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The 7 Best Dog Foods For Bad Breath

Nothing can convince you that a dog is not the prettiest thing in the world when you first receive one. Puppy odors, on the other hand, change as they get older. While puppy kisses are cute, it's never a good sign when their tongues smell like trashcans.

If your beloved canine has acquired halitosis, the technical name for foul breath, you may be wondering what you can do to restore your dog's health.

Examining your dog's nutrition is one of the first steps in addressing foul breath. There are several dog food products on the market with dental remedies, but it might be difficult to locate one that works as stated.

Fortunately, we've done the legwork for you. We discovered the greatest brands and reviewed them all. Here is BestForPets's (bestforpets.org) recommendation for the best dog foods for bad breath.


Iams Proactive Health 10181499

Iams Proactive Health Dog Food is a nutritious dry dog food that will help your dog’s health and well-being.

The dry kibble promotes healthy gums and teeth, which is ideal for dogs with gum sensitivity. It might assist to get rid of and prevent bad breath by gently cleaning the teeth with the kibble.

This grain-free, allergen-friendly dry dog food is suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It contains important vitamins and minerals that support and nourish the skin and hair, keeping your dog’s fur silky and lustrous, making it the finest dog food for bad breath.

Iams is significantly less expensive than other products, especially for a grain-free dog. It does, however, include chicken by-product, which is a low-quality protein source.

Aside from that, we discovered Iams 10181499 Proactive Health Dog Food to be the finest overall dog food for foul breath.


  • Aids in the maintenance of healthy gums and teeth
  • Can help to minimize plaque accumulation
  • Recipe that is grain-free and allergen-free.
  • Helps and nourishes the skin and coat
  • On the cheaper end of the spectrum


  • Contains a by-product of chicken


Hill’s Science Diet 9281

Hill’s 9281 Science Diet Adult Dental Care Dog Food is a dry dog kibble that helps your dog’s oral health.

It washes your dog’s teeth clean to help lift surface stains, leaving his mouth fresher and brighter. It also aids in the prevention of tartar and plaque accumulation, which can contribute to cavities and tooth decay.

Another excellent aspect of this dog chow is the presence of Omega-6, which nourishes the skin and softens the coat. It’s also less expensive than other products, so it won’t break the bank to enhance your dog’s oral health.

This dog chow contains wheat, maize, and soy, all of which are known food allergies that can cause itchy skin and irritation. The other concern is the large kibble size, which might be difficult for smaller dogs to chew.

Aside from these two issues, we suggest Hill’s 9281 Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food as the finest dog kibble for bad breath for the money.


  • Aids in the prevention of tartar and plaque accumulation
  • Cleans the teeth to help lift surface stains.
  • Omega-6 is present for skin and coat health.
  • When compared to other brands, it is less costly.


  • Wheat, corn, and soy are all present.
  • Large kibble sizes might be difficult to chew.



ROYAL CANIN Dental Dry Dog Food is a high-quality dog food that is particularly formulated to address dental issues and foul breath.

The mixture contains prescription-grade dental cleaning chemicals that help reduce plaque and tartar formation while also lowering the risk of gingivitis.

It’s formulated with extra crunchy kibble that gently scrubs and removes contaminants that cause cavities while your dog eats.

It’s also fortified for a complete diet, so you won’t have to feed it with another meal to provide your dog with the vital nutrients it needs on a regular basis. It does, however, contain fillers and byproducts, with maize listed as the first ingredient rather than meat.

It can be difficult for little dogs to chew, therefore it may not be suitable for toy-sized dogs that struggle with larger kibble.

Dental Dry is also more expensive than other dog food products and requires a veterinary prescription, so it’s not the ideal option if money is tight.

Otherwise, ROYAL CANIN Dental Dry Dog Food is an excellent premium dog food that can aid in the battle against and prevention of foul breath.


  • Contains chemicals for dental cleaning
  • Extra crunchy kibble helps to clean teeth.
  • For a full diet, fortified


  • Fillers and byproducts are present.
  • Expensive, and a prescription is required.
  • Small dogs may find it difficult to chew.


Hill’s 4005

Hill’s Prescription Diet 4005 T/D Dental Health dog food resembles Royal Canin dental food. The distinctive kibble form is intended to clean between your dog’s teeth, removing any food or plaque accumulation.

The formula contains components that battle germs that cause halitosis, which is what causes your dog’s breath to stink.

Unfortunately, Hill’s is also high in fillers and byproducts, so it may not be suitable for dogs with food allergies or on limited ingredient diets. Because the kibble is firm and dry, it may be difficult for smaller dogs to chew.

Flavor appears to be missing in this dog food as well, with some dogs not like the taste. It’s also a high-end, costly diet that requires a veterinary prescription, so it’s not a smart option if you’re looking to save money.

If all other choices have been exhausted, Hill’s Science Diet T/D may be a final resort.


  • The unique form of the kibble cleans between the teeth.
  • Contains antibacterial compounds


  • Fillers and byproducts are present.
  • Kibble can be difficult to chew.
  • Some dogs dislike the flavor.
  • Expensive, and a prescription is required.


