The 6 Best Essential Oils for Bad Dog Breath

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I love my dog, but sometimes Maggie’s breath reeks.

It doesn’t happen very often, but when I first noticed it during her puppy days, the scent hit my nose like a freight train.

A friend told me to buy breath freshening dental treats, so I did.

They ended up costing more than what I had room for in my budget and there weren’t many treats in the bag. I began giving them to Maggie once a week to stretch out the purchase, instead of letting her have one every day like the directions said.

They didn’t make much of a difference with just one treat a week, which is what led me to find other alternatives.

It turns out that essential oils can be used to not only cure bad dog breath but freshen it as well.

Check out what I’ve learned about essential oils and which ones can help your dog’s bad breath disappear.

The Best Essential Oils for Dog Breath

Some essential oils are better at stopping the root causes of your dog’s bad breath while others are better at making your dog’s breath smell better.

OilLatin NamePurposeMethodPrice
CardamomElettaria cardomomumFreshens bad breathDilute and rub on gums or chin$$$$

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CoconutCocos nuciferaFreshens bad breathUse as toothpaste$

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GingerZingiber officinaleCures bad breathLet dog drink in water$$$$

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HelichrysumHelichrysum gymnocephalumCurse bad breathDilute and rub on gums or skin$$

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SpearmintMentha spicataFreshens bad breathDilute and rub on gums or chin$$$

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Tea TreeMelaleuca alternifoliaCures bad breathDilute and rub on gums and teeth$$$

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The Best Essential Oils to Cure Bad Dog Breath

There’s nothing worse than snuggling up with your dog only to get a nose full of sour breath.

These are the essential oils I’d give Maggie to make the bad breath go away.

Helichrysum Oil

The first thing you want to do to cure bad breath is to help your dog’s digestive system, which has probably been disrupted.

Majestic pure helichrysum essential oil help cure prevent bad dog breath
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Helichrysum oil does just that.

What it Does

Helichrysum oil is very healing because of its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial[1], so it’s used for a variety of canine ailments.

When taken for bad breath, it calms the digestive system and revitalizes the liver, so your dog’s digestive process gets back on track.

Helichrysum essential oil can also be used to soothe your dog’s hotspots.

How it Does it

The anti-inflammatory properties in this oil quickly calm any irritated pathways in the gut.

How to Use this Oil

You can rub this oil into the skin for gut health or dilute two drops in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil and rub the liquid over your dog’s teeth and tongue.

Possible Side Effects

Helichrysum oil is also used to reduce bleeding because it constricts blood vessels when applied to open wounds, so using it topically may raise blood pressure.

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Potential Concerns

Dogs on blood pressure medication should consult a vet before using helichrysum oil just to be safe.

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Ginger Essential Oil

Another way to treat upset digestive tracts is to give your dog a small amount of ginger essential oil.

Ginger soothe canine stomach nausea help with nasty smelling breathe
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As acid reflux reduces, foul breath will be a thing of the past.

What it Does

It soothes upset tummies and acid reflux in dogs like it does in humans, which is much harder to do naturally with dogs because of a limited medicinal field.

Ginger can also be used to relieve your dog’s pain.

How it Does it

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that work in humans and dogs[2].

How to Use this Oil

Dilute two drops of ginger oil in a quarter cup of water and let your dog lap it up.

Possible Side Effects

Ginger is all-natural and easy to digest, so there won’t be any side effects unless your dog drinks an entire bottle undiluted.

If that happens, they may have an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Potential Concerns

Make sure when you buy ginger essential oil that the only component is actual ginger.

The scent or flavor of ginger means that the oil is made from a non-organic manufacturer, which could include ingredients that may hurt your dog.

Also, ginger can thin the blood and lower blood sugar levels, so don’t give your dog ginger before surgery or if they have diabetes.

Related: Which Essential Oils are Dangerous to Dogs?

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Tea Tree Oil

Radha beauty tea tree essential oil for breath ailments in dogs
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Tea tree oil can be found in many natural healthcare products for both dogs and humans, from toothpaste to ear cleansers.

What it Does

Tea tree oil fights bad doggy breath caused by plaque or gingivitis.

How it Does it

This essential oil has antimicrobial properties against various bad-breath-causing germs.
In fact, it’s more effective than some artificial oral disinfectants[3]!

