Why does my greyhound have bad breath?

You can’t stand the bad breath of your greyhound anymore, can you? You are probably wondering what you could possibly give your greyhound at home to get rid of that terrible breath. And how to do it fast.

When your greyhound has a foul mouth odor, it means they suffer from halitosis. Halitosis is a medical term that defines the offensive smell that comes from the oral cavity in canines. Halitosis is a sign of gum infection that results from bacterial breakdown of food particles trapped between the teeth.

What causes my greyhound’s bad breath?

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene causes the build-up of tartar on your greyhound’s teeth causing bad breath and dental problems. In the long run, this build-up will lead to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections on the gums and plaque. 


If you regularly practice good dental hygiene to ensure your greyhound’s dental health is perfect, but your hound still has smelly breath, it could be an illness. Gastrointestinal issues, inflammation, and esophagitis are all symptoms and causes of bad breath. 

Your hound’s bad breath could be caused by diabetes Mellitus, rhinitis, sinusitis, and inflammation of the nasal passages. Check in with your veterinarian for a check-up for any of the above illnesses as a cause for your dog’s bad breath.

Food and nutrition

Often than not, your hound’s diet is the main culprit when bad breath is an issue. A poor diet may cause elimination reactions in the stomach that lead to unpleasant breath. A deficient nutrition plan changes the pH levels in your hound’s mouth and causes the build-up of plaque.

Greyhound Dental Care

Greyhounds, like people, can suffer from tooth decay and even lose a few without proper care. Racing greyhounds, for example, feed on a high bacteria food diet. This diet easily forms plaque and tartar on the hound’s teeth. If not removed, the plaque further pushes the gum lining uncovering the root. Bacteria can then enter the dog’s bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys, and liver.

Diseases that result from a lag in dental hygiene include:

Dental Calculus (Tartar)

This disease is characterized by a mixture of food particles and bacteria that combine and form a firm coat on the side of the teeth. With time it gets progressively harder and thicker as salts and minerals are absorbed into it. The calculus finally pushes the gum back and exposes the root of the teeth.


A yellowish-brown coat over your dog’s teeth

Probable cause

Poor oral hygiene

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gum and the penetration of bacteria into the structures around the teeth. This disease is one of the main causes that dogs lose their teeth and is a result of untreated gingivitis.


  • Bad breath
  • Swollen red gums
  • Brownish-yellow crust near the gum line
  • Discomfort when gums or mouth are touched
  • Weight loss or decreased appetite because of difficulty in chewing

Probable causes

Tartar and plaque build-up


This is a canine condition characterized by a foul odor coming from the mouth.


Foul odor coming from your hound’s mouth

Probable causes

  • Bacteria associated with plaque
  • Tartar build-up
  • Decomposing food in between teeth and periodontal pockets
  • Continuous bleeding caused by coagulation abnormalities
  • Death of tissue in oral tumors

Gingivitis and stomatitis

Gingivitis is characterized by the inflammation of gums. Stomatitis, on the other hand, is a more general inflammation of the tongue, gums, inner lips. Stomatitis is more severe and leads to decreased appetite due to pain when eating.


  • Reddening and swelling of gums
  • Bleeding of gums
  • Halitosis, i.e., foul breath
  • Reduced appetite

Maintenance and prevention

Immediate remedy

To treat all the above dental problems immediately, we need first to eliminate the root cause. Under an experienced vet, your hound’s teeth need to be thoroughly cleaned and polished, possibly under anesthesia. This procedure eliminates tartar and plaque build-up below and above the gum line with specialized instruments and scalers.

After the cleaning, a tooth examination should be carried out for periodontal support loss, and intraoral dental x rays are inspected. Teeth with advanced periodontal infection need to be extracted.

Long-term remedy

After the necessary immediate dental procedure, you need to put in place preventative measures to ensure plaque and tartar do not accumulate. Daily plaque control is an important part of controlling and preventing dental issues from recurring. These measures should be implemented at least twice every week to daily.

1. Brush those teeth

Brushing your hound’s teeth is a great way to practice good dental hygiene. It is best done with dogs that are used to it since they were puppies. It is best done on a daily basis for a higher level of effectiveness. Special toothbrushes that are easier to use are available in the market along with dog-friendly kinds of toothpaste, which are flavored. Do not use human toothpaste on dogs. 

What to look for in a doggy toothbrush?

Despite being often overlooked, a good toothbrush is the key to fostering oral care.

