Tartar in Dogs: What Owners Can Do to Prevent It

Dental disease causes pain and can lead to organ damage. Advise the owner early on about suitable oral hygiene measures.

Daily brushing remains the best action the owner can take. A soft toothbrush is suitable for this. A hard terry towel wrapped around your index finger is less suitable. It is important to always brush all tooth surfaces thoroughly. The cleaning effect can be increased with abrasives, the simplest option is pure pumice powder, which, however, causes a sandy feeling in the mouth. Dog toothpaste is more suitable because it is tailored to the dog’s taste and is therefore perceived as a reward. Conventional toothpaste for humans is unsuitable because it tastes disgusting to dogs. Daily brushing of teeth is a learning process and must be practiced, preferably from an early age.

Alternatives to brushing your dog’s teeth

There are always owners who do not manage to brush their dogs’ teeth or simply refuse to do so. There are also a few tricks to help improve dental health in these cases:

Regular exercise

With physical exertion, a dog begins to pant, which increases salivation. The movement of the tongue and cheek muscles when swallowing the saliva automatically improves the self-cleaning of the teeth.

no snacks

The dog should only be fed twice a day. The natural self-cleaning of a set of teeth takes about 12 hours. In the meantime, the dog should not be rewarded with “treats” too often, since every food intake leads to plaque and thus makes self-cleaning more difficult.

chewing bones or chewing strips

The self-cleaning of the teeth can be supported by the administration of chewing bones or chewing strips. If these are provided with enzymes, they also reduce the plaque chemically. Chewing bones are ideal for dogs that like to chew and whose tartar mainly adheres to the molars. Real bones are unsuitable as they are much too hard. They lead to cracks and fractures in the teeth and, over time, to excessive wear of the teeth (along with other harmful effects on the digestive tract).


Fluids are gels that are usually applied to the tooth surface with the fingers once a day and chemically combat plaque build-up.

appropriate feed

The dry feed can delay the formation of tartar. When biting, they rub across the tooth surfaces. This mechanical effect can be enhanced by the special texture of each croquette. Mechanically active dry feeds are particularly effective in the area of ​​the molars. You can buy food croquettes that are tailored to the size and shape of each dog. Some foods contain substances that dissolve in saliva and delay plaque formation by attaching themselves to the tooth surface. They act as a kind of placeholder and work on all teeth.

Frequently Asked Question

When do dogs get tartar?

The brilliant white teeth of young dogs are immediately noticeable to everyone. However, discoloration and tartar can usually be seen on the teeth of many animals from the age of three.

What prevents tartar in dogs?

How can you prevent tartar in dogs? The best way to reduce the risk of tartar is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. However, since most four-legged friends are less enthusiastic about it, it takes some time to get your pet used to it – preferably from an early age.

What helps against dog tartar?

There are dental care gels for dogs that kill the bacteria in the mouth. This means they cannot settle and tartar cannot form in the first place. Apply the gel to your dog’s teeth regularly. You can use soft toothbrushes or gloves for this.

Can you remove tartar from dogs yourself?

It is hardly possible to remove tartar from the dog yourself because you need special tools for it. If a layman uses manual tartar scrapers, this can lead to injuries in the mouth and damage to the teeth. Tartar does not disappear with brushing your teeth alone or with household remedies.

Which dog food promotes tartar?

The wrong type of dog food can promote tartar formation if the dog gets a lot of nutrients with a high carbohydrate content such as grains or raw sugar and the food is very soft. Above all, the sugar ensures that bacteria can spread easily.

What to feed a dog with tartar?

Food plays an important role in the dental care of your darling. The mechanical abrasion during chewing helps to loosen plaque or light tartar from the teeth. Dry food is therefore often recommended as prophylaxis against tartar.

Is dry food good for dog teeth?

If your dog is given food that he swallows quickly and without thorough chewing, this is not optimal for dental hygiene. While it’s a common belief that dry food is good for dental health, this is a myth.

What is good for dog teeth?

With specially-made chews, you can easily get the dog to take care of its teeth. Such chewing articles can be so-called chewing sticks, for example. These mechanically clean the dog’s teeth and gums when chewing.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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