How to Use this Oil

Dilute a drop or two of pure tea tree oil in a carrier oil and rub over your dog’s teeth and gums. It will slowly work to neutralize bad breath.

Possible Side Effects

If your dog reacts poorly to tea tree oil it’ll likely come in the form of lethargy, weakness, and excessive drooling.

Potential Concerns

Some dogs are sensitive to tea tree oil, so use a small amount at first and keep an eye on your dog for any adverse reactions.

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The Best Essential Oils to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath

Once the cause(s) of your dog’s bad breath has gone away or at least been reduced, you’ll want to give them some of these essential oils to help freshen their breath.

Spearmint Oil

Can you use spearmint oil to freshen dog breath teeth gums
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There’s nothing like refreshing your breath with a mint, which is exactly what your dog can do with spearmint oil.

What it Does

Spearmint calms any nausea or upset stomach symptoms your dog may have while it freshens their breath.

How it Does it

Mint is a natural herb that uses anti-inflammatory properties to calm any digestive system.

How to Use this Oil

Dilute a drop of spearmint essential oil in a carrier oil and rub over your dog’s teeth for instant fresh breath.

You can also rub it under their chin if they don’t enjoy the taste.

Possible Side Effects

If exposed to undiluted spearmint oil, your dog could experience mint poisoning and symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and exhaustion[4].

Potential Concerns

Although spearmint is all-natural and super safe for humans to use, it’s extremely potent for dogs.

Always dilute spearmint oil before putting it on your dog’s teeth or coat, and never diffuse it. Diffusing the oil may cause more severe side effects.

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Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut carrier oil as toothpaste dilute essential oils
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It could be argued that coconut oil is a magical treatment for many ailments, especially since it helps freshen your dog’s bad breath.

What it Does

Coconut oil gently but quickly takes care of foul dog breath while also making your dog’s gums healthier for long-term good breath.

This oil also has a wide variety of uses for your dog. You can even use it to help fight doggy dandruff!

How it Does it

The natural ingredients in coconut oil and the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) act as an anti-fungal treatment[5].

It banishes the plaque that cause bad breath and leaves behind a pleasant coconut scent.

How to Use this Oil

How to use coconut oil dog teeth gums to cure prevent bad breath

Coconut oil can be used by itself as a doggy toothpaste[6].

Put a tiny amount on a dog toothbrush and brush your dog’s teeth and gums.

Coconut oil can also be used as a carrier oil for other bad-breath-banishing essential oils.

Possible Side Effects

If your dog consumes too much coconut oil, your dog may have an upset stomach or diarrhea.

The MCTs in the oil can irritate sensitive stomachs, so it’s always best to use a small amount.

Potential Concerns

Dogs with pancreatitis will be more sensitive to coconut oil, as well as dogs who struggle to put on weight.

Coconut oil is often used for weight loss purposes, which should be kept in mind before giving it to your dog.

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Cardamom Oil

Cardamom essential oil for freshening yucky disgusting dog breath smell
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Another essential oil that smells great and is safe for dogs is the all-natural cardamom oil.

What it Does

Cardamom oil freshens your dog’s breath and improves their appetite if your dog is less inclined to eat as they once were.

How it Does it

The anti-bacterial properties in cardamom oil are what transform your dog’s breath.

They eliminate bacteria that build up around and between your dog’s teeth.

Cardamom also protects against gastrointestinal ailments, such as ulcers[7].

It also smells nice!

How to Use this Oil

Mix a few drops of this oil in a carrier oil and rub it around your dog’s teeth and tongue.

You can also rub the diluted oil along their neck and jawline for more of a fresh scent.

Possible Side Effects

Too much undiluted cardamom oil will irritate your dog’s stomach, but only if consumed in high amounts.

It may also cause your dog to pee more frequently[X], as it’s a diuretic.

Potential Concerns

The diuretic effects of cardamom oil could cause a drop in blood pressure because of the salt and water that your dog will release through their urine.

Dogs with low blood pressure should be checked out by their vet before they come in contact with cardamom oil.

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Sometimes dogs get sour or stinky breath, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Try out these essential oils the next time you smell something foul on their breath to see if they’ll freshen things up for both you and your dogs.



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