  • Size – Greyhounds have slender snouts; therefore, it is important to look for a toothbrush that can comfortably fit in your hound’s mouth. Large toothbrush heads can be hard to maneuver around your dog’s mouth.
  • Soft bristles – Soft bristles are important, especially for a dog’s toothbrush. This is because their gums are sensitive and prone to bleeding. The soft bristles are also handy when you need to brush near your dog’s gum, especially since they can get easily irritated.
  • Angled – An angled brush is not a feature that should be overlooked. It makes it easier to brush your hound’s teeth without cramping up. 
  • Length – A long handle that is between 7.5 to 9 inches allows you to comfortably reach the back of your greyhound’s mouth without getting covered in saliva. 
  • F.D.A. approved food-grade materials – Some dog toothbrushes, such as the finger toothbrushes, are made from silicone that should be of F.D.A. approved food-grade materials. Without this stamp of approval, you may be using a toothbrush made of harmful materials to clean your hound’s teeth.

Here are some great toothbrushes for your greyhound:

PenVinoo dog toothbrus

This set of toothbrushes is perfect for dog owners who are starting to put their dog’s oral health at the forefront of their pet husbandry practices. This pack offers quality and variety that best suit your greyhound. The toothbrushes are in two designs. There are two-headed brushes with one side having smaller bristles that can work the front teeth, canines, and gums and larger bristles to reach the back of your dog’s mouth. 

The bristles are very soft to allow you to confidently brush along the gumline. The angled head and convenient length make reaching your dog’s teeth easier and prevent cramping.

Fomate double-sided soft silicone gentle dental dog toothbrush

Fomate’s soft rubber brushes come in a set of four toothbrushes that are of different thickness to suit different parts of the mouth. They are softer than traditional bristle brushes and provide an easy massage on your dog’s gums. Due to the lack of bristles, the head of the toothbrush is easy to maneuver and feels very comfortable for your dog. The handle is 5.7 inches long, making it easier to reach the back of your hound’s mouth and other hard to reach places. 

H&H Pets Dog Finger Toothbrush 

This easy to use finger toothbrush is made from safe material and is very soft, thereby harmless on your hound’s teeth. The finger diameter is ¾ an inch and the bristles, unlike other brushes, have a curved profile that is scientifically proven to reach tough spots and adapt to different areas of the gum. This toothbrush offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and assistance if you need any when using the brush. 

PoshWag dog toothbrush set kit

The PoshWag toothbrush kit is a comprehensive kit with four long dual toothbrushes, two plastic short finger brushes, two silicon short finger brushes, an innovative PoshWag finger brush, and a bendable finger brush. The materials used to design this oral care kit are F.D.A. approved. The brushes are made of quality bristles and designed to avoid shedding.

Petosan Microfiber Fingerbrush

The finger brush is made of antimicrobial self-cleaning microfiber that is chemical-free. Fabric is unlikely the first thing that pops to mind when you think of toothbrushes, but microfiber is actually a great way to clean your dog’s teeth. The cloth fits right over the index finger and has a strap for the middle finger. The fabric is effective and doesn’t require pressure when cleaning your dog’s teeth. When done using it, rinse in warm water and hang to dry for next time’s use. It doesn’t require any toothpaste, and it is incredibly gentle. 

Dog toothpaste

The most crucial thing to remember when brushing your dog’s teeth is to avoid human toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is harmful to dogs. It causes potential harm to the liver and lowers your dog’s blood sugar.

Here is a variety of good toothpaste that your greyhound will enjoy:

Virbac C.E.T. enzymatic toothpaste

If your dog is picky with taste and flavors, Virbac is the best brand for you. The brand is safe and effective for brushing your dog’s teeth and is available in five flavors. The brand contains C.E.T. dual enzyme system that naturally provides antibacterial action, prevents tartar formation, and removes plaque. It effectively eliminates canine mouth odors and has no foaming agents; therefore, it is safe for your dog to swallow.

Pura Naturals Organic Dental Solutions Kit

This is an all in one dental kit with both a toothbrush and toothpaste. The toothpaste is USDA certified organic and is made in the U.S.A. It is free of preservatives, dyes, chemicals, and artificial additives. The toothpaste smells great and effectively gets rid of canine odors, tartar, and fighting plaque. The toothbrush is comfortable to hold and gentle on your hound’s gums.

KissAble All-natural toothpaste for dogs

This is an all-natural dog toothpaste that is good for both dogs and puppies. It is safe to swallow, smells terrific, and comes in two tasty flavors. It is very effective in getting rid of plaque and tartar build-up. The kit comes with an effective toothbrush and a finger brush.

