How To Remove Tartar From Dog Teeth? Insights

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

It is very important to maintain a dog’s dental hygiene, as not doing so can have an ill effect on their health. Usually, the dental health of the dog takes a back seat and is often neglected by paw parents. This situation leads to hard tartar formation in dogs, this might make you wonder, “How to remove tartar from dog teeth?”

No need to stress through our blog we will take you to in-depth information related to tartar removal from dog teeth. We will make an effort to introduce all available options you can choose to clean your dog’s teeth.

How To Remove Tartar From Dog Teeth?

What Is Dog Teeth Tartar?

Tartar is a hard brownish-grey substance that builds up on your dog’s teeth. It is caused as a result of a mixture of plaque, food and saliva with the minerals existing in the dog’s mouth.

Tartar is formed when the plaque is not cleaned regularly. After every meal that your dog consumes, there is a soft sticky film that layers on your dog’s teeth. This soft sticky film is plaque, and when this plaque is not removed it keeps on adding and hardens with time. This hardened plaque is known as tartar.

Tartar buildup in your dog’s teeth is a serious dental issue. This tartar affects your dog’s teeth and gums

The Effect of Tartar on Dog’s Health

Here’s how tartar buildup affects your dog’s health:

  • The tartar buildup leads to inflamed gums of the dog and further leads to serious infections like gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition that weakens a dog’s gums by making them sore and bleed easily.
  • It can cause periodontal disease, due to which a dog can lose the tooth and abscesses in the dog’s mouth.
  • If the tartar buildup is not cleaned then it can lead to the formation of harmful bacteria. This bacteria can further travel in your dog’s intestine upon the consumption of food and result in health issues.
  • The harmful bacteria can mix up with the dog’s bloodstream affecting the kidney, heart and liver.
  • It makes it difficult for dogs to eat and causes painful dental issues, which affects their food consumption and quality of life.

How To Remove Tartar From Dog Teeth?

Remove Tartar From Dog Teeth

Here are the ways to remove tartar buildup in dogs:

Brush regularly

To avoid the issue of tartar buildup brush your dog’s teeth regularly. To brush your dog’s teeth use the soft bristle toothbrush, as it cleans the dog’s teeth gently and effectively. These soft-bristled toothbrushes do not irritate your dog’s teeth and gums making them easy to clean.

For healthy teeth and gums brush your dog’s teeth every two days or at least once a week if possible.

Chewing toys

Most dogs often don’t like to brush their teeth and throw tantrums for the same. This makes it difficult for the paw parents to clean their dog’s teeth, in this case chewing toys can prove to be helpful.

Providing your dog with chewing toys helps to maintain their dental health. When a dog chews the chewing toy, it removes all the sticky substances and food stuck in their teeth.

Dental sticks

Dental sticks are not just any regular treat sticks they are designed specially to clean dog’s teeth. These dental sticks are edible and do not harm your dog’s health. They are made to be abrasive and boost the chewing urge in dogs.

Dental sticks are available in various flavours, which makes them a favourable choice. It not only cleans the dog’s teeth but also prevents the bad breath in them.

Dental wipes

Dental wipes help to remove the tartar by softening it. These wipes are soft cloth with which you can wipe your dog’s teeth and gums. While using the wipes make sure you use the one specially designed for dogs and avoid using normal wipes.

Gel and spray

Oral care gel and sprays specially formulated to clean dog’s teeth provide overall cleaning. This gel and spray contain enzymes that remove the tartar by dissolving it.

Water additives

Water additives are one of the easiest ways to clean your dog’s teeth. You just need to add these additives to your dog’s water. This prevents plaque and tartar buildup in your dog and reduces the formation of harmful bacteria.

As mentioned by Mallory Kanwal, DVM, DAVDC in petmd, "Tartar, which is mineralized plaque, can only be removed through professional veterinarian scaling and polishing, which requires anesthesia for pets."

When To Visit the Vet for Professional Dental Cleaning?

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleaning[1] helps to clean your dog’s overall mouth. Normally it is easy to clean a dog’s teeth at home with a little bit of practice. But there are some cases in which you just cannot clean your dog’s teeth at home and need the help of a professional.

If your dog is suffering from serious dental issues and gum bleeding then you cannot their teeth at home.

Here are the signs when you need to visit a vet for professional dental cleaning:

  • Bad breath
  • Red swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Broken tooth
  • Plaque formation
  • Tartar build-up
  • Loose teeth
  • Drooling at the mouth

These above-mentioned signs are to be taken seriously. If your dog is showing these signs then consult a vet immediately. If you try to clean the teeth of a dog exhibiting this sign then it will only worsen the already terrible situation. It can further increase these issues.


How to remove tartar from dog teeth?

For tartar removal from a dog’s teeth, there are many ways. You should opt for the one with which your dog is comfortable. One of the ways to remove the tartar from dog teeth is by using a brush, or giving your dental chews or chewing toys. You can also use the dental wipes available commercially to remove the tartar from the dog’s teeth.

Is tartar painful for dogs?

No, tartar is not painful for dogs. Even though the tartar is not painful for the dogs it causes certain dental problems which are painful. Tartar can make the gum push away from teeth, it makes them sensitive and swollen. Further, this problem increases leading to infection, inflammation and tooth decay. These dental problems caused due to tartar buildup are painful for dogs.

How can I remove my dog’s teeth tartar at home?

To remove tartar from dog’s teeth at home you can try brushing their teeth regularly with a soft bristle brush. You can even provide your dog with certain chewing toys these toys help to clean your dog’s teeth without irritating them. Apart from this, you can even use the enzymatic toothpastes that help in easy tartar removal at home.

Does coconut oil remove tartar from the dog’s teeth?

No, coconut oil alone cannot remove the tartar from the dog’s teeth. Coconut oil contains antibacterial properties which help to reduce tartar buildup but cannot remove it fully. Tartar is hard enough and to remove it you need to use other tools and ways to remove it.

At what age do dogs get tartar?

Typically there is no such fixed age when a dog gets tartar, but it takes time for the tartar to build up. This is why if your dog is having tartar buildup then you can notice it as early as the age of 1 year. To avoid tartar buildup clean your dog’s teeth on a regular basis.


Tartar buildup in dogs might not seem to be crucial but in reality, it is as it not only affects the dog’s dental health but affects the overall functioning too. We hope through our blog, “How to remove tartar from dog teeth?” we have successfully made you aware of the ways to remove tartar from dog teeth.

If the tartar buildup is hard to remove and if your dog is suffering from sore and bleeding gums then consult a vet immediately. Professional dental cleaning might be expensive but not more than your dog’s health. To prevent tartar formation make sure you clean you clean your dog’s teeth regularly.


  1. How dental care keeps your pet healthy and happy. (n.d.). Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine | Virginia Tech.
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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