Dog Tartar Control

Dog tartar, also known as calculus, is a deposit of plaque and minerals at the base of the teeth. Dog tartar control is necessary, as tartar deposits can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease, or teeth loss. In more severe cases, tartar may lead to heart disease.

Tartar may be controlled through daily brushing, a dry food diet and periodical visits to a dog dental hygienist.

How Is Tartar Formed

After a dog eats, a few remains of the food may get stuck between his teeth. These food remains will facilitate the buildup of bacteria and mixed with the minerals in the saliva will form a thin plaque film. If the plaque is not eliminated, it will turn into tartar in 2 to 3 days.

Tartar is a mix of plaque with minerals; tartar cannot be removed with normal dog toothpaste.

If the tartar deposits are advanced, the dog’s gums may bleed. In time, the gums may recede and this may give the bacteria access to the blood stream. This may lead to internal problems including heart disease.

Regular Teeth Brushing

Regular teeth brushing will contribute to preventing tartar deposits. Don’t use human toothpaste or tooth brushes; get a kid's toothbrush or a special pet toothbrush and meat flavored toothpaste.

Try to get your dog used to the dental brushing routine as early as possible, so that he won’t oppose resistance every time you want to brush his teeth.

Dry Food

Dry food can also remove plaque, which will prevent the buildup of tartar.

In case your dog is on a wet diet and you don’t want to switch to kibble food, you need to consider a few dry treats. Talk to your vet to recommend you a few chew treats that will scrape off the plaque deposits and prevent serious tooth decay.

Chew Toys

Just as dry food or chew treats, chew toys can get rid of the plaque deposits on your pet’s teeth.

The chew toys are different from your dog’s usual toys; the chew toys have a rough texture. Always ask your vet to recommend you a few toys that are suitable for your dog’s size, age and force. Some chew toys may cause jaw bone fractures, so you need to avoid this.

Tartar Removal at Home

You may try to remove tartar at home; however, this is recommended in addition to the periodical professional cleaning.

Use some baking soda and put it on your dog’s tooth brush. Gently brush the dog’s teeth; in case the gums start to bleed, you need to stop.

Periodical Professional Cleaning

Even if you maintain proper dental hygiene, your dog still needs a periodical cleaning and checkup; there may be places in your dog’s mouth that are more difficult to access, where tartar can build up.

The dog will be anesthetized, as he may be uncooperative seeing all the cleaning tools. A professional cleaning is recommended at least once per year. The vet may also check if there are any other problems. Early detection may prevent teeth loss.