Pentrodex enzymatic toothpaste for dogs

This dog toothpaste offers the best value for money. It is made from patented enzymes that are non-foaming and do not require rinsing. The toothpaste comes in a delicious poultry flavor that your greyhound will love and fights off bad breath. It is excellent at removing tartar build-up and reducing plaque.

Vetoquinol enzadent enzymatic toothpaste for dogs

This toothpaste contains a triple enzyme formula that is highly effective at removing plaque and food particles from your dog’s teeth. It helps get rid of bacteria and bad breath. The paste is non-foaming and safe to swallow. It is poultry flavored and specifically designed for your dog’s taste buds. 

FAQs about brushing a dog’s teeth

How often does a dog toothbrush need to be replaced?

There are no rigid rules regarding the frequency of replacing a dog’s toothbrush. It ranges from 2 to 6 months, depending on a couple of factors. These factors include the quality of the toothbrush, the frequency of brushing, and your dog’s behavior during brushing. An easy way to tell if it’s time to replace the toothbrush is if the bristles are starting to fray sideways, then it’s time for a new toothbrush.

How do I clean my dog’s teeth?

Give your dog a small dollop of toothpaste to introduce the new taste. Slowly lift the lip to bare the outside surface of your greyhound’s teeth and gums. Brush with gentle strokes to cleanse the teeth and gum. Most dogs won’t allow you to clean the inside surface of their teeth so stick to the outside surface. Ensure you reach the back upper teeth and canines as they tend to build up tartar quicker. Now, reward your dog with a friendly pat or play to reinforce tooth brushing as a positive experience. 

Should I clean my dog’s toothbrush?

Cleaning your dog’s toothbrush is part of good oral hygiene. It isn’t different from how we clean our toothbrushes. Rinse it in warm water and remove any food particles from the bristles. Every four to six weeks, it is wise to sanitize your hound’s toothbrush. Stir in equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar in a bowl, then immerse the toothbrush in the solution for 30 minutes. Finally, rinse it with some water and store it appropriately.

Can I use a human toothbrush for my greyhound?

No, you sound under no circumstances use a toothbrush designed for human teeth on your greyhound’s teeth. Human toothbrushes are stiff and have large bristles that can easily injure your greyhound’s sensitive gum. The angle of the toothbrush also poses difficulty in reaching the hard to clean parts of your dog’s mouth. 

How do I keep my Greyhound calm during brushing?

An excellent way to keep your dog calm during brushing is by tiring your dog our first with some exercise. This will naturally get rid of your dog’s energy, leaving little resistance when you brush their teeth.

If it’s the first time brushing your dog’s teeth, you can first use your index finger and thumb without gauze to rub over their teeth. This allows your hound to get accustomed to the feel of something rubbing against their teeth and gums. 

2. Make use of dental chews

Quality dental chews are a smart option that helps maintain your greyhound’s overall health and well being. They are made to clean your dog’s teeth nearly as good as a toothbrush with toothpaste. As your greyhound chews, the motion scrapes off tartar and plaque. They are also filled with ingredients that help prevent the build-up of tartar and refresh your dog’s breath. The chews are designed to be delicious and healthy.

Here is our pick of the best dental chews:

Blue buffalo dental chews for dogs

These dental chews are made of all-natural ingredients and designed to clean your dog’s teeth. They have chondroitin and Glucosamine, which help improve the health of your dog’s joints. It comes in sizes specifically for large dogs that are suitable for your greyhound. The dental treats are free of corn, wheat, or soybeans and poultry products.

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent dental chews

Virbac dental chews are vegetable-based and consist of corn, soy, and rice. They are designed into a Z shape for better handling and are effective in keeping your dog’s teeth clean and sparkling. They are easier to digest since they have no animal protein or wheat gluten. 

The product is VOHC approved. The treats address foul breath and, within a short period of time, quickly freshen your dog’s breath.

Pedigree Dentastix large dog treats

These dog chews are chewy and textured to improve your dog’s oral health. They are X-shaped and are designed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up. Unlike other treats, the Pedigree treats are chewy instead of hard to specifically get rid of food debris. They have a chicken flavor and several other flavors that dogs absolutely love. 

Milk bone brushing chews

These treats are chicken flavored and devised to fight tartar build-up and plaque. They are rice-based and do not contain soy products. Their recipe includes 16 essential minerals and vitamins that aid in bone and joint health. They are VOHC approved and have a seal of acceptance. The chews are manufactured in the U.S.A. It also has rawhide alternatives for your dog to gnaw on.

