When you first get a puppy, they’re the cutest things and nothing can change your mind. However, puppies grow up and sometimes, so do their smells. While dog kisses can be adorable, it’s never good when their mouths smell like trashcans. If your lovable pup has developed halitosis, the scientific term for bad breath, you may be wondering what you can do to bring your dog back to normal.
One of the first ways to tackle bad breath is to look at your dog’s diet. There are a number of dog food brands on the market that have dental solutions, but it can be hard to find the one that works as advertised. Thankfully, we’ve done the research for you. We found the best brands and reviewed each one. Here is our list of the best dog food for bad breath:
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 5 Best Dog Foods for Bad Breath
1. Iams Proactive Health Dog Food – Best Overall
Iams 10181499 Proactive Health Dog Food is a dry dog food packed with nutrients to support your dog’s health and wellbeing. The dry kibble helps maintain healthy gums and teeth, which is great for dogs that suffer from gum sensitivity. It can reduce plaque buildup as the kibble gently cleans the teeth, which helps get rid of and prevent bad breath.
This dry dog food is made with a grain-free, allergen-friendly recipe that is gentle for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s made with essential vitamins and minerals to support and nourish the skin and coat, leaving your dog’s fur soft and shiny.
Iams is also on the less expensive side compared to other brands, especially for a grain-free dog. However, it does contain chicken by-product, which is a low-quality source of protein. Otherwise, we found Iams 10181499 Proactive Health Dog Food to be the best overall dog food for bad breath.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food – Best Value
Hill’s 9281 Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food is a dry dog kibble designed to improve your dog’s oral health. It scrubs the teeth clean to help lift surface stains, leaving your dog’s mouth cleaner and brighter. It also helps prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Another great feature of this dog food is that it contains Omega-6, which nourishes the skin and softens the coat. It’s also not as expensive compared to other brands, so it won’t cost you too much to improve your dog’s oral health. One issue we found with this dog food is that it contains wheat, corn, and soy, which are known food allergens that can cause itchy skin and irritation. The other issue is the huge kibble size, which can be very hard to chew for smaller dogs.
Besides these two problems, we recommend trying Hill’s 9281 Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food if you’re looking for the best dog kibble for bad breath for the money.
3. ROYAL CANIN Dental Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
ROYAL CANIN Dental Dry Dog Food is a premium dog food that is specifically designed to tackle dental problems and bad breath. The recipe uses prescription-grade dental cleaning ingredients to help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, while also reducing the chance of gingivitis.
It’s made with extra crunchy kibble that cleans the teeth as your dog eats, gently scrubbing and removing particles that cause cavities. It’s also fortified for a complete diet, so you won’t have to feed this with another food to give your dog the essential nutrients it needs daily. However, it contains fillers and by-products, with corn listed as the first ingredient instead of meat. It can be hard for small dogs to chew, so it may not work out for toy-sized dogs that struggle with bigger kibble.
Dental Dry is also expensive compared to most dog food brands and requires a veterinarian prescription, so it’s not the best choice if you’re on a tighter budget. Otherwise, ROYAL CANIN Dental Dry Dog Food is a great premium dog food that can help fight and prevent bad breath.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D Dental Health
Hill’s 4005 Prescription Diet T/D Dental Health dog food is similar to the Royal Canin dental food. The unique kibble shape is designed to help clean between your dog’s teeth, eliminating any food or plaque buildup. The recipe contains bacteria-fighting ingredients that cause halitosis, which is what makes your dog’s breath smell awful.
Unfortunately, Hill’s is also loaded with filler ingredients and by-products, so it may not work for dogs with food allergies or dogs on limited ingredient diets. The unique kibble is hard and dry, so it may be hard to chew for smaller dogs. The flavor seems to be lacking with this dog food, too, with some dogs not liking the taste. It’s also a high-end, expensive diet that requires a veterinarian prescription, so it’s not a good choice if you are trying to save money.
If you have run out of other options, Hill’s Science Diet T/D may work as a last resort.
5. Purina DH Dental Health Canine Dog Food
Purina DH Dental Health Canine Dog Food is a dry dog food used to prevent bad breath and other dental issues. The main feature of it is the unique kibble texture for extra cleaning power, which cleans around the teeth and gum lines. It’s made with essential nutrients for a complete diet, so your dog won’t need additional kibble when feeding this. The problem lies in the flavor, with most dogs not really enjoying it. The kibble is hard to chew, too, with some dogs trying to swallow the kibble whole.
The recipe contains corn and wheat, which are known filler ingredients that can cause itchy skin and digestive issues. Purina Dental Health dog food is also expensive and needs a prescription from your veterinarian, which can run you over your monthly budget. If you’ve tried other non-prescription dog foods that can help clean your dog’s teeth and everything else has failed, this dog food might help.
Otherwise, we recommend trying more conservative methods of cleaning your dog’s mouth first.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Foods of the Year
After carefully reviewing and comparing each dog food product, we found the winner of best dog food for bad breath overall to be Iams 10181499 Proactive Health Dog Food. It can help reduce bad breath and plaque buildup, without sacrificing on flavor. The winner of best dog food for bad breath for the value is Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food. It’s an affordable solution that uses cleaning ingredients to prevent dental problems.
Hopefully, we have made it easier to find a solution to your dog’s stinky breath problem. We looked for the best dog foods for bad breath available with your dog’s safety in mind. Bad breath can be a symptom of much bigger problems, so it’s important to talk to your vet before changing anything. When in doubt, ask your vet for additional recommendations on dental care.