We all have that moment when we walk in the door after a long day at work only and are greeted by our furry best friend with a sloppy wet kiss. Then, probably a bit of gagging once you get a whiff of our buddy’s breath. Moment ruined.
It doesn’t take long to dig out that box of minty treats and toss one to the floor. But what treats are actually best for battling the stinky breath your dog has.
In the search for the best dental treats to combat your dogs bad breath it’s important to keep ingredients in mind. There are two major ingredients that will take that nasty stink away; parsley and mint. Making sure that your dental sticks have one of these ingredients in them will help insure that bad breath doesn’t stick around for long.
When feeding your pet any type of treat, please make sure you are giving them the correct size and portions. If your dog swallows or gulps food instead of chewing it, consider the size of the treats carefully to prevent choking. Most treats are not safe for dogs smaller than 5 pounds or younger than 6 months of age. You should always have fresh drinking water available to your dog when feeding treats to them.
Treats Available in Stores
Greenies Dental Treats
Greenies are the most well known dental sticks for dogs on the market. Other than being recommended by veterinarians for at-home oral care, they are also made with ingredients that are easy for your pup to digest.
While most dog owners opt for the Original flavor, they also offer additional flavors such as Fresh, Blueberry and Pumpkin Spice. They also offer dental treats that are grain free, for puppies, and for weight management.
Greenies Fresh adds dried spearmint to this particular recipe to help freshen the breath. Greenies are shaped like a toothbrush to help fight plaque and tartar on your dogs teeth while the other end is shaped like a bone. Greenies are a VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) Accepted Product, and made in the USA!
These treats are not gluten-free, which isn’t a concern in most cases, unless your dog has a gluten intolerance.
Greenies are Offered in Four Sizes:
For Dogs 5-15 Lbs
For Dogs 15-25 Lbs
For Dogs 25-50 Lbs
For Dogs 50-100 Lbs
Pedigree Dentastix come in at a very close second. Dentastix come in a variety of meaty flavors for your dog like Fresh, Bacon, Beef, Chicken and Original. They also offer puppy and grain free options. Unlike Greenies, Dentastix have a patented ‘x’ shaped to them. While the look is different, this shape also helps fight plaque and tartar build ups.
Dentastix Are Offered In Four Sizes:
For Dogs 5-20 Lbs
For Dogs 7-22 Lbs
For Dogs 22-40 Lbs
For Dogs 40+ Lbs
Homemade Breath Saver Treats
If you’re not one for store bought treats, you’re still in luck. There are so many great homemade treat recipes out there that help fight bad breath, but these two are personal favorites of mine.
Pumpkin Apple Doggie Mints
(Recipe by damn Delicious)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
1 apple, grated
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
2.) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree and eggs on medium-high until well combined (1-2 minutes). Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
3.) Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Add apple, mint and parsley, beating just until incorporated.
4.) Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
5.) Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown (20-25 minutes.) Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats.
Let cool completely.
Doggie Breath Mints
(Recipe by The Nerdy Farm Wife)
6 oz container of plain unsweetened yogurt
a large pinch of fresh mint leaves
a large pinch of fresh parsley
1.) Blend all of the ingredients together.
2.) Spoon into ice trays.
3.) Freeze until solid.
4.) Remove from ice trays.
5.) Store in freezer bags in your freezer.
Other Breath Saving Options
On top of all the breath saving treats out there, there are other things you can do to keep your dogs breath from smelling foul.
Consider cleanings from your vet. If your dog has plaque and tartar build up, it’s recommended to get them to their vet for a teeth cleaning. Not only will your pups teeth get cleaned, but polished as well! Your vet will also check for any problems that could cause issues as your dog gets older.
Brush your dogs teeth at home. Your local pet supply store is likely to carry finger toothbrushes that you can just pop on your finger! There are usually a variety of flavors of toothpaste specially made for dogs. DO NOT use human toothpaste for your pup!
Give your dog something to chew on. This is an animals natural way of cleaning their teeth. If you aren’t sure what sort or chew toy you should give your dog, be sure to consult your vet.
Consider what you feed them. Wet dog foods tend to give dogs stinkier breath. If you already feed your dog a dry food, add some chopped up parsley to the bowl! It’s a natural breath freshener.
Other Great Treat Ideas for Your Golden Retriever
If you're looking for other great treat ideas for your golden retriever, check out our new book! It's filled with easy homemade treats that are good for you dog and your dog will love them.