How To Get Tartar Off Dog Teeth

A dog with its mouth open

Dog owners often overlook their pet’s dental health, but it’s just as important as their overall well-being. Tartar buildup on dog teeth is a common problem, which if not taken care of, can lead to health complications. In this article, we’ll discuss what tartar is, why it’s dangerous, and the various methods available to get rid of it and keep your pup’s pearly whites healthy and clean.

Understanding Tartar Buildup on Dog Teeth

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, develops when plaque accumulates on the teeth and hardens over time. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that forms when bacteria in the mouth mix with saliva and leftover food particles. If not removed, it turns into tartar and attaches to the teeth, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Dogs are particularly prone to tartar buildup due to their diet and genetics. Some breeds, such as Greyhounds and Whippets, are more susceptible to dental issues than others. Feeding your dog a balanced diet and providing them with dental chews or toys can help prevent tartar buildup. Regular dental cleanings by a veterinarian are also important to maintain your dog’s oral health and prevent serious dental problems.

Why Tartar on Dog Teeth is Dangerous

Tartar buildup can cause several dental complications, including gum disease, tooth loss, bad breath, and systemic infections. It can also lead to painful abscesses, which require costly veterinary procedures to treat.

In addition to the dental complications, tartar buildup on dog teeth can also affect their overall health. The bacteria in the tartar can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. This can lead to serious health issues and even shorten the lifespan of your furry friend. Therefore, it is important to regularly clean your dog’s teeth and schedule professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian to prevent tartar buildup and maintain their overall health.

The Different Types of Tartar Removal Methods

Various methods can be used to remove tartar buildup on dog teeth, from basic at-home remedies to professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian. Some of the most effective methods include brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, using dental wipes or chews, and visiting a vet for professional cleaning under anesthesia.

Another effective method for removing tartar buildup on dog teeth is through the use of tartar control diets. These diets are specially formulated to help prevent tartar buildup and promote good oral health. They typically contain ingredients that help to scrape away plaque and tartar as the dog chews, such as kibble with a crunchy texture or special dental chews.

In addition to these methods, it’s important to monitor your dog’s oral health and schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian. This can help to catch any potential dental issues early on and prevent more serious problems from developing. Your vet may also recommend additional treatments, such as fluoride treatments or antibiotics, to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: A Step-by-Step Guide

To keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, it’s important to brush them regularly with a toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste. Before you start brushing, let your dog smell and lick the toothpaste to get accustomed to the flavor. Then, lift your dog’s lip and gently brush their teeth in a circular motion. Be patient and make it a positive experience with lots of praise and treats.

It’s also important to note that not all dogs will be receptive to having their teeth brushed. If your dog is resistant, try starting with just a few teeth at a time and gradually increasing the amount you brush each day. You can also try using dental chews or toys to help keep their teeth clean. Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian can also help catch any potential dental issues early on.

When to Use Dental Wipes for Your Dog’s Teeth

Dental wipes are an alternative to brushing and can be used to clean your dog’s teeth between brushings. They contain enzymes that help break down plaque and freshen the breath. To use them, wrap the wipe around your finger and rub it gently along your dog’s teeth and gums. It’s best to start early with puppies, so they get used to the sensation and learn to accept it as part of their routine.

However, dental wipes should not be used as a substitute for regular brushing. Brushing your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste is still the most effective way to remove plaque and prevent dental problems. Dental wipes can be used as a supplement to brushing, especially for dogs who are resistant to having their teeth brushed. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best dental care routine for your dog’s individual needs.

The Benefits of Using Dental Chews for Tartar Control

Dental chews are another great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. They work by mechanically removing plaque and tartar buildup while satisfying your dog’s need to chew. Some dental chews also contain enzymes or antibacterial agents that help reduce plaque and freshen the breath. Be sure to choose a reputable brand and avoid chews that are too hard or small to prevent choking hazards.

One of the benefits of using dental chews is that they can help prevent gum disease. Gum disease is a common problem in dogs and can lead to tooth loss and other health issues. By regularly using dental chews, you can help keep your dog’s gums healthy and reduce the risk of gum disease.

Another benefit of dental chews is that they can provide mental stimulation for your dog. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and can help relieve stress and anxiety. By providing your dog with dental chews, you can give them a healthy outlet for their chewing needs and help keep them mentally stimulated and happy.

Homemade Tartar-Removing Solutions for Your Dog’s Teeth

If you prefer homemade remedies, some natural ingredients can help cut down on tartar buildup in your dog’s mouth. For instance, you can mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with a pinch of turmeric and cinnamon and apply it to your dog’s teeth and gums with a toothbrush or cloth. Other options include adding raw, crunchy vegetables like broccoli or carrots to your dog’s diet or giving them a bone to chew on.

It’s important to note that while these homemade solutions can be effective in reducing tartar buildup, they should not replace regular dental cleanings by a veterinarian. Professional cleanings are necessary to remove any stubborn tartar and to check for any underlying dental issues that may require treatment. Additionally, it’s important to always supervise your dog while they are chewing on bones or other hard objects to prevent any choking or dental injuries.

Professional Tartar Removal: What to Expect from a Vet Visit

If your dog has severe tartar buildup or gum disease, it may be necessary to visit a veterinarian for a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia. This can be a costly procedure, but it’s essential for maintaining your dog’s oral health. During the cleaning, your dog will be monitored by a veterinary team for safety and comfort.

Before the cleaning, your veterinarian may recommend pre-operative blood work to ensure that your dog is healthy enough for anesthesia. Once your dog is under anesthesia, the veterinary team will use specialized tools to remove tartar and plaque from your dog’s teeth and gums. They may also take dental x-rays to check for any underlying issues. After the cleaning, your dog will need time to recover from the anesthesia, and your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics if necessary. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth recovery for your furry friend.

Preventing Tartar Buildup on Your Dog’s Teeth

Preventing tartar buildup is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and avoid costly dental procedures. Ways to prevent it include regular dental care, a balanced diet, avoiding table scraps, and avoiding sticky, sugary treats. By following these tips, you can ensure your dog has a clean and healthy mouth and a happy life.

In conclusion, preventing and getting rid of tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth is crucial to their overall health and well-being. By following the tips and methods mentioned in this article, you can make sure your furry friend’s teeth stay healthy and clean, and their breath stays fresh. Remember to consult a veterinarian if you notice any problems with your dog’s dental health, and provide regular checkups and cleaning to avoid future complications. With proper care, your dog can have a healthy smile that you can be proud of.

It’s important to note that some breeds are more prone to tartar buildup than others. Breeds with shorter snouts, such as pugs and bulldogs, are more susceptible to dental issues due to their unique jaw structure. If you have one of these breeds, it’s especially important to prioritize their dental care and consult with your veterinarian about any additional steps you can take to prevent tartar buildup.

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