Dog Training

Tartar in dogs (4 tips for immediate help)

Your dog has tartar? How to get rid of him alone and properly care for his teeth, you will learn in this article. In addition, the most important tips for immediate help. In addition, we have for this article Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. Note: This article is written for the german country. So be curious.

tartar dog
Article Overview

Tartar can have serious consequences if left untreated.

How is tartar formed?

After each meal of our four-legged friends, food residues remain attached to the teeth. Normally, these are loosened by chewing a bone, for example, and then removed by saliva. 

There are lots of bacteria in the mouth. But don't panic, most of them are good for the body and help decompose the food. The "bad" bacteria are killed by the immune system.

However, if the food residues cannot be removed properly, they are a found food for certain bacteria. 

These then multiply and, together with food residues, minerals from saliva and bacteria from the oral mucosa, form a solid layer on the tooth surface. Since these are mostly plaque bacteria, this layer is also called plaque. 

The plaque has a rough surface. Therefore, new bacteria can adhere to it very well and the layer grows even further. When it is severely hardened and visible to the naked eye, it is called tartar.

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What do I have to look for in the food?

Tartar is not uncommon in furry noses. Dental hygiene may not be as thorough as in humans, so food debris keeps getting stuck in the teeth. There are also additional factors that increase the risk in dogs.

Bacteria feed predominantly on Sugar. If your protégé ingests a lot of sugar through food, it is a feast for the bacteria in the mouth. They multiply more and are more persistent. Also the in Cereal products contained starch is enthusiastically received by bacteria. 

For this reason, sugary foods and cereals are a risk for tartar.

A complete switch from dry food to wet food also promotes tartar. The teeth are cleaned by the abrasion when chewing the dry food. This mechanical cleaning is missing with wet food.

The risk with small breeds

Small four-legged friends are much more at risk of getting diseases related to their teeth. This includes tartar. The shorter muzzles created by breeding no longer provide enough space for the many teeth. The result is often misaligned teeth. 

Since the very narrow interdental spaces cannot be cleaned while chewing, bacteria and food debris quickly settle.

In addition, small dogs pant more often. Constant panting dries out the mucous membrane more quickly and there is too little saliva in the mouth. Bacteria and food residues settle more easily and tartar forms after some time.

Tooth loss possible

If the tartar is not treated, the bacteria also attack the gums. As a result, it becomes inflamed and gum pockets develop, i.e. cavities where the teeth attach to the gums. The bacteria can now also settle here. The gums are thus pushed back further and further and the teeth appear larger.

This process damages both gums, teeth and bone. If this remains untreated, the tooth loosens after some time and falls out.

Of course, you should not wait so long with this problem, because this process can be very painful. As a result, the four-legged friends eat less because they have a toothache or simply gulp down the food instead of chewing it properly. The gulping down of food can lead to vomiting or gastrointestinal problems.

Through gum pockets, which are ultimately wounds, bacteria can very easily enter the bloodstream and affect organs throughout the body. Thus, in some cases, kidneys, liver or even the heart can be damaged.

Therefore, you should not let it get that far in the first place and remove tartar in time.

How to recognize tartar


Tartar consists of hardened dental plaque. These have a hard substance and are rough on the surface. As a result, new plaque keeps forming on it and the tartar grows larger.

You can recognize tartar in your pet by a gray-green to brown discoloration. It usually starts at the base of the tooth and spreads over the tooth. 

In most cases, the canines, fangs and molars of the upper jaw are affected. Plaque is mainly found on the surface of the teeth, sometimes also in the gum pockets. So look closely not only at the teeth, but also at the transition from gum to tooth.

Tartar is very often caused by strong mouth odor accompanied Gum inflammation can also lead to Gum bleeding lead. In the case of pronounced inflammation, the tooth even ulcerates.

Probably your faithful friend Toothache due to the tartar. For you as an owner, however, this is usually difficult to recognize, as dogs often mask slight pain. You can recognize the pain by the fact that your darling eats less.

What you can do against tartar

If you discover discoloration and plaque on your dog, don't wait long to help him. If the tartar continues to harden or grow larger, it will also become more difficult to remove.  

1. remove yourself

If you are confident, you can scrape the tartar off your four-legged friend's teeth yourself. 

Is it still a simple plaque and not solid tartar, you can carefully remove it with a toothbrush. For this use either a special Dog toothbrush or even just a regular security with soft bristles. 

If the coating is stubborn and cannot be removed so easily, you can first use a special Tooth gel apply. The enzymes contained in it soften the tartar. You don't have to worry if your pet licks the gel. The consumption is safe for dogs. 

If the teeth are already pretreated, you can use the Now carefully scrape off the tartar. For this you should have a special tartar remover set use. You probably already know similar scratches from the dentist.

However, this method only works if your furry friend remains calm and puts up with the dental treatment.

2. have removed by the veterinarian

If you don't feel confident removing the tartar yourself or your dog doesn't stay calm enough, the vet can remove the Remove tartar under anesthesia. 

You should also go to the vet if your pet has a severe toothache, refuses food, or his gums are bleeding.

The veterinarian removes the tartar with the help of a Dental ultrasound device. This procedure takes place under anesthesia. Unfortunately, this is quite costly. Depending on the vet and the severity, you have to expect several hundred euros. In addition, there is the risk of anesthesia for your dog.

You must decide for yourself to what extent this intervention is necessary. You can also ask your veterinarian for advice.

4 Tips for prevention

Dog tooth

1. species appropriate diet

An incorrect diet can be largely responsible for tartar. However, if you make sure that the dog food is no sugar and cereals contains, your favorite's teeth will stay healthy longer. 

Dry food is usually better for the teeth than wet food. Due to the firm consistency, less food remains. In addition, dry food supports the self-cleaning of the teeth through abrasion.

2. dog toys for chewing and chewing bone

The more your four-legged friend chews on solid things, the better he cleans his own teeth. There are special dog toys for chewing and nibbling. Natural chewing bones and gristle also contribute to your dog's dental health.

3. get used to dental checks

Getting your dog used to dental checkups when he's still a puppy will make this procedure easier in a pinch. 

From the very beginning you should check the teeth of your favorite view regularly and Control handles perform. You can also carefully brush his teeth. For this, you should use toothbrushes with a soft brush and a special dog toothpaste.

4. dental care gel for prevention.

There are dental care gels for dogs that kill the bacteria in the mouth. This prevents them from settling and tartar from forming in the first place. Apply the gel regularly to your dog's teeth. For this you can use soft Use toothbrushes or gloves.

Recommendation from the vet

Unfortunately, discoloration of our dogs' teeth is often underestimated. But they are not only a visual problem, because they can also bring serious consequences.

Tartar does not get better without treatment. Quite the opposite: it gets bigger and bigger over time. In the worst case, it even leads to tooth loss. That's why you should avoid risk factors like foods high in sugar and grains, and check your dog's teeth regularly. 

Thus, your four-legged friend can continue to live without toothache and annoying tartar removal.

Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

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