Does raw feeding cause bad breath in my dog? If you’re wondering about this and it’s holding you back from switching your pup to raw, rest assured that it doesn’t!
I find this particular myth really interesting because now that I feed Missy and Buzz a raw diet, their breath is the contrary of smelly!
It’s odorless and actually doesn’t cause me to look away when either of them breathes into my face or gives me doggie kisses.
So how is this possible and what exactly causes bad dog breath, also known as halitosis? Let’s take a closer look.
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What Causes Bad Dog Breath (Halitosis)?
Every veterinarian will tell you that tartar buildup, plaque, and gum disease are the culprits of bad breath in our four legged besties.
The next question that arises as a logical consequence is what causes the tartar buildup, plaque, and gum disease in the first place?
The answer is carbs in highly processed dog food. For example, corn, wheat, rice, barley, and potatoes. Carbs are very starchy and are found in abundance in dry dog food. That’s why dogs fed a dry food diet will inevitably end up with brown teeth. Unless they get brushed every single day, which is what traditional veterinarians recommend in order to prevent tartar.
Side note: Interestingly enough, some dry dog food brands confidently market their food as helping with dental hygiene. Supposedly, kibble has a scraping effect on dog (and cat!) teeth. In reality however, it’s the kibble that causes poor dental hygiene!
It’ll say something along the lines of “reduces plaque and tartar build-up” on the bag of dry food.
Best Dog Food For Bad Breath, or: How Can Bad Dog Breath Be Avoided Naturally?
In my personal opinion, the best dog food for bad breath is species-appropriate, raw dog food.
One of the many benefits of feeding raw dog food with raw meaty bones is excellent dental health.
A meaty bone like a duck neck or a chicken leg quarter acts as a natural toothbrush.
That said, it eliminates the need for dog teeth brushing. I personally completely stopped brushing Missy’s & Buzz’s teeth since putting together their own raw meals.
Update 2020: My new pup Wally also has bright, clean teeth courtesy of eating raw dog food with meaty bones.
Brands Who Sell Pre-Made Raw Dog Food
On a sidetone, there are brands that sell pre-made raw dog food like Darwin’s Pet and Steve’s Real Food. Since the bone content is included in ground form, those meals lack the natural tooth brushing benefit.
Brands Who Sell Both Pre-Made Raw Dog Food & Individual Cuts Of Meat
Raw Paws Pet Food
Tip: Take 15% off your Raw Paws Pet Food order with my affiliate discount code K9Savings.
Raw Feeding Miami
The ingredients that are from Raw Feeding Miami are the duck wings and duck tenders, beef heart and beef pancreas, green lipped mussels (GLMs), rabbit kidneys, and turkey liver.
In raw feeding, a balanced meal consists of 70-80% muscle meat, 10% raw meaty bones, 10% secreting organs, and optional 10% plant matter (veggies and or fruit and herbs).
Muscle meat in this recipe: Duck tenders, beef pancreas, green lipped mussels, and salmon.
Raw meaty bone in this recipe: Duck wings.
Secreting organs in this recipe: Beef pancreas, rabbit kidneys, and turkey liver.
Plant matter in this recipe: Green Juju.
For more information on how to put your own raw meals together, please check out my ebooks.
Tip: Save 15% off your Raw Feeding Miami order with my referral discount link.
The salmon is from a grocery store, the green JuJu is from a local pet retail store, and I made the bone broth that I added myself.
If you decide to feed pre-made raw, offer a raw meaty bone once per week so that your pup still gets the benefit of clean pearlies!
Does Raw Feeding Cause Bad Breath: The Dental Benefits Of Feeding Raw Dog Food
One of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet is a clean dental health bill:
- No tooth decay
- No periodontal disease
- Fresh, sweet breath!
One of the benefits for the dog’s owner is a fuller wallet! You won’t have to spend any money on tooth brushes & pastes, dental chews, sprays, and mouth rinses. Your pup also won’t need to get anesthesia in order to get an expensive tooth cleaning done.
Back in our kibble feeding days, I made the major & costly mistake to let Buzz chew on a recreational, hard beef bone. That’s a big no no because bones from large hooved animals are too dense for dog teeth and can definitely cause them to crack.
It makes sense when you think about it. Beef bones have to hold up hundreds of pounds of animal, whereas poultry bones hold considerably less weight!
Either way, Buzz managed to break one of his upper molars which needed to be extracted in its entirety. Talk about a hefty vet bill ($557). While he was under, he also got his first dental cleaning. The 3 years of kibble eating had left their marks because I didn’t brush his teeth on a daily basis. Instead, I only brushed once to twice per week.
You can read more about Buzz’s dental dilemma in this post:
Does Raw Feeding Cause Bad Breath: Bottom Line
Since feeding the pups a raw diet with raw meaty bones, their diet a) no longer consists of a crazy amount of carbs that cause tartar buildup. This b) eliminates the need for me to brush their teeth because that job has been “outsourced” to raw meaty bones.
As a result, I’m rewarded with odorless puppy kisses. Everyone who’d like to check for themselves is cordially invited to come visit & get their share of sweet doggie kisses!