Can I Give My Dog Mouthwash?

Can I give my dog mouthwash?Dogs are notorious for having bad breath AKA dog breath and you might be tempted to use a little mouthwash to try and combat it. But can you give them human mouthwash, or is it something you should avoid?

If your dog is the affectionate type, it might be hard to avoid them jumping up on the couch and giving you a sloppy kiss before you know what hit you. This would all be fine if it weren’t for the residual bad smell they leave behind.

You’ll quickly wonder if you can give them a mint, a Tic Tac, an Altoid, anything to bring things back to a tolerable level.


Mouthwash is not a good idea, because if you go with anything that us humans use it’s designed to be spit out after you’re done swishing it, and all a dog will end up doing is swallowing it. Plus they don’t know how to swish it, so you’d probably just end up applying it with a toothbrush, but they’d still end up ingesting it when you’re through. Overall it’s just not a good idea, and there are much better alternatives available.

Can I Give My Dog Mouthwash? Answer: No

The reason why you should not give a dog mouthwash is because they don’t know how to avoid ingesting it. Unless a dog is vomiting, their mouth is a one-way opening. They only know how to get things down the hatch, and that’s exactly where the mouthwash will end up when you use it. Also, most commercial brands of mouthwash contain alcohol, or other similar ingredients, and your dog should be taking those in.

Bad Breath Solutions
Dog biscuits are usually meant to double as a breath freshener, in addition to be edible. There are also several brands that are designed to clean their teeth as well, getting an added benefit. Plus your dog will probably like these treats, so you can use them to teach your dog tricks or get it to obey commands and then it’s a win win win situation.

Special Doggy Mouthwash
The alcohol in mouth wash is the main concern. As you’re probably aware, dogs shouldn’t have alcohol in any amount, because their bodies don’t know how to handle it properly. You can get specially formulated oral care products for your dog at your local pet shop, and these will all be safe and tested on animals so that they don’t have any negative reactions, and don’t contain anything your dog can’t swallow and pass through their digestive system.

They actually have special dog mouthwash and toothpaste, so you can equip them with everything they need for a healthy mouth. However, they lack the opposable thumb to brush their own teeth so you’ll have to be the one that plays dentist at home on a regular basis. You don’t need to brush their teeth after every meal the way we do, but you could establish a routine every day or every other day, at least every week to try to keep plaque from accumulating between dental visits.

Bad Breath & Dogs
They say that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s but it sure doesn’t seem that way most of the time. If you’re dog has exceptionally bad breath, you should consult with your vet to see if there is an underlying problem, or they could just need a professional cleaning. Depending on what breed of dog you have you should schedule these cleaning regular, either annually or more less frequently depending on what you’re advised.

Keep It Simple
Dogs are pretty simple animals, which is part of their charm, so it’s always best not to try to apply too many human products to them. They don’t need all of the hoopla that we do, so just stick to food and water and the occasional treat and they’ll be happy as can be.

When you need to use something special, make sure that it is designed for a dog, and don’t start playing MacGyver and using what’s around your home as a quick fix. And always consult your vet before trying anything new out on your dog. Experimentation is not a good method to see what works and what doesn’t.

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