Easy Steps to Remove Tartar from Dog Teeth Without a Vet

Dental care is important for maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being as it is for humans. To achieve this milestone, you need to pay careful attention to the oral hygiene of your dog. Dogs can develop tooth problems from tartar build-up resulting in gum infection, tooth decay and serious health problems when left without treatment. In this blog, we will look at the most effective strategies on how to remove tartar from dog teeth without visiting a dentist. From step-by-step brushing techniques to natural remedies and dietary adjustments, we’ll show you different ways so you may be able to help you to keep your dog’s teeth clean and shiny, and tartar-free at home.

remove tartar from dog teeth

Understanding Tartar Buildup in Dogs

Dental calculus, also called tartar, is a tough, yellowish or brownish substance that develops on teeth. It forms when plaque, a soft, sticky bacterial film, hardens over time due to minerals in saliva. While plaque can be easily removed with regular brushing, tartar requires professional cleaning or specific home care methods once it hardens. Tartar buildup is a common problem in pets and, if not addressed, can lead to serious oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay. It’s important to prioritize regular dental care and professional cleanings to prevent these complications and maintain excellent oral hygiene for both humans and pets alike.

Signs of Tartar Buildup in Dogs

It is very important that you have an eye for any signs of an existing build-up in your pup’s mouth so that they may be able to treat early before worsening. The most common signs include:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellowed or discolored teeth
  • Gums with redness and inflammation
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty eating or chewing food

If you see any of these signs, it is advisable to look into them. This can help avoid more oral health problems for your dog.

Impact of Tartar Buildup on a Dog’s Health

Besides causing bad breath and discomfort, tartar buildup in dogs can lead to very serious health problems if left untreated. A few risks associated with tartar formation include:

Gum Disease: The disease commonly encountered in dogs is gingivitis, an ailment that develops due to accumulation of plaque. If not timely treated, it can flow to the progression of periodontal disease that can in turn can lead to a tooth loss and infection.

Tooth decay or cavities: The tartar buildup can cause some serious illnesses such as a tooth decay and tooth caries. This could be a very challenging time for your dog, and it may not allow the dog to eat normally again. It promotes the possibility of more severe infections and diseases.

Jaw Fractures: As tarter grows more and more, it can ultimately cause the jawbone to become weakened and capable of fractures. This can result in a painful issue for your dog and possibly the need for surgical intervention.

Infection: Bacteria can cause infection if tartar between the teeth and gums is formed. Without treatment, infections may spread to other parts of the body.

Organ Damage: Bacteria stemming from tartar buildup can infiltrate the bloodstream and cause harm to vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. This underscores the critical nature of maintaining excellent oral health for your dog.

Preparatory Steps

Before attempting any of the methods listed below, it is important to take some preparatory steps to ensure a successful tartar removal process. These include:

  1. Familiarizing your dog with having their teeth touched and examined.
  2. Locate a moment when your pet has settled down before carrying out this procedure.
  3. Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental scaler, etc., should be available.
  4. Give lots of compliments and incentives during the entire process to keep your dog in a cooperative and comfortable state.
  5. Dental wipes or dental treats can also be used instead of brushing if your dog is not at ease with teeth brushing.
  6. Tartar removal tools (optional, for experienced pet owners)

How to Remove Tartar from Dog Teeth Without a Dentist

Pets’ oral hygiene requires regular professional cleanings but there are also home remedies that help remove tartar from your dog teeth without going to a dentist;

How to Remove It from Your Dog's Teeth Naturally

Brushing with Dog-specific Toothpaste

One way of preventing tartar build-up in dogs is to brush their teeth regularly. However, human products can be dangerous when swallowed and should therefore be avoided at all costs. Only dental hygiene products specifically made for canines should be used. This is how you can clean your dog’s teeth yourself at home:

  1. Put the toothbrush and toothpaste into his mouth so that he starts sniffing lick it to familiarize with new things.
  2. Start by brushing the outer surface of their teeth while gently lifting your dog’s lips using a circular motion pattern.
  3. Focus more on the back teeth where most tartar lies for better results of cleaning.
  4. Try praising him and giving him some treats as you do this to help him relax.
  5. Brush for more than two minutes and ensure that you touch all areas of its mouth.
  6. Rinse the brush thoroughly after each use and replace it every 2-3 months.

Feeding Dental Chews and Toys

Some toys and dental chews sold in stores can be used to minimize or remove tartar accumulation on dog teeth. Such products help to scrape off plaque and tartar when chewing hence promoting healthier teeth and gums in your canine friend. However, owners should choose the right size, shape, and texture appropriate for their pets.

Using Dental Wipes or Sprays

Dental wipes or sprays can be employed for dogs, which are not comfortable with having their teeth brushed. These help in the elimination of plaque and tartar without the necessity to brush them completely. The manufacturer’s directions on the product label should be followed when using such sprays or wipes.

