion to having their teeth brushed. This can lead to them running from you and hiding when you have decided it’s time to freshen their breath.

There are plenty of treats for bad breath available that can help freshen a dog’s breath and reward them with a yummy treat that keeps their teeth clean at the same time. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog treats for bad breath and the pros and cons of each.

Not only are the treats listed below good for the dog’s health, but many of them are veterinarian-recommended. Dog dental chews can provide an important source of exercise for lazy dogs, and they can also help to keep dogs busy and out of trouble. As an added bonus, many dental treats are also delicious, making them yummy dog treats that your dogs will love.

What are the 12 best dog treats for bad breath?

Here is a roundup of the best dog treats for bad breath.


Best overall

1) Bark Bright

5.0

Brand Highlights: Your dog deserves the best dental care just like you do! That’s why we recommend Bark Bright dental chews for dogs.

These delicious chicken-flavored treats, plus the Bark Bright triple enzymatic toothpaste, are packed with all the nutrients your pup needs to keep their pearly whites shining.

And because they’re chewable, they help remove plaque and tartar while your dog enjoys a tasty snack.

You can read my full Bark Bright Review for more information and details.

Pros:
  • Triple enzyme formula toothpaste
  • Monthly delivery
  • Great Price
  • Toothpaste flavor your dog will like (mean he will really love it!)
Cons:
  • Not sold in stores
  • Only one flavor option
  • Not VOHC approved yet
  • No options for young puppies

You can watch this video below to learn more about Bark Bright Dental.

Dental Chew Ingredients: Potato Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Gelatin, Pea Protein, Chicken

Toothpaste Ingredients: Water, Lactose-Free Skim Milk Powder Glycerol, Sorbitol, Chicken Powder Microcrystalline Cellulose, Alginate

Flavors: Tasty Chicken Flavor

Bottom Line: This is one of the best dog treats for bad breath in dogs, and it comes with triple enzymatic toothpaste for extra fresh breath.

Personal Experience: I love Bark Bright Dental Sticks for my own dog Marty. He is a Golden Retriever and he doesn’t like having his teeth brushed with a dog toothbrush. Bark Bright dental chews are his absolute favorite!

I give one to him every night before bed and he is always excited to accept one from me with a wagging tail. If you are looking for an easy way to freshen your dog’s breath, Bark Bright is for you.

You can read my full Bark Bright Review and list of pros and cons to learn more about this new product line.


Runner up

2) Greenies Original

5.0

Brand Highlights: Greenies are one of the best dog treats for bad breath in pets. They make a variety of flavors, including blueberry, and work to freshen the breath in dogs of all sizes. They are also approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s strict guidelines, which means that they’ve been proven to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. Making them one of our favorite options for our dog.

Pros:
  • VOHC Approved
  • Variety of flavors (including seasonal)
  • Multiple sizes for any weight dog
  • Best quality ingredients**
Cons:
  • More expensive than other brands
  • Some dogs may not be interested in the flavors
  • Not for puppies under 6 months

First 5 Ingredients: Wheat flour, glycerin, wheat gluten, gelatin, water

Flavors: Original, Chicken, Blueberry, Fresh, Puppy 6+ months

Bottom Line: These are some of the best dog treats for bad breath, and they come in a variety of flavors to suit all dogs. They are also VOHC-approved, which means they help reduce plaque and tartar.

Puppy Tip: If you have a puppy, make sure to get the Puppy formula as it is softer and easier for them to chew.

Personal Experience: Like many other dog owners out there, I have always loved the Greenies brand and the way that just one dental stick will remove terrible dog breath issues almost immediately. Before starting my dog Marty on Bark Bright I regularly used Greenies, I kept a container by his bed and tossed one to him every night to freshen his breath, and give him a fun little something to chew before bed. My personal opinion is that Greenies are one of the absolute best products for bad dog breath, and they work wonderfully. The only con I can think of is that they are pricy and you will need to use them daily to get the best result.


Greenie Alternative

3) Kirkland Chews

4.7

Brand Highlights: Kirkland dog treats for bad breath are a great alternative to greenies if you are a price-conscious consumer. Kirkland is the Costco brand and they sell these great dog chews for an affordable price. You can also purchase them on Amazon if you do not have a Costco near you. If you are looking to combat bad breath for a great value, this is the option for you. They are also grain-free and contain easy-to-digest ingredients.

Pros:
  • Best value
  • Grain-free
  • Easy-to-digest ingredients
Cons:
  • Not VOHC approved
  • Not sold in pet stores
  • Only one flavor option
  • Only one size option

First 5 Ingredients: Potato Starch, Soy Protein Isolate, Glycerin, Gelatin, Pea Protein

Flavors: Original Chicken

Bottom Line: These are some of the best dog treats for bad breath, and they can be purchased in bulk at your local Costco or ordered online.

