Tartar and Plaque in dogs

Anybody who has ever owned a dog (or cat) will know that at some point your dog will experience Tartar and Plaque build up on their teeth. It is unsightly, can lead to smelly breath, and even more serious problems if it is not addressed. Thankfully there are a number of methods available for tartar removal for dogs.

An example of healthy dog teeth

Healthy Dog Teeth
Credit: This Year's Love - http://www.flickr.com/photos/hand-nor-glove/2311374241/

What is Tarar?

Tartar is a by-product of Calcium breakdown that builds up on teeth over time. The acid caused by the breakdown causes tooth decay, and encourages bacteria to build up under the tartar, causing painful inflammation at the gum line.

Why do you need to get rid of Tartar in Dogs?

An excessive build up of tartar on your dog’s teeth not only looks unpleasant, it can also be an indication of your dog’s overall health. In many cases, bacteria under the Tartar can cause decay, causing pain and swelling, as well as infection. This infection can eat away at the gums and in some cases teeth can then become detached from the gums and fall out. If left unchecked, pain around the infections may mean your dog has difficulty eating leading to further problems. In rare occasions, infection can also get into the blood stream and cause serious complications such as organ failure.

Why take care of your dog's teeth?

Removal of Tartar in Dogs.

There are several ways to remove tartar from your dog’s teeth. The easiest and most common way is to use Rawhide dog treats. Rawhide is made from the inner layer of Cow and Horse skin. The Rawhide is tough to chew, and in the process of chewing it rubs against the teeth and gums to remove Tartar.

Some dogs do not like Rawhide however; in this case the use of Dental treats can help reduce Tartar on your dog’s teeth. These treats are designed to be chewy and break apart slowly when chewed. Dental treats work in much the same way as Rawhide.

The two methods mentioned above are the first line of defence against Tartar build up. However, if these methods don’t work then you can try Prescription Dog Food, or special pet dental diets. This food is a dry food diet but the food pieces are much harder than Kibble. When chewed it acts in the same way as Rawhide and dental treats. This diet is usually given with reduced soft food intake. Soft food does not remove Tartar from the teeth and helps promote Tartar build up.

Of course, if your dog’s teeth are too covered in Tartar for the above to work effectively you can always get the Tartar removed by your vet. After the Tartar has been removed preventative Tartar treatment needs to be taken to prevent excessive build up.

How to clean Tartar off your dog's teeth

Prevention of Tartar.

As the old saying goes prevention is always better than cure. Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to prevent future problems. Special pet toothpaste is available as well as special pet toothbrushes. Regular Dental treats and Rawhide treats, along with a careful diet, will also help to prevent future teeth problems. 

How to brush your dog's teeth

Many of us who own dogs tend to forget about the dog's dental hygiene. It is easy to prevent plaque and tartar build up if regular preventative measures are taken. These include dental treats, regular brushing and tough chew toys.