Dailydose health chews for dogs

Dailydose dental chews are dual purpose and are good not just for your dog’s teeth but also for their skin and coat. Its patented formula breaks down tartar and plaque on teeth and gums. It is also tasty, and vet /pet approved. The treats contain omega-three fatty acids, and antioxidants obtained from flaxseed and krill improve your dog’s skin and coat on a cellular level. This dental chew is appropriate for dogs of all ages.

3. Feed your greyhound quality foods

Healthy, high-quality food is a great way to maintain your greyhound’s oral health at outstanding levels. Nourishing your greyhound’s body ensures the teeth become stronger, and their overall health improves. Avoid foods that stick to your dog’s teeth. Poor quality dog food facilitates the build-up of tartar and plaque and keeps your greyhound’s immune system functioning at lower levels. Whole foods with all-natural ingredients consist of enzymes and supplements that break down debris and build up on teeth.

Choose foods that:

  • Promote mechanical abrasion through their shape, size, and texture. This helps scrape off tartar and plaque from teeth.
  • Contain ingredients that facilitate fresh breath.
  • Kibble that is coated with ingredients that inhibit tartar and plaque formation.
  • Include a regular raw bone that your dog can gnaw on. Ensure it is big enough so that your dog doesn’t swallow it whole.
  • Provide your dog with water as it stimulates saliva production that prevents food debris from sticking between teeth and cleans off soft plaque.

4. Get your dog chew toys.

Dental chew toys have two main functions; they stimulate your dog’s body to produce extra saliva that rinses away bacteria and food debris, and chewing them helps clean the teeth by removing plaque and tartar. They minimize the damage that food debris can do to your dog’s teeth.

Here are some of the best dental chews for your greyhound

KONG dental dog toy

This toy is robust and can withstand aggressive chewing. Its deep grooves are abrasive and help clean your greyhound’s teeth when they rub against them. The KONG dental chew is also filled with treats doubling upon its effectiveness at both being healthy and good for the teeth. Its rubber material makes it durable and long-lasting.

Benebone rocking dental chew

This is a delicious bacon-flavored dental chew that is very beneficial for your dog’s oral health. It is textured hence provides a thorough cleaning action that removes food debris, bacteria, and plaque. The chew can withstand aggressive chewing and won’t need to be replaced for a long time. The dental chew has two handles on either side that allow for gentle games such as tug of war with your greyhound.

Nylabone Dura chew x bone

This bone is dental chew is uniquely shaped and covered in grooves and noodles that are perfect for getting food debris and tartar from your dog’s teeth. The chew is almost indestructible and great for vigorous chewers. Nylabone dura chew is available in a variety of flavors and bone shapes. Nylabone is made in the U.S.A.

Gnawsome Squeaker Cube dog toy

The squeak bone has nubbins that are effective at removing tartar and plaque. It is interactive and has a speaker that makes loud squeaky noises. The material used to make the chew toy is food grade durable rubber, B.P.A. free, soft, and bite resistant. It can withstand tough playing and provides your dog with a stimulating challenge.

5. Use water additives

Water additives such as Oratene Biotine drinking water additive and  Nylabone advance oral care natural tartar remover state that they help control plaque and tartar by simply adding it to your dog’s daily drinking water. They are especially useful if your dog won’t let you clean their teeth or come close enough with a dental spray. It doesn’t get easier than that.

6. Spraying

Get a small spray bottle from a nearby store and fill it with oral rinses, such as Dentahex. Use the oral spray on your dog’s teeth after every meal. The product contains chlorhexidine that is a disinfectant and antiseptic. It also helps reduce inflammation and swelling of the gums.

7. Dog tooth wipes

Dental tooth wipes are convenient for owners who are completely unable to brush their dog’s teeth and want to try out a different cleaning method. Tooth wipes are designed to be rubbed against the dog’s teeth to get rid of plaque. They are intended to work similarly to toothbrushes. However, they pose difficulty in reaching the crooks and crannies but are easier to manage than toothbrushes. A good example of effective dog tooth wipes is the Petkin fresh mint tooth wipes.

8. Regular veterinarian checks

During your dog’s annual health check, ensure they also get an oral exam. If there is quite a build-up of tartar, request your vet for a quick scaling. If there are any other issues, your vet will inform you and prescribe treatment.

Oral care products that contain metal ions such as zinc prevent the formation of odor due to their natural attraction to sulfur. Zinc also hinders the growth and calcification of microbial deposits, which are the main cause of halitosis. 

Dental and oral care is an essential part of pet husbandry. The measures designed to be in place to keep those pearls as white as possible are simple and inexpensive. Your greyhound’s oral hygiene directly reflects on their general health and wellness.

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