What are the Signs of a Dog or Puppy with Dental Tartar Buildup?


As pet parents, we adore our furry companions and strive to provide them with the best care possible. One crucial aspect often overlooked is the dental health of our four-legged friends. So, what are the signs of a dog or puppy with dental tartar buildup? Let’s sink our teeth into this topic and uncover the telltale clues that your canine friend might be hiding behind those adorable paws.

What are the Signs of a Dog or Puppy with Dental Tartar Buildup?

Foul Breath: A Red Flag You Shouldn’t Ignore

Dogs are not known for minty-fresh breath, but an exceptionally foul odor could indicate dental issues. If your dog’s breath could knock you off your feet, it’s time to investigate further.

Excessive Drooling: More than Puppy Love?

While a bit of drool is par for the course with dogs, an increase in salivation may be a sign of dental discomfort. Keep an eye out for excessive drooling, especially if it’s coupled with other symptoms.

Difficulty Chewing: When Mealtime Becomes a Challenge

If your once voracious eater starts to show reluctance or discomfort while chewing, dental tartar could be the culprit. Watch for changes in eating habits and investigate the root cause.

Red or Inflamed Gums: A Window into Dental Health

Healthy gums should be pink, not red or inflamed. Take a peek at your dog’s gums – any deviation from the normal pink hue could be an indication of dental problems.

Pawing at the Mouth: Canine Communication

Dogs communicate through actions, and pawing at the mouth might be their way of signaling pain or discomfort. If you notice this behavior, it’s time to delve deeper into the issue.

Visible Tartar or Discoloration: A Dental Dilemma

Inspect your dog’s teeth regularly. If you notice yellow or brown discoloration or the presence of visible tartar, it’s a clear sign that dental attention is needed.

FAQs About Dental Tartar Buildup

Q1: What causes dental tartar buildup in dogs?

Dental tartar in dogs primarily results from the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. Over time, if not removed, this plaque hardens into tartar, leading to various dental issues.

Q2: Can dental tartar in dogs be prevented?

Yes, maintaining good oral hygiene is key to preventing dental tartar buildup. Regular brushing, providing dental chews, and scheduling professional cleanings are effective preventive measures.

Q3: Are certain dog breeds more prone to dental tartar?

Yes, some breeds are more predisposed to dental issues due to factors like tooth alignment. Small breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, are often more susceptible.

Q4: How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Ideally, brushing your dog’s teeth two to three times a week is recommended. However, the frequency may vary based on your dog’s breed, age, and overall dental health.

Q5: What can happen if dental tartar is left untreated?

Untreated dental tartar can lead to serious health issues, including gum disease, tooth loss, and even systemic problems affecting vital organs.

Q6: Are there alternative dental care options for dogs who resist brushing?

Yes, for dogs averse to brushing, there are alternative dental care options such as dental wipes, water additives, and specially formulated dental diets.


Understanding the signs of dental tartar buildup in dogs is crucial for proactive pet care. Regular dental check-ups, coupled with at-home oral hygiene practices, can ensure your furry friend maintains a sparkling smile and overall well-being. So, the next time you wonder, “What are the signs of a dog or puppy with dental tartar buildup?” remember, your vigilant eye can make all the difference in your canine companion’s life.

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Cat Hocking

Having had dogs all of my life I have learnt so much and continue to learn more with each individual dog that enters our family. These amazing creatures can teach us so much! In the Dog Care Guru I share information, resources and accessories for our canine children.

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