How To Soften Dog Tartar? Discover The Best Solutions!

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As a dog owner, you know how important it is to take care of your furry friend’s teeth. But sometimes, no matter how much we brush and try to keep their hygiene in check, tartar buildup can still occur.

If left untreated, tartar buildup can lead to more serious and costly dental problems for your pet. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to soften dog tartar and prevent it from getting worse.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best solutions for softening dog tartar so that you can keep your pet’s teeth healthy and strong. From natural remedies to vet-recommended products, we’ve got you covered.

“Preventing and treating tartar buildup will not only save you money but also help your dog maintain good oral health. As any pet parent knows, our fur babies deserve the very best!”

So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee (or tea), and let’s get started on the journey towards a healthier smile for your pup!

Homemade Remedies To Soften Dog Tartar

Dogs are beloved members of the family, but just like humans, they also suffer from dental problems. One common issue that dogs face is tartar buildup on their teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to severe dental diseases and even tooth loss. So, if you’re wondering how to soften dog tartar, here are some helpful homemade remedies.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has numerous health benefits for dogs, including reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, improving skin and coat, and helping with digestion. But did you know that it’s also an effective remedy for softening tartar buildup in dogs? Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps break down the plaque on your dog’s teeth, making it easier to remove.

To use coconut oil to soften dog tartar, simply add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to your dog’s food daily or rub it onto their teeth and gums using a clean cloth or your finger. Make sure not to overdo it as too much of it can cause diarrhea.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another excellent home remedy for softening dog tartar. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help reduce tartar buildup on dog’s teeth and maintain good oral hygiene. Apple cider vinegar also balances the pH level in your dog’s mouth, creating an environment that doesn’t promote plaque formation.

To use apple cider vinegar for cleaning your dog’s teeth, mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Use a clean, soft-bristled brush to dip into this solution, then gently brush your dog’s teeth with it. Be careful not to hurt their gums during brushing.


Parsley is an herb that contains vitamins A and C, which help to fight bacteria in the mouth. It can also freshen your dog’s breath and break down plaque on their teeth. Parsley can be either fed to your dog chopped or peeled, or it can be blended with some water and used as a mouthwash.

To prepare parsley for feeding, take one cup of loosely packed parsley leaves and chop them finely. Mix this with your dog’s food once a day until you notice a reduction in tartar buildup. To make parsley mouthwash, blend one cup of chopped parsley with two cups of hot water. Cool this solution down to room temperature and offer it to your dog after meals.


Carrots are known for being good for human eyesight but did you know they’re also helpful in removing tartar buildup from dogs’ teeth? Carrots contain Vitamin A, which improves vision and boosts immunity while crunching results in increased saliva production that helps dissolve tartar.

Raw carrots serve dual purposes- providing much-needed minerals and nutrients along with cleaning your dog’s teeth. Feeding raw carrots or mixing grated carrot to health supplements or homemade dog treats is a good way of getting rid of tartar. Just like coconut oil, you have to start slow on adding carrots to your dog’s diet and work your way up. This will reduce any abdominal discomfort your dog experiences due to the new dietary addition.

“Prevention of dental disease should not only focus on achieving a clean surface of teeth but also disinfect the oral cavity.” – J.A.W. Kruijsen (Veterinary Journalist)

The above mentioned methods require patience, commitment and persistence because those who neglect canine dental hygiene may ultimately face major expenses such as extraction of teeth, surgery and other medical procedures. In case your dog shows no improvement after using these remedies or you suspect a precursor of gingivitis, kindly take them for professional dental care. With the aforementioned natural remedies, it’s possible to soften dog tartar and maintain good oral hygiene.

Commercial Products To Soften Dog Tartar

Dogs are susceptible to tartar buildup, just like humans. Over time, this can lead to dental issues and even pain for your furry friend. Luckily, there are several commercial products available that can help soften dog tartar, making it easier to remove.

Dental Chews

Dental chews are a popular option for pet owners looking to improve their dog’s oral health. These chews work by scraping against the teeth as they chew, helping to remove plaque, bacteria, and tartar. Most dental chews contain ingredients like sodium hexametaphosphate or enzymes that soften tartar and make it easier to remove during brushing sessions.

If you’re looking for a top-rated dental chew, consider Greenies Dental Treats. These treats are designed to clean teeth down to the gumline and freshen breath, all while being easily digestible.

“Greenies have become increasingly popular.” -Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

Dental Sprays

A dental spray can be an effective way to target specific areas in your dog’s mouth and soften tartar buildup. Most dental sprays contain enzymes that break down plaque and tartar over time, reducing inflammation and improving overall oral hygiene.

The TropiClean Fresh Breath Oral Care Spray is a popular choice among pet owners. This spray uses natural ingredients like green tea extract and mint to freshen breath and reduce tartar buildup. Simply spray directly onto your dog’s teeth and gums for maximum effectiveness.

“Dental sprays can be a helpful addition to regular brushing and veterinary care.” -Dr. Lindsey Bullen, DVM

Water Additives

Water additives are another option for pet owners looking to improve their dog’s dental health. These products are added directly to your dog’s water dish, and work by disrupting the formation of plaque and tartar.

The Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive is a highly-rated product that uses a patented ingredient called Oxygene to break down bacteria and freshen breath. This additive is easy to use and safe for all breeds and sizes of dogs.

“Water additives can be an effective way to target hard-to-reach areas of your dog’s mouth.” -Dr. Jarett Gilpin, DVM

Dental Gels

If you’re looking for a more targeted approach to softening dog tartar, consider a dental gel. These gels are applied directly to your dog’s teeth and gums, where they work to soften and dissolve tartar buildup.

One popular option is the Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs. This toothpaste contains enzymes that break down plaque and tartar, while also promoting fresher breath. Simply apply the gel using a finger brush or specialized doggy toothbrush for best results.

“Dental gels can be a great option for dogs with severe tartar buildup.” -Dr. Karen Becker, DVM

No matter which commercial product you choose, it’s important to remember that regular brushing and professional veterinary care are essential in maintaining your dog’s oral health. Use these products as part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine for the best results.

Dental Treats To Soften Dog Tartar

Dog tartar is a common problem and if left untreated, can lead to dental issues such as gum disease and tooth loss. One of the best ways to maintain your dog’s oral hygiene is with dental treats that not only clean their teeth but also soften the tartar buildup. Here are some of the most popular dental treats that can help soften your dog’s tartar:


Greenies are one of the most commonly used dental treats for dogs. They come in various sizes and flavors and have a unique texture that helps to scrub away tartar from your dog’s teeth. The ingredients in Greenies are designed to break down and soften tartar buildup while freshening breath. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor for PetMD, “Greenies are effective at mechanically removing plaque and tartar.”

“Greenies are effective at mechanically removing plaque and tartar.” -Dr. Jennifer Coates

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are another popular option for maintaining your dog’s dental health. These chews feature a special design that cleans between teeth and along the gumline while breaking down tartar buildup. According to Milk-Bone, these chews are clinically proven to reduce tartar buildup by up to 69%.

“Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are clinically proven to reduce tartar buildup by up to 69%.” -Milk- Bone


If you’re looking for an all-natural option, Whimzees may be the perfect choice for your dog. Made from six primary vegetable-based ingredients, these chews are designed to improve your dog’s dental health while satisfying their urge to chew. According to the company, Whimzees have a fibrous texture that helps to scrub away tartar from teeth and freshen breath.

“Whimzees have a fibrous texture that helps to scrub away tartar from teeth and freshen breath.” -Whimzees

Nylabone Dental Chews

Another popular option for softening dog tartar is Nylabone Dental Chews. These chews come in various shapes and flavors and are designed to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew. The unique texture of Nylabone Dental Chews effectively removes tartar and reduces plaque buildup while freshening breath. According to Nylabone, their dental chews are veterinarian-recommended and clinically proven to reduce tartar by up to 64%.

“Nylabone Dental Chews are veterinarian-recommended and clinically proven to reduce tartar by up to 64%.” -Nylabone

When choosing dental treats for your dog, it’s important to consider their individual needs and preferences. Treats with certain ingredients or textures may not be suitable for all dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding any new type of treat to your dog’s diet.

Regular use of dental treats can help soften dog tartar while improving overall oral hygiene. Consider incorporating one of these popular dental treats into your dog’s routine to keep their teeth healthy and strong.

Regular Brushing And Dental Care

Dental care is essential for dogs to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Tartar buildup can lead to dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, which can cause pain and discomfort for your furry friend. Regular brushing combined with a proper diet can help prevent tartar buildup, but if the tartar has already taken hold, you need to take extra steps to soften it.

Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Avoid using stiff-bristled brushes as this might hurt your dog’s gums. A soft-bristled toothbrush will work best in removing tartar from your pet’s teeth as well as preventing further damage to its gums. Make sure that you choose a brush suited for canines’ mouth size and strength and replace it regularly every few months or whenever the bristles are worn out.

“When it comes to picking a toothbrush for your dog, choose one with soft bristles that won’t irritate their gums.” – PetMD

Brush Teeth at Least Twice a Week

Consistency is critical when it comes to dog dental cleaning. The more frequently you brush your dog’s teeth, the less likely tartar buildup will happen. If the tartar has already developed, brush your pooch’s teeth daily until you see significant improvement. However, do not overdo it as brushing too hard can worsen an already inflamed gum line.

“For maintaining good oral hygiene, your dog needs his teeth cleaned at least once a week, preferably twice.” – WebMD

Use a Vet-Approved Toothpaste

Human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs; it contains foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate and xylitol, which can be toxic to them. Therefore, it’s advisable to use toothpaste designed specifically for dogs. These products are safe for your furry companion and comes in various dog-friendly flavors such as beef or chicken.

“Use only pet-approved toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.” – American Kennel Club

Softening dog tartar requires a consistent dental care routine that involves using a gentle-bristled toothbrush, brushing at least twice a week, and the correct dog-specific toothpaste. Even when you succeed in softening the tartar, ensure that follow up with regular cleanings to prevent their teeth from getting infected again.

Professional Dental Cleaning For Dogs

Anesthesia-Free Dental Cleaning

If your dog is showing signs of tartar buildup, it’s important to take action before it gets worse. One option is anesthesia-free dental cleaning, which some pet owners prefer over traditional cleanings that involve general anesthesia.

This non-invasive procedure involves scaling tartar and plaque from teeth in a gentle manner, using special tools. It does not require sedation or anesthesia, making it a great alternative for dogs who cannot tolerate anesthesia due to age or pre-existing medical conditions.

“Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are ideal for pets with heart, liver, or kidney disease who may not be good candidates for anesthesia,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM.

The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes and requires the cooperation of the dog, as the process can cause discomfort if they’re uncooperative. However, many dogs tolerate the cleaning well and show immediate improvement in their oral health.

Professional Scaling and Polishing

If your dog’s tartar buildup has progressed beyond what can be addressed by an anesthesia-free dental cleaning, your veterinarian may recommend professional scaling and polishing under anesthesia.

This deep-cleaning procedure removes tartar below the gum line and consists of scaling, root planing, and polishing. Using specialized instruments, the veterinary team cleans between the gums and the tooth roots where bacteria thrives, preventing further damage such as tooth decay and gum infections.

“A thorough dental exam under general anesthesia allows us to perform a comprehensive cleaning and evaluate the overall health of the mouth while minimizing stress and discomfort for the patient,” says Dr. Cindy Charlier, DVM.

To prepare for scaling and polishing, your dog will need to be fasted for about 12 hours. This is to reduce the risk of aspiration during anesthesia, which can be harmful or even fatal if food or water enters the lungs.

After the procedure, your dog will require a few days of recovery time while they adjust to eating and drinking normally again. The veterinary team may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics based on their findings during the cleaning process.

If you have concerns or questions about dental cleanings for your dog, speak with your veterinarian to develop a plan that’s best for your pet’s individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes dog tartar?

Dog tartar is caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth due to the bacteria present in the mouth. If left untreated, it hardens into tartar, which can lead to various dental problems in dogs.

Can tartar be prevented in dogs?

Yes, tartar can be prevented in dogs through regular dental care. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily, feeding them a balanced diet, and providing them with chew toys can help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Additionally, regular dental checkups can help catch any dental problems early on.

What are the dangers of untreated dog tartar?

If left untreated, dog tartar can lead to various dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. It can also cause bad breath, pain, and discomfort for your dog. In severe cases, the bacteria from untreated tartar can even spread to other parts of the body, leading to more serious health issues.

What are some natural remedies to soften dog tartar?

Some natural remedies to soften dog tartar include feeding your dog raw bones, carrots, and apples. These foods help to naturally scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth. Additionally, adding a few drops of coconut oil to your dog’s food can help reduce the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.

When is it necessary to seek professional dental care for dogs with tartar?

If your dog has significant tartar buildup or is experiencing any dental problems, it is necessary to seek professional dental care. A veterinarian or veterinary dentist can perform a thorough dental cleaning and checkup to address any issues and prevent further damage to your dog’s teeth and gums.

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