Recipe: Coconut and mint dog bowl toppers
There is nothing worse than curling up for a cuddle with your four-legged friend only to recoil from their case of canine halitosis. It is a remarkably common issue and one that dog owners everywhere have experienced at some time. In many cases, it is that your dog has simply eaten something horrid and their breath will improve in due course. However, it could be that there is a more serious underlying cause, and you need to investigate further.
We asked holistic vet Dr Nick Thompson MRCVS, where he starts when diagnosing a case of bad breath and he told us:
"When I smell bad breath on a dog, I think three things: dental, stomach or small intestine disease. But I never forget dogs lick their bottoms when they have anal gland problems!
Bad breath in a dog can be a sign of kidney or liver disease. If you’ve ruled out teeth, gut and anal gland issues, talk to your vet about a blood test to check these vital organs.”
Mint has antiviral, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can all help freshen your dog’s breath. Mint leaves are also a natural source of dietary fibre, which can promote healthy digestion whilst the menthol contained within the leaves acts as a natural decongestant. Organic coconut oil is high in Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which are fatty acids that also have anti-microbial and anti-fungal effects.
Coconut and mint dog bowl toppers - Makes one small silicone tray of bowl toppers.
Super simple recipe with just two ingredients
- Organic coconut oil - 3 tablespoons
- Fresh mint - a couple of sprigs (1 Tbsp when chopped)
Optional extras such as:
- Fresh or frozen Blueberries
- Fresh or frozen peas
You will need:
- A silicone mould (such as one to make ice cubes, although there are lots of great shapes to choose from these days)
- A small saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- Chopping board and knife
1. Wash mint, pick leaves and discard stems. Chop very small.
2. Add organic coconut oil to saucepan and place over low heat until melted. Remove from heat.
NOTE: coconut oil is usually solid in cooler climates but remains liquid at room temperature in warmer climates.
3. Add your chopped mint to the saucepan and stir.
4. Carefully pour into silicone moulds, distributing mint evenly and leaving a little space at the top of each mould.
5. Extras, such as a blueberry or a few peas, can be added to each mould if desired.
6. Place in fridge or freezer for 1 hour to harden.
7. Pop out from the moulds and they are ready to use!
8. Store in a Tupperware container or in a freezer bag in the freezer, to use as required.
Serving recommendation: one topper per day, per dog.
Learn more about how you can naturally support your dog’s digestion and keep bad breath at bay:
Herbs. Why are they essential for us and our pets - read the article.
Holistic vet Nick Thompson explains why he chose a natural approach to animal health - read the article.
Gut: the inside story of our body's most underrated organ - read the article.