How to Clean Tartar off Dog’s Teeth at Home | Dog Tartar 101

You’ve probably noticed the brown tint on your dog’s teeth when he smiles or yawns, or worse, you’ve smelled their bad breath during a cuddle session.

Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy requires regular tartar removal, and if it is not done, it can suffer great harm.

A happy dog must have clean teeth. Because dogs cannot care for their teeth on their own, it is their owners’ responsibility to ensure their teeth are healthy. So, here we will look at how to clean tartar off a dog’s teeth at home.

How to Clean Tartar off Dog's Teeth at Home

Here are the causes of tartar and how to clean tartar off your dog’s teeth.

What causes tartar in dogs?

Tartar starts as plaque. It is normal for your dog to build up plaque every time he eats. Following a meal, plaque forms on your dog’s teeth within a few hours. When this plaque combines with the saliva present in your dog’s mouth, it hardens and forms tartar.

Tartar can lead to costly dental appointments for your pooch as well as painful dental issues.

How does tartar affect a dog’s health? 

Tartar is just as harmful to dogs as it is to humans. Tartar buildup encourages nasty bacteria to thrive in your dog’s mouth, and it is only a matter of time before this becomes a serious problem.

Many dental problems begin with tartar, including periodontal disease, gingivitis, abscesses, or loss of your dog’s teeth. A bit less major, but it also causes your dog to have terrible breath.

Tartar affects more than just your teeth. It is just as harmful to your gums as well. When tartar builds up along the gum line, it pushes the teeth away. Essentially the teeth are pushed away from the gums. This makes the roots of the teeth vulnerable as they are exposed and no longer protected by enamel.

As the roots of your dog’s teeth are no longer protected, they are extremely sensitive. Thus, he is likely to feel pain after eating something, which is very uncomfortable.

Tartar can travel. When the disease reaches your dog’s mouth, it will spread to his body, which is extremely dangerous.

Your dog’s bloodstream carries it throughout his body, affecting the liver, kidney, and heart. That sounds dangerous. This only leads to more problems and can create a very unsafe situation.

How to clean your dog’s teeth naturally – Best Ways

Tartar removal can be a task, but here are some natural ways on how to get clean tartar off your dog’s teeth at home.

  • Rawhides

Rawhide is an animal skin that has not been tanned. It is the most common way to get rid of tartar in your dog’s mouth.

Make sure you purchase all-natural rawhide without chemicals and preservatives. It is also important that you purchase a rawhide that is the right size for your dog.

While it might make sense to you to buy a large piece so you will not have to repurchase a new one quickly, your small dog might get frustrated by it as he will not be able to fit it correctly in his mouth. As a result, he will go back to chewing on unwanted items.

In addition, never leave your dog unattended when he is nibbling on rawhide. The rawhide should not fall apart or splinter because if that happens, there is a risk of injury.

The chemicals present in rawhide prevent the build-up of plaque, which in turn prevents tartar.

  • Deer Antlers

For getting rid of tartar, deer antlers are exceptionally effective. Choosing antlers from deer that have shed naturally is always better than those from butchered animals if you want your dog to have the best antlers.

Deer antlers are a win-win situation because dogs enjoy their nubby texture, and humans enjoy them because they are relatively easy to clean, do not cause problems in your dog’s digestive tract, and do not odor. The bone marrow in deer antlers helps reduce tartar. For removing tartar, it works wonders.

Deer antlers also last for a long time without splintering, which means they are safe for your dog for more extended periods of time. While your dog chews the antler, he is grinding it, not breaking it. Therefore, there is no splintering.

  • Raw Bones

Raw bones are a great way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy, but raw here is the keyword. You should never cook a bone for your dog, as it can splinter and get stuck in the throat and mouth. Raw bones do not splinter easily and are therefore safe for your dog.

Raw bones stimulate saliva flow, which prevents plaque and tartar from building up. A turkey’s neck bone is a good choice for a large dog, while a chicken’s neck bone is ideal for smaller dogs.

Source your bones from a poultry farm, or make sure that they are organically sourced so that you are not giving your dog a whole bunch of preservatives. Here again, supervision is crucial. Although raw bones do not splinter as easily as cooked ones, there is still a possibility of splintering.

Always keep an eye on your dog when given a bone, and don’t leave him unsupervised with a bone for too long.

Can dog tartar removal spray help?

Brushing your pooches’ teeth can be a task, and it is an activity that both you and your dog do not enjoy. But dental hygiene is essential. Luckily there are other alternatives to brushing for the days you do not have the patience to coax your dog into sitting still so you can brush his teeth properly.

How to Clean Tartar off Dog's Teeth at Home

A tartar spray can be a good alternative. It is also an excellent solution if you are unable to eliminate dog breath despite diligent brushing. That’s a quick fix to freshen up his breath so that cuddle time is more pleasant. Here are some effective tartar removal sprays you can use for your pooch:

A tartar spray reduces the chances of gum disease and removes plaque and tartar. Brushing is the most effective way to prevent dental issues. Tartar spray is good for the days in between brushing as it reduces the risk of oral diseases. With its antiseptic properties, it can remove the problem at an enzyme level.

Using tartar spray is much simpler than brushing. All you need to do is spray three to five sprays into your dog’s water bowl or directly into his mouth, and you are good to go.

How to make Doggie toothpaste?

Keeping your dog’s chompers white and clean is very important. But constantly buying doggie toothpaste can be expensive. Not to mention, you have no idea what chemicals are present in store-bought toothpaste.

How to Clean Tartar off Dog's Teeth

Homemade remedies to get tartar off your dog’s teeth are not only easy to make, but they are also inexpensive and use ingredients that you most probably already have at home. You can store these homemade remedies in the fridge so you can make a big batch and store it for future use.

Here are two natural remedies that help prevent tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth and keep the dog’s breath fresh.

  • Coconut oil, Turmeric, Parsley and Kelp

Coconut oil is a natural base, turmeric a natural tooth whitener, parsley is an antibacterial agent, and kelp helps with dog tartar removal.

Melt the coconut oil if required and add in the turmeric, parsley, and kale. Mix the ingredients. Keep the mixture in the fridge between uses, and each time you use it to heat it a bit, so it is easier to apply onto your dog’s teeth.

  • Beef Bouillon Cube, Baking Soda, Salt and Parsley

This homemade remedy is flavored with beef bouillon, so your dog will love it, plus the baking soda and salt have granules that are great to remove that nasty plaque, and the parsley will ensure that your dog’s breath is fresh and he is always cuddle-ready. Add in a bit of water and mix all the ingredients. Store in the fridge and heat up before use.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Just like human’s dogs would also benefit from daily brushing. Brushing your dog’s teeth every night is beneficial as this will remove all the bacteria accumulated in his mouth from eating food all day.

Make sure to do this every night at the same time when you and your dog are calm.

Establishing a routine is a good way not to surprise your dog too much, and after a while, he also will get used to brushing and not resist it so much.

How to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing?

Let’s face it; you probably don’t have the time to brush your teeth twice a day, let alone brush your dog’s teeth every day. But dental hygiene is not something that you should ignore. If you cannot find the time to brush your dog’s teeth, here are some alternatives you can try:

  • Doggie dental treats

There’s nothing better than giving your dog a treat that has added benefits. Different dental chews are available that are both yummy and effective in removing the tartar. You can also choose natural ones like Greenies Natural Dental Treats. Natural dental treats contain ingredients such as cinnamon and baking soda that help dissolve plaque.

  • Fresh Foods

Try feeding your dog fresh foods instead of kibble. Not only are they more nutritious, but they also contain enzymes that inhibit plaque formation.

  • Rawhide and Raw bones

Rawhide is a great natural alternative to brushing; the benefits of both these have been explained in detail above. They not only remove plaque from your dog’s teeth but also are a great solution if your pup enjoys chewing on unwanted objects.

A point to remember is that regular brushing is the most effective way to get rid of tartar and keep your dog’s teeth healthy.

How good is coconut oil for a dog’s teeth?

Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is a great tooth care product for dogs. Since it is classified as a superfood, coconut oil is the perfect product for dogs.

Coconut oil is great for maintaining your dog’s teeth. In between vet visits and cleaning, you can use coconut oil on a toothbrush and use it to clean your dog’s teeth. Use coconut oil as is or make a doggie toothpaste with the recipes above.

You can also make a canine mouthwash with coconut milk. Combine coconut milk with a human probiotic supplement and give your dog it after meals as a mouthwash.


A healthy mouth is an integral part of overall well-being. If not looked into properly, it can lead to various problems. It becomes excruciating for your dog, and the vet bills will keep piling up. In a situation like this, the age-old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is the best advice.

If you want to keep tartar from forming on your dog’s teeth, you have to stop it in the early stages, when it is still plaque. It is our duty to care for our pups and do whatever they can’t do for themselves.

It is very beneficial for both you and your dog to establish a dental care routine in the long run.


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