After carefully researching and comparing each dog food product, we determined that Iams Proactive Health Dog Food was the best overall. It can aid in the reduction of bad breath and plaque accumulation without compromising flavor.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food is the finest dog food for bad breath in terms of value. It’s a low-cost approach that employs cleaning agents to keep teeth clean.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope we’ve made it easier for you to discover a solution to your dog’s smelly breath problem. With your dog’s safety in mind, we sought the best dog foods for bad breath available.

Buyer's Guide

What causes halitosis in dogs?

Bad breath in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors throughout the body. Gastrointestinal issues, from the small to the severe, such as an imbalance of healthy and bad bacteria, can generate circumstances for stinky breath.

Dental problems ranging from fractured teeth to periodontal disease all include the accumulation of germs, which generates odor, and are the most prevalent causes of foul breath.

What effects does nutrition have on breath?

Certain meals interact with a dog’s natural body chemistry to produce an unpleasant breath odor, or they may have picked up an odor from something they shoved their nose and mouth into during outside adventures.

Food that does not address your dog’s digestive health might also create chronic foul breath. Once you and your veterinarian have identified the appropriate meal, it can also supply a remedy.

Is dental health that critical?

A dog’s mouth is used for more than just eating. Dogs use their lips to investigate their surroundings, licking, chewing, and tasting objects that are not designed for them.

With diseased gums, fractured teeth, and periodontal disease, using their mouth causes a lot of agony, and it won’t be long until eating isn’t worth it, leading to other health issues.

Dogs who are unable to use their jaws as they normally do might become listless and melancholy.

What is the mechanism through which dog food actively removes tartar?

Hard kibble dog food can aggressively rub against the tooth’s outer surface when chewing, naturally removing tartar. This, thankfully, avoids the accumulation of germs within tartar deposits, which can also lodge beneath the gumline.

Various dog food recipes take advantage of this by incorporating various textures that effectively scrape away tartar and precise size and shape of kibble to keep them chewing for an extended period of time.

Is dry dog food the only method to keep plaque at bay?

Some doctors advise dog owners with dental concerns to avoid moist food since it can enter under the gumline more easily and promote bacteria accumulation.

However, several canned food formulae are now available on the market with textures that are less prone to lodge between teeth and ingredients that prevent plaque formation.

What should I do in addition to a nutritious diet to support my dog’s oral health?

If your dog will let you brush his or her teeth, this is an excellent approach to prevent unpleasant and severe dental problems. Just as the bristles extend between teeth and into the gumline for people, they may remove plaque from dogs’ mouths.

Furthermore, getting a dental examination and teeth cleaning with your veterinarian may detect any red flag health concerns and let you to address them as soon as possible.

Should I take my dog to the vet since he has terrible breath all the time?

Bad breath is frequently the first indicator of a more serious health condition. Your dog may have allergies, anxiety, dental or gastrointestinal issues that are not visible from the exterior.

A veterinarian’s skilled eyes will most likely be able to diagnose the problem promptly, or they may decide the necessity for internal tests, which may save a lot of suffering and money in the long run.

Is terrible dog breath an indication of diabetes?

If you notice a sweet, fruity odor coming from your dog’s mouth, he or she may be diabetic, and you should contact your veterinarian right once.

Because diabetic dogs have difficulty breaking down glucose, the accumulation of ketones in their system produces a fruity odor.

Do fish-containing dog meals create foul breath?

Fish is a safe element in dog food since it provides a lean protein. Fishy odors are unlikely to stay in dog food packages or cans, especially after heating and making the completed meal.

If the food itself causes an allergy in your dog or is otherwise unsuitable, poor breath might be a side effect.

Isn’t foul breath common in dogs?

Let’s be honest: none of us always smell like a meadow. We adore our dogs nonetheless, and sloppy puppy kisses are definitely worth a little doggie odor.

Dog breath, on the other hand, should be simply a moderate, natural mouth/saliva odor. An underlying strong odor might be nothing more than especially stinky food, but if it persists, it’s not anything you should ignore.

Kibble Dimensions

Whether you pick a prescription meal with proprietary technology kibble form and consistency, or just the perfect size and crunch, the ability of kibble to shake plaque free from teeth helps keep your pet’s breath fresh.

The crunching movement provides friction that does not prematurely destroy the protecting enamel and loosens plaque accumulation. Many manufacturers now provide huge kibble that needs lengthy chewing for large animals.

Smaller bites are also available for smaller dogs. Whatever the size of the dog and the kibble, they must be compatible so that the kibble is eaten rather than ingested whole.

Dental Health Promoting Ingredients

Calcium is a mineral

Strengthens dental enamel and directly nourishes bones and teeth

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate 

Encourage a robust tooth enamel structure

Fatty acids

Lipids are vital to the health of numerous tissues, and they especially limit the inflammatory response in the gums, preventing the development of periodontal disease.


These, among other things, protect tissues like gums from free radical damage, aiding in the prevention of gum inflammation and periodontal disease.

Digestion Aiding Ingredients


These feed the beneficial bacteria that line the gastrointestinal system.


Probiotics are one type of good bacteria that helps in the breakdown of meals and the removal of bad bacteria. They help keep a dog’s mouth clean and helpful by displacing harmful bacteria between teeth and in gumline areas.

Excellent Taste

For it to work, your dog must enjoy and consume the meal. The correct dog food will be able to achieve a full belly, a healthy body, and fresh, clean breath by using excellent ingredients that nourish the entire body and deliver a hearty flavour that your dog will look forward to.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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