Have you ever been knocked over by “dog breath”? As a veterinarian who practiced advanced dentistry, this is one of the most common complaints I dealt with as a vet. It is important to recognize that there is never a “quick fix” for dental disease, and a complete veterinary examination is necessary to make sure that there are not more serious reasons for your dog’s breath to be offensive!*
Dog Breath and Dog Breath LITE are blends that are packed full of essential oils with a variety of amazing properties. Copaiba is recognized for having anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-bacterial and pro-healing abilities as referenced in this research review HERE. Many studies have documented increased healing speeds of wounds, protection of other organs such as liver and kidneys, and of course safety as well. What we see clinically is just that. A safe, mild, almost tasteless essential oil, that supports the reduction of inflammation of gums and mucosa, aides in healing, and may reduce discomfort. All while helping out other areas of the body that may be stressed or taxed by other disease or by the dental issues themselves. Ask any veterinarian, and they will tell you that oral bacteria is hard on the body. Entering the blood stream and increasing stress to kidneys, liver, heart, and urinary system.
Peppermint has long been known for its particular actions – from anti-nausea to breath deodorant. But this research article maps out the actions of Peppermints main constituent – Menthol – and how it contributes to analgesia and inflammatory pain relief.
Helichrysum is widely recognized in the aromatherapy community as being beneficial to nerves (note: if you’ve ever experienced tooth pain – your tooth equals one giant nerve!) From receding gums, exposed tooth roots, chipped teeth, or broken teeth – nerves carry the message loud and clear – I HURT! But of course, it is in all animals’ nature to hide pain, so we are rarely aware of it until the condition is advanced. Helichrysum is also amazing in so many other ways, and clinically we have seen reductions in bleeding, decreases in inflammation and infection, and speedy healing whenever Helichrysum is added to a protocol.
Myrrh has been used for decades in the dental community for a variety of explanations. Myrrh is well recognized for its anti-inflammatory abilities as stated in THIS research article. While we cannot always have research articles for a direct dental outcome – it is noteworthy that anti-inflammatory and health promoting properties – do tend to work on multiple areas of the body.
Dog Breath vs. Dog Breath LITE… Why TWO Blends???
Our first formula “Dog Breath” has worked wonderfully for thousands of animals (mostly dogs, but other species too!) since 2013. However, there were a few dogs who still just could not find a way to like the minty taste of our original formula, which can be a bit strong for some. I started to reformulate a new version, still containing the same essential oils – but in a new recipe which greatly reduces the overt taste – Dog Breath LITE. Another unique feature of Dog Breath LITE is that is contains two versions of Copaiba essential oil – the steam distilled and the oleoresin. The oleoresin version of Copaiba is tapped directly from the tree, and does not undergo further distillation. Oleoresin therefore contains the heavier diterpene molecules which are not easily “brought over” during the steam distillation process. We have found some benefits from having this “whole oleoresin” included within our blends, but still find that the steam distilled Copaiba is much more amenable to regular use with animals. The oleoresin is as the name implies – more of an “oil resin” – so it is thick, sticky, and a bit dense and tenacious. Certainly not a version which we will want to use for diffusion. However, within a blend for dental disease and gum health – resins (such as Myrrh included in the Dog Breath blends) add a wonderful effect of being “nature’s band-aid” – and seem to really aid in certain healing effects.
How do you pick between the blends??? I usually would say that if your dog is already using the original Dog Breath easily and regularly – then just stick with that formula. But if your dog tends to dislike the taste – give Dog Breath LITE a try! The original Dog Breath is also stronger in nature – making it better suited for addition into items like Toothpastes. Bottom line is – both formulas are absolutely amazing – and either will work hard to support good oral health for an animal. I personally find Dog Breath LITE to be very refreshing and light feeling in my own mouth, and super pleasant. When I use Dog Breath – I definitely know I used it – and there will be a minty flavor in my mouth for sure!
Prevention of Dental Disease is Key!!!
It’s a marvelous thing when I am able to teach my clients to keep a mouth healthy, instead of struggling to correct dental disease later in life. To reduce the cost and concern associated with more frequently required dental cleanings or possible extractions – all parties involved are happier – guardian, animal, and yes, the veterinarian! Introducing Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE along with good oral hygiene skills like teeth brushing, bone chewing, and oral examination – young animals will surely show a lifetime of benefits. Rubbing Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE onto a chew toy, adding it to toothpaste, applying to the gums and teeth, or even offering “Dog Breath Drinking Water” is a great way to get young animals accustomed and set up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
Can Dog Breath & Dog Breath LITE Help the Body in Other Ways???
