Tartar build up on teeth

One of our dogs has had to have quite a few teeeth removed due to gum desease, it’s not that surprising as he’s a 10 year old Yorkie and they are susceptible to gum problems. However one of our Cavaliers who is only 3 is getting tartat build up too. I’ve been feeding him Hills Canine Prescription t/d food to try to help but have seen the class action lawsuit and am wondering if I’m wasting my money buying this for him. I’d be grateful for any suggestions. He refuses to chew