Personal Experience: These dental chews are great if you like to get a good deal on quality dog treats. I have purchased boxes of these for my Golden Retriever and he enjoys every bite, and we enjoy his freshened breath. The price for a box of 72 dental chews is roughly $30 dollars, on the other hand, for 72 Greenies you would pay around $115 so there is no question that this is a bargain. However, there are a few things to know before switching your dog over from Greenies to these. First, these are NOT VOHC approved and when I gave them to my dog I could tell they did not work as well as the greenie brand (meaning I still had to brush my dog’s teeth to prevent plaque and bad breath). Second, they only come in one size (Costo size large), so you should look elsewhere for dental chews if you have a small or medium-sized dog as you cannot easily break these chews in half.


Contains Delmopinol

4) Oravet Chews

4.8

Brand Highlights: Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews are one of the best dog treats for bad breath as they contain delmopinol. Delmopinol is not currently found in any other dog dental chews and it helps to create a protective barrier to prevent bacteria and bad breath in dogs. If you want your dog’s teeth to sparkle with fresh breath then this is the breath freshener for you.

Pros:
  • VOHC Approved
  • Contains Delmopinol
  • Prevents bacterial and bad breath in dogs
Cons:
  • More expensive than other brands

First 5 Ingredients: Pork, Protein, Wheat, Soy, Delmopinol

Flavors: Chicken

Bottom Line: These are some of the best dog treats for bad breath, and they contain delmopinol which helps create a protective barrier to prevent bacteria and bad breath in dogs.


Longer Lasting Chews

5) Whimzees Brushzees

4.8

Brand Highlights: Dogs really love these edible, vegetarian, grain-free, long-lasting chews. These healthy chews contain no artificial flavors and fight plaque with their unique grooved design for dogs to enjoy. These treats have long ridges to help blood flow through your dog’s gum line and protect them from bad breath. If you want a dog treat that will reduce stinky dog breath and also be really healthy and fun for your dog to enjoy, then Whimzees is the way to go.

Pros:
  • VOHC Approved
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • Easy to digest
Cons:
  • Some dogs may not like the flavor

First 5 Ingredients: Potato starch, glycerin, powdered cellulose, lecithin, dried yeast

Flavors: Natural | Original

Bottom Line: Whimzees are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help promote healthy gums. They are easy to digest and do not contain any artificial ingredients.


VOHC Approved

6)Purina DentaLife

5.0

Brand Highlights: Purina is a classic dog and cat food brand but they also make great treats and dental products for your pet as well. And with the veterinary oral health council’s strict seal of approval on their DentaLife chews, your dog will have freshened breath in no time.

Pros:
  • VOHC Approved
  • Great Chicken Flavor
Cons:
  • Hard to find in stores

First 5 Ingredients: Rice, Glycerin, wheat flour, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Malted Barley Flour

Flavors: Chicken Flavor

Bottom Line: Purina DentaLife chews are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help promote healthy gums.


Fresh Flavor

7) Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent

5.0

Brand Highlights: Virbac C.E.T. Veggie Dent chews are a wonderful choice for pet owners who already use the Virbac C.E.T. toothpaste or just want to clean their dog’s teeth without the hassle of a toothbrush. These healthy dog treats also contain probiotics to help aid digestion for your dog. There are also options for dental + mental health and dental + join support for an added daily supplement to your dog’s dental routine.

Pros:
  • VOHC Approved
  • 3 Healthy Options
  • Vitamins and Minerals
Cons:
  • Hard to find in stores

First 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Glycerin, Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Brewers Dried Yeast

Flavors: Fresh Mint

Bottom Line: Virbac C.E.T. Veggie Dent chews are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help prevent dental disease in dogs of all ages.


Baking Soda Enhanced Formula

8) Arm & Hammer Twisters

4.7

Brand Highlights: Arm & Hammer is a leading dog dental brand with different kinds of toothpaste and clean teeth treats. Dogs love their flavor and benefit from the baking soda that whitens and helps to fight bad breath. These twister chews are a great alternative to rawhide chews and are made with natural ingredients.

Pros:
  • Baking soda-enhanced formula
  • Whitens teeth and helps reduce bad breath
  • Made with natural ingredients
Cons:
  • Not VOHC approved

First 5 Ingredients: Tapioca Starch, Glycerin, Glutinous Rice Flour, Wheat Gluten, Dehydrated Chicken

Flavors: Banana, Blueberry, Strawberry, Apple, Mint

Bottom Line: These large dog treats contain baking soda which helps to whiten teeth and prevent bad breath. They are also made with natural ingredients and are a great alternative to rawhide chews.


Fun Flavors

9) Merrick Fresh Kisses

4.7

Brand Highlights:

Merrick Fresh Kisses is another favorite when it comes to your pet’s teeth. With no artificial preservatives and all-natural flavors like coconut oil, this daily chew is bound to help your dog love their daily brushing routine.

Pros:
  • Coconut oil
  • All natural ingredients
  • Grain-free
  • Potato-free
  • Sold in most pet stores
Cons:
  • Not VOHC approved

First 5 Ingredients: Pea Starch, Tapioca Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil

Flavors: Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), Coconut Oil, Mint

Bottom Line: Merrick Fresh Kisses are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help promote healthy gums. They are grain-free and potato-free and do not contain any artificial ingredients.


Daily Dental Dog Treats

10) Milk-Bone Brushing Chews

4.4

Brand Highlights: Milk-Bone is another classic dog treat brand that also makes products for your pup’s breath. They come veterinarian recommended and will make you enjoy your puppy kisses again. The unique shape helps reduce plaque buildup and promotes gum health in dogs. Your pup’s teeth will thank you if you decide to buy them some Milk-Bone Daily Dental Dog Treats. And for around $10 a bag, you are getting quite the deal.

Pros:
  • VOHC Seal of approval
  • Great Price Point
Cons:
  • Chicken by-product
  • Some reviewers mention digestive issues

First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken By-product Meal, Propylene Glycol, Dried Skim Milk

Flavors: Natural | Original

Bottom Line: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help promote healthy gums. They are VOHC approved and have a great price point. However, some reviewers mention digestive sensitivities.


Best for Digestion

11)Bocce’s Bakery Daily Support

4.7

Brand Highlights: If you are looking for great quality ingredients and a dog treat that is baked in the USA, then Bocce’s Bakery Brushy Bites are for you. These dental chews for dogs are wheat free, made with 100% real ingredients, and will freshen breath quickly. These are some of the best dog dental bites for pups with food sensitivities or tummy troubles.

Pros:
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Good for sensitive stomachs
  • Made in the USA
Cons:
  • Hard to find in stores
  • Not VOHC approved

First 5 Ingredients: Oat Flour, Flaxseed, Coconut Glycerin, Apples, Molasses

Flavors: Fresh mint

Bottom Line: Bocce’s Bakery Daily Support dog treats are best for digestion and freshening breath. They are made with quality ingredients and are wheat free. However, they are not VOHC-approved and can be hard to find in stores.


Carrot Flavor

12) Zuke’s Z-Bones

4.5

Brand Highlights: Zuke’s makes quality dog treats and chews and you may have already bought some of their other training products. That’s why Zuke’s Z-Bones are on our list of top treats to reduce bad breath in dogs. Zuke’s is very proud of its ingredients and boasts of healthy contents like carrots, pumpkin, pea-fiber, parsley, and alfalfa just to name a few.

Pros:
  • Great Ingredients
  • Fun carrot flavor
  • Fun for dogs
  • Made in the USA
Cons:
  • Not VOHC approved

First 5 Ingredients: Whole Ground Potatoes, Ground Peas, Vegetable Glycerin, Pea Protein, Pea Fiber

Flavors: Carrot

Bottom Line: Zuke’s Z-Bones are a great way to reduce bad breath in dogs and also help promote healthy gums. They are made in the USA and have great ingredients. However, they are not VOHC-approved.


FAQ

How often can I give my dog greenies?

You can give your dog one greenie per day. It is not recommended to give more than one dental chew to a dog as you may upset your dog’s stomach.

Should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Yes, you should brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a toothbrush and doggy toothpaste. You can read our review of the best dog toothpaste if you want to learn more about brushing your dog’s teeth.

How often should my dog get his teeth checked by a vet?

It is generally recommended that you take your dog to the vet for a dental checkup every 12 months. Giving your dog a dental treat does not mean they should miss a vet checkup.

Further Reading

8 Breeds Prone to Dental Disease – PetMD

Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment – Lake Cross Veterinary

New Puppy Checklist: The Ultimate Pre-Adoption Guide – Heather Lipson Blog

Conclusion

If your dog has bad breath, there are a number of different dog treats that can help to reduce it. These include greenies, Virbac C.E.T. Veggie Dent, Purina DentaLife, and Milk-Bone Brushing Chews. All of these treats are designed to help clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath. Be sure to give your pet dental chews as part of a healthy oral care routine that also includes regular brushing and dental checkups. And remember to look for the Veterinary oral health council (VOHC) seal on the products you choose for your dog.

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