Dogs are also prone to building up tartar. In order to prevent this and to avoid unpleasant odors, dental hygiene is therefore also of great importance for dogs. Tartar is not only easy to remove, but you can also prevent its formation with simple measures.
The Most Important Things Summarized
- Tartar is more than an unsightly discoloration of the teeth. If the stubborn layer forms on the teeth, there is a risk of serious illnesses from aggressive germs.
- Tartar removal is best done by a veterinarian. Lay people run the risk of injuring sensitive areas such as the mucous membrane or gums.
- You can prevent tartar by regular dental hygiene in your dog. In addition to brushing your teeth, z. B. natural chewing snacks such as pizzles as a natural prophylaxis
What is Tartar?
Numerous bacteria and microorganisms in a dog’s mouth ensure a healthy oral flora and offer natural protection against germs. At the same time, the teeth of the quadruped have a self-cleaning power that works as long as the number and type of microorganisms are in balance. In addition, factors such as the composition of the saliva or the condition of the tooth substance also play a role in how much your dog tends to form tartar.
A rough surface of the teeth and very narrow spaces between the teeth promote the adhesion of food residues to the teeth – plaque is formed. Minerals from the saliva can then accumulate here, creating a solid layer in which bacteria can also settle.
How to recognize tartar in dogs
Tartar appears as a brown to gray layer on the tooth surface. Most of the time, this first settles at the top of the gum line and eventually covers the entire tooth from there. Due to the bacteria, the formation of tartar is accompanied by a foul smell, so the increasing bad breath in dogs is often a clear indication of tartar. If the tartar persists, it can cause pain, so your dog may show unusually conspicuous eating behavior. This can be a crooked head position or a lower feed intake.
What are the consequences?
If the tartar is not removed from the dog, this paves the way for various secondary diseases:
- discoloration of the teeth
- rough deposits (usually on the molars, fangs, and canines)
- receding gums
- inflammation or bleeding gums
- Infections in the jawbone
- Loss of appetite and reduced feed intake
- bad breath
- Formation of pus in the root area of the teeth
- tooth loss
- Spread of the infections to the organs up to heart inflammation
Removing Tartar from Dogs
One way to remove tartar is to go to the vet. This removes tartar z. B. with ultrasound and then polishes the teeth to prevent renewed tartar formation. This usually requires a small general anesthetic.
But you can also remove tartar yourself:
- The tartar can be easily scraped off with special tartar scrapers. However, this carries the risk of slipping and injuring the mucous membrane, tooth enamel, or gums with the scratch. In addition, small grooves can appear in the tooth, which accelerates the formation of tartar again.
- Special dental care gels are designed to remove tartar within a few weeks if used regularly. To do this, you put some gel on the tartar, but you need a little patience because the remedies only work after a longer period of time.
There is no general answer to this question. For one thing, tartar build-up depends on your dog’s tooth structure. On the other hand, preventive measures are important. Age and breed also affect tartar formation. In particular, small breeds with a short jaw are much more likely to be affected by tartar. Annual cleaning is appropriate for some animals while cleaning the teeth every few years is certainly sufficient for other four-legged friends.
Once the tartar has formed in the dog, it is hardly possible to remove it. Prevention is therefore a sensible measure to prevent tartar from forming in the first place.
Regular tooth brushing
If the plaque is still soft, you can regularly, i. H. brush it away at least twice a week. So that your dog can go through the procedure without protesting, it makes sense to get him used to brush his teeth from an early age.
The right food
As good as wet food may taste to your dog, it has several disadvantages in terms of tartar build-up. Wet food leaves a layer on the teeth and tends to get stuck in the gaps. Dry food, on the other hand, ensures natural abrasion and thus supports tooth cleaning directly while eating.
Special chewing toys and food for cleaning teeth often do not come close to brushing teeth. The snacks often contain sugar and grains and are so soft that large dogs chew them on in a matter of seconds. The benefit of these products therefore often seems rather questionable.
However, particularly hard snacks that encourage dogs to chew for a long time can loosen deposits and thus support the dental hygiene in a natural way.
The acidity of apples also counteracts tartar in a natural way. If your dog likes fruit, eating an apple every few days will further reduce tartar build-up.