Yes! Essential oils cross over so many benefits – it is almost amazing to consider. Taking care of a seniors’ dental issues with essential oils – could support in comforting soreness and arthritis discomfort in the entire body. Helichrysum has been noted clinically to help with liver stress and even elevations in liver enzymes – and while a puppy may be experiencing the bodily stress that comes with vaccination – isn’t it nice to know that the toothpaste you may be using (with added Dog Breath of course) – may actually be supporting liver health, immune system function, and support the repair of any inflammation or stress caused by the vaccination process? To me – it is just a wondrous thing – when all of our daily “other products” such as shampoo, toothpaste, or even breath deodorizer – can carry other significant bodily supporting benefits along with it.
Key Search Terms: oral, teeth, abscess, dental, dentist, gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontal, epulis, tartar, cavity, bad breath, halitosis
Fractionated Coconut Oil, Essential Oils of Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Helichrysum (H. italicum), Myrrh (Comminphora myrrha)
Directions for Use
Dog Breath LITE
PrintDog Breath LITE is NOT intended for diffusion as it contains Fractionated Coconut Oil.
Birds & Exotics: Exotic animals who are “similar” to the canine family, may be accepting of having Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE used within their mouth. This will completely depend on your relationship with them, and their behavior and actions. For most smaller animals – we will recommend the use of Dog Breath LITE. For example, Ferrets may do very well with a light coating of Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE rubbed onto their gums. But, on the other hand, they may bite you! Please make sure to always keep yourself, and your animal safe! Birds would not use Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE generally, (although they could indeed drink it in their drinking water) and there are other products recommended for them. Please see the BIRDS page in our menu bar at the top of our website for more recommendations for birds.
Cats: This blend is safe to use with cats, however most cats will generally not appreciate any sort of attempt to apply products into the oral cavity. If you would like to attempt oral applications – we recommend trying Dog Breath LITE as most cats will prefer this flavor profile. However, all of the oils within Dog Breath and Dog Breath LITE are found within the KittyBoost blend. We recommend the use of KittyBoost, and allowing your cat to groom beneficial oils into their mouth instead of applying blends into their mouth directly. Cats often encounter stomatitis, dental disease, or oral tumors and for them – good nutrition, supplements, and KittyBoost applications are standard recommendations. If your cat happens to enjoy drinking Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE Drinking Water – this is totally safe and beneficial! Likewise if your cat tolerates oil applications or teeth brushings very well – congratulations and keep going! We just aim to keep cats happy! And if they can groom off oils instead of have a finger in their mouth – power to the people!
Dogs: Once you and your vet have determined that your dog’s mouth and teeth are healthy enough to try natural options for their teeth and gums, Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE are perfect additions to an oral health routine. When these blends are rubbed onto teeth and gums up to daily to twice a day, owners often report a reduction in gingivitis and inflammation – and breath often improves. Many dogs tolerate the flavor of the original Dog Breath, but for those who do not Dog Breath LITE is a wonderful option to try! Occasionally a bit of drooling or salivating may be noticed after an application, and this is completely normal and harmless (unless you have a large mastiff that likes to shake their additional saliva all over your curtains!) Any frequency of application can be beneficial – so if you are like me, and tend to forget to brush or apply oils – never fear! Even a one time application of Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE, has shown beneficial results.
It is important to recognize that these blends are not going to fix a broken tooth, repair severe periodontal disease, or correct an abscessed tooth. True, essential oils may reduce discomfort, decrease inflammation and redness, and research shows they may in an anti-bacterial action – but, if a tooth is truly damaged to the point of needing extraction – then the tooth may need extraction or reparative surgery. This being said, occasionally there are teeth that may be worth saving – and this is where essential oils shine! Without additional support to keep inflammation down, infections at bay, and support healing of periodontal tissues – questionable teeth are almost always lost over time. Working with your veterinarian, and especially with dental x-rays, to monitor progress – Dog Breath and Dog Breath LITE can be incredibly helpful towards contributing to reversal of dental disease, especially with regular use after a cleaning. Using Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE directly onto a doggy toothbrush is an extra added benefit from just rubbing the solution on with your finger too!
If dental cleaning, surgery, or extractions are needed – this blend can be incredibly helpful in providing comfort before and after the procedure, as well as aiding in a speedy recovery. As stated, Myrrh has been used in dental applications for many years, and the combination of anti-inflammatory oils with the advanced healing properties of Helichrysum – has clinically shown dental procedures to heal in record time, with more apparent comfort to the animal.
If your dog is scheduled for a dental cleaning, with or without possible extractions, using Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE for at least 1 week prior to the event will be highly beneficial to your dog’s ability to heal. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full week, even one application can be helpful. And, of course, long term use is just fine as well! Use alongside of other medications, antibiotics, or pain medications indicated for your dog’s dental procedure is perfectly fine.
If your veterinary dentist is willing, we have dripped this blend right into an extraction site prior to closure or rubbed the blend onto the gum line after a dental procedure is completed – before the dog even wakes up from anesthesia. But, if your veterinarian is not holistically-minded, nor comfortable with the application – just gently apply the Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE to your dog’s gum line as soon as you are able after the procedure. If a cleaning or extraction has occurred, I will usually attempt to apply Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE to the gum line or area of extraction once to twice a day for at least a week. Longer term is even more beneficial, as when you can start with a “clean mouth” – applying every day to every other day can greatly increase your chances of maintaining your new oral health! If your dog has had extensive extractions, oral surgery, or has stitches – Dog Breath and Dog Breath LITE can still be used. They can be added to a water mist and misted into the mouth, added to drinking water, or dabbed on gently. Most dogs will still be drinking from a water bowl after a dental procedure – so offering Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE within a separate bowl of drinking water is a super easy way to get it to coat the mouth! (see below for more directions on adding oils to drinking water)
Additional Ways to Use Dog Breath & Dog Breath LITE:
Add to Drinking Water: We’ve all heard “oils and water do not mix” – and although true, it doesn’t mean that we don’t add essential oils or other fatty oils to water – and with some pretty good results. Make sure to read THIS PAGE on adding essential oils to Drinking Water (also found under our Learn More menu at the top of our website) – for all of the finer details of adding essential oils to water, what type of dishes are required, additional water sources, etc. For some animals this is a very easy way to expose their mouth to the benefits of essential oils – and YES – it is just fine if your cat decides to drink out of the dog bowl! A general rule of thumb is to start with a very small amount – maybe one drop of Dog Breath or Dog Breath LITE into your dogs’ bowl (assuming it is not a very, very tiny water bowl) – and swish it around to mix well. This will usually end up being about one drop per 8 cups (or 2 liters) of water – and then you can gradually increase to 1 drop per 4 cups. Dog Breath LITE is (as the name implies) a bit of a lighter formula – so you may find the ability to add much more to the drinking water – often 4 drops per 4 cups of water. I change the water once or twice a day, depending on consumption and clean and rinse the bowl at that time. You can make your water solution in a large glass jar, and use it to refill your water dish if you’d like. In a clean glass jar, your water/oil solution will generally stay fresh for a week or more – but usually for dogs, they drink enough water that you’ll run out of “Dog Breath Water” before you would have to worry about it becoming “stale”. Remember This: Even if the Dog Breath floats on top of the water, our goal is to have it coat the mouth and teeth. So lapping it up off the surface, is really no different than rubbing it onto gums. Just a lot easier!
Add to Coconut Oil: Raw Coconut Oil (the kind that becomes solid at lower room temperatures) – is not only full of health benefits but animals tend to love it! Although Dog Breath and Dog Breath LITE already contain Fractionated Coconut Oil (this is so that it does not become solid), adding a few drops to the thick and “solid” version of Coconut Oil can make dogs (and some cats) extremely happy and willing to lick it right up. Rubbing onto the gums and teeth can be very easy when the animal sees it as a tasty treat. The raw coconut oil will also enhance the Dog Breath benefits with its own anti-inflammatory and health wielding benefits! For the most part, when I select to add oils into coconut oil – I will select the original Dog Breath formula – as I will be diluting the essential oil significantly within the Raw Coconut Oil. However, either formula is just fine to use!
Add to Animal Toothpaste: There are tons of natural toothpaste recipes out there, and most of them are well accepted by dogs and other animals. One easy recipe reported to be well accepted by dogs is a simple 1 part Raw Coconut Oil and 1 part Baking Soda mixed together. For this household – 1 Tablespoon of each was mixed with 15 drops of the original Dog Breath. For super picky or sensitive animals – you could start with less drops, and gradually work up to larger amounts or use the Dog Breath LITE formula instead. Some animals may indeed need more essential oils added to be effective. The recipes are never set in stone – and so you can also experiment with less Baking Soda, etc… A quick web search will result in hundreds of potential toothpaste recipes!
Horses & Large Animals: These blends are appropriate to use in the mouths of Horses, Cows, Goats, and other animals who may have oral inflammation. However, it is often much more difficult to apply to the teeth of these animals, due to locations and accessibility. Due to the large mouth size, the original Dog Breath formula is more often selected for use with larger animals. Print