Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

How To Help Your Pup Prevent Plaque And Tartar

Written by: Amber King
| Published on September 12, 2017

You’ve heard your dentist rant about the dangers of plaque and tartar, and it’s safe to apply those same warnings to your dog’s oral health. If you need a refresher lesson, plaque is the gunk and bacteria that coats teeth after eating and drinking. When it’s left to sit on teeth for too long, it turns into a hard substance called tartar. Tartar causes everything from gum disease to tooth decay, and while your dog has been known to put questionable things in his mouth, his oral health is still important. Here are a few ways you can keep your pup’s pearly whites free from plaque and tartar.

1. Pick the Right Doggy Diet

Just as your dentist warns you about cavity-causing candy, the food your dog eats will affect his dental health. The best diet for healthy canine teeth is one closest to what their carnivore cousins eat. Raw meat and bones contain essential enzymes that contribute to oral health. Raw ingredients also don’t stick to teeth like starchy dog food.

If you’re not ready to commit to a raw diet for your dog, dry kibble is a better choice than wet food when it comes to preventing plaque and tartar. The crunchy coarseness of dry dog food helps scrape plaque off their teeth as they chew. Wet food sticks to the teeth and encourages bacteria build-up.

2. Train Them to Tolerate Teeth Cleanings

Training your dog to enjoy having his teeth brushed is most likely an unrealistic goal, but it is possible to help them feel more comfortable with the concept. You’ll be able to reach more teeth and be more likely to make it a regular habit if your dog is calm and cooperative. To achieve this, start by getting your dog used to having his mouth touched. Handle his teeth and lips every day until he acts like it’s no big deal.

When it’s time to grab the toothbrush, choose a doggy toothpaste with a good taste and give him plenty of praise. Stay calm yourself and keep your cleanings consistent. How often you need to brush your dog’s teeth will depend on their age and diet.

3. Give Them Something to Chew

Besides brushing their teeth, you can supplement your dog’s oral hygiene habits by giving them tooth-friendly things to chew on. Chewing essentially scrapes plaque off teeth, and there are several products specifically designed to promote good oral health.

Grain Free Triple Enzyme Dental Sticks, now available with Amazon Prime shipping, were developed by veterinarians to give dogs a fun and tasty way to clean their teeth. The low-calorie chews naturally reduce tartar buildup while also controlling plaque. They’ll clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath, but all your dog will be thinking about is their yummy treat. As a bonus, every purchase provides 7 shelter dogs with a healthy meal!


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.

Question for a Vet? Chat Online Now

The iHeartDogs Ask a Vet tool gives you access to verified veterinarians 24/7. Get professional help for your pup and feed shelter dogs now.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Our articles contain affiliate links where we are paid a small commission for linking to a product at no additional cost to the reader.

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog

Leave a Comment