Does your dog’s breath kill trees from a hundred paces? Then perhaps consider this DIY natural fresh breath gel for dogs.
Let me begin by stating I have a miniature dachshund. His name is Jasper. And like most dachshunds he has some of the worst breath ever. No, seriously. Ever. That said I’ve tried all kinds of things to freshen his breath including all those silly tooth brushing bones and minty dog treats. And while they might help keep tartar and plaque at bay, they seem to do absolutely nothing for the state of his breath.
Over Christmas my brother told me about a tartar control and fresh breath gel for dogs that he had been using. Not only did it work great on his dogs, but it also had neem oil as one of the ingredients. As neem oil was one of my favorite discoveries of the past year I decided I had to try this out. But instead of buying a gel tartar control and breath freshener I decided to try making something similar with ingredients I already have in my stash of soap making ingredients.
I looked at two popular products when trying to decide which natural ingredients to use. Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel is one such popular product. It’s made with Purified Water, Natural Derived Alcohol, Natural Mint, Glycerin, Natural Cleanser, Carbopol, Chlorophyllin, and Green Tea Leaf Extract. The other is Nutri-Vet’s Tartar-Defense Spray for Dogs which is made with Water, Grain Alcohol, Peppermint Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosemary Oil, Thyme Oil, and Neem Oil. (I no longer recommend this product as research states that both peppermint and thyme oil can be harmful to dogs.)
For my DIY fresh breath gel for dogs I sort of combined select ingredients from both of these products. I was leery about using grain alcohol – aka moonshine – and water in my recipe as this was basically an “edible” product and I wasn’t entirely sure what to use an emulsifier to keep the oil and glycerin mixed with the alcohol without using propylene glycol. (I also wasn’t entirely sure about rubbing alcohol on my dog’s teeth.) So instead I simply used natural vegetable glycerin as the main base. This still encourages dogs to lick their teeth like the commercial brands to help prevent tarter. But as my main concern was fresh breath and getting my dog not to run and hide when I went to rub it on his teeth, I chose to use glycerin which makes for a sweet alcohol free base that can be easily administered.
I also used neem oil for it’s awesome anti-bacterial properties and essential oils for their anti-bacterial and breath freshening properties. Additionally my DIY fresh breath gel for dogs also incorporates liquid grapefruit seed extract for its antioxidant properties – an ingredient that Nutri-Vet states on their product helps to reduce inflammation – and grapeseed oil. There are a few easy substitutions you can make, however, if you don’t have a product on hand or for specific properties you’re after. For example, you could easily sub the grape seed oil – an edible oil which I chose for the pleasant flavor – with coconut oil which is used in the oil pulling method to remineralize and strengthen teeth. (I used refined coconut oil as it has a lower melt point than unrefined coconut oil.) You could also easily play around with the essential oils to see which ones work best for your dog’s breath and/or his taste buds.
Fresh Breath Gel for Dogs Recipe
1.6 oz. vegetable glycerin
.2 oz. liquid grapefruit seed extract
.2 oz. grapeseed oil (or refined coconut oil, melted)
6 drops 100% pure neem oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
2 drops spearmint essential oil
If you don’t have grapefruit seed extract you can substitute it with more of the grape seed oil or with refined coconut oil.
Using a digital kitchen scale weigh out the glycerin, grapefruit seed extract and grape seed oil into a small glass jar or bowl. Use a plastic transfer pipette or glass dropper to add the drops of neem oil and essential oils. (If your neem oil has solidified due to cold temperatures simply place the bottle into a bowl of hot water until it liquifies.) Mix with a utensil to combine.
To use add a few drops of this fresh breath gel for dogs to your finger or a toothbrush and rub onto your dog’s teeth.
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