Water Additives and Oral Rinses

There are also water additives and oral rinses that reduce tartar buildup in dogs. These contain enzymes that dissolve plaque build-up as the pet drinks or swishes the oral rinse around its mouth. Nevertheless, since they may not be safe for all dogs, it is very vital to consult a vet before using these products.

Home Dental Scaling

Experienced pet owners themselves can easily remove tartar from their dog teeth with the help of dental scaling (for pets specifically) at home. However, one must have a good understanding of how to handle such situations properly without causing any harm to their pets’ teeth or gums before undertaking such tasks.

Raw Bones (optional, for experienced pet owners)

For dogs that have strong chewing habits, raw bones can remove tartar effectively. Thus, when the dog gnaws on them he/she will help scrap off plaque and tartars while at the same time, encourage healthier teeth and gums. However, always watch over your dog when they chomp on bone to prevent choking or digestive upheavals.

Using Tartar Removal Tools (for experienced pet owners)

Experienced pet owners at home to take away tartar from their dogs’ teeth use Tartar removal tools like dental scalers. However, these tools should be used with care after proper guidance given by a vet or professional groomer.

Natural Remedies for Tartar Removal

Aside from the above-mentioned methods, there are also natural remedies that can help remove tartar from your dog teeth. These include:

  • Coconut oil: Massaging a small amount of coconut oil onto your dog’s teeth and gums can help break down plaque and prevent tartar buildup.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Mixing equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spraying it onto your dog’s teeth can help kill bacteria and prevent tartar formation.
  • Turmeric: Adding a small amount of turmeric to your dog’s food can help reduce inflammation in their mouth and keep their teeth clean.
  • Herbal Supplements: There are various herbal supplements available that can promote good oral health in dogs, such as peppermint and parsley.

Professional Dental Cleaning

It is true that home remedies could be helpful in curing dental infections in the dog, but they cannot stop the formation of dense tartar masses. Such patients need to be cared for by the qualified vets professionally and not amateur personnel. The scaling includes the polishing of the teeth and a further deep cleansing under anesthesia, which may be extended below the gum line. The procedure may involve detailed mouth examination by the vet to detect potential dental problems that may have to be fixed.

For more tips on pet care and ensuring your pooch smells fresh and clean after every bath, check out our guide on How to Make Your Dog Smell Good After a Bath.

Foods to Avoid for Dental Health

Apart from having good oral care practices and using methods to remove tartar, people should also be cautious with what their dogs consume. Below is how some foods can cause plaque buildup in dogs:

  1. Starchy foods: Grains and potatoes are examples of starches, which stick on dogs’ teeth forming plaques hence leading to the formation of tartars below the gums.
  2. Sugary foods: Sugar can also cause the formation of plaques and tarts in dogs’ mouths just like humans.
  3. Hard treats: Chewing hard sugary treats like bones or antlers might seem like an effective way to clean your pet’s teeth but on the contrary could damage their teeth by causing fractures or even other injuries.
  4. People food: Feeding your dog with table scraps or human food can also result in accumulation of tartars. Feed them with well-balanced meals, which have been specifically designed for them.

How to Prevent Tartar From Forming

Taking preventive measures is key to keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Here are some tips to prevent tartar buildup:

  • Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog-specific toothpaste.
  • Providing dental chews and toys for your dog to chew on.
  • Adding water additives or oral rinses to your dog’s drinking water.
  • Feeding a balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates.
  • Regularly scheduling professional dental cleanings for your dog.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene in Dogs

Here are some additional tips to help maintain good oral hygiene in dogs:

  • Start an oral hygiene routine with your dog at a young age, so they become accustomed to having their teeth brushed.
  • Avoid giving your dog sugary treats or foods that can contribute to plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s oral health.
  • Monitor your dog’s chewing habits and replace worn-out dental chews and toys regularly.
  • Be aware of any changes in your dog’s behavior, such as difficulty eating or bad breath, which may indicate an underlying dental issue.
  • It is important to note that some breeds are more prone to dental problems and may require extra attention and care for their oral hygiene. Consult with your veterinarian for breed-specific recommendations.

By following these steps, you can prevent tartar build up which leads to plaque and promotes good overall dental health. Remember always seek advice from veterinary doctors before undertaking any home-based dental procedures as well as regular checks on oral health concerns affecting dogs.


In conclusion, failure to deal with tartar buildup in dogs has serious oral health consequences. Regular cleanings and preventive measures will ensure good dental hygiene for your pet’s mouth. This can be done through various methods such as brushing regularly; using tools for removing plaque from the teeth or even some natural remedies among others. For an effective means of improving oral health consult your vet about what he thinks works best for you and make sure you prioritize them all the time. Remember also that taking care of your pet’s gums is particularly important as well as seeing to its overall health. These hints will assist in maintaining the dog’s oral hygiene so that its smile remains radiant. Don’t forget to brush regularly!

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