How to Get Rid of Black Tartar on Dogs

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Things You'll Need

  • Dog toothbrush

  • Dog toothpaste


Heavier black tartar buildup on teeth that is not removed using the above methods will need to be professionally cleaned by a veterinarian. The reason a veterinarian must clean this more stubborn black tartar off of a dog’s teeth is because the dog must be under anesthesia while their teeth are cleaned.


There are plenty of ways dog owners can help their dogs prevent tartar buildup on their teeth. Regular brushing with a special dog toothpaste, feeding them crunchy dry kibble, and regularly feeding chewy and crunchy treats will help keep your dog's teeth clean by letting them scrape off most of their tartar buildup on their own.

Black tartar on dog teeth can be removed with frequent, heavy brushing.

Tartar buildup in dogs is sometimes called calculus. Removing black tartar on dogs' teeth is especially important because heavy tartar buildup can lead to more serious diseases later due to bacteria buildup, including the loss of teeth and heart problems. Bacteria can also spread to vital organs such as the dog's brain, liver or kidneys. Removing black tartar from dogs' teeth is moderately easy.

Step 1

Place the dog toothbrush on your finger. A dog toothbrush is a special rubber piece that fits over your finger like a thimble and has stiff rubber bristles on one end. Because a dog toothbrush is small, it's easier to maneuver it around the dog's mouth than a human toothbrush. However if you cannot find a dog toothbrush at your local pet store or veterinarian, a human toothbrush is safe to use.

Step 2

Squeeze the recommended amount of dog toothpaste onto the toothbrush, which should be indicated on the label based on the size or weight of your dog. Human toothpaste cannot be substituted for dog toothpaste because human toothpaste will be toxic to the dog if it swallows it. If this is your first time brushing your dog's teeth, you may want to try using just the brush by itself to get your dog used to the sensation of having its teeth brushed.


Step 3

Brush your dog's teeth in a circular motion, using heavy pressure to break down and remove the black tartar. Ensure that you go over the gums as well as the teeth to remove as much black tartar as possible, with lighter pressure on the gums. Continue to brush your dog's teeth every week to remove the black tarter, which may take several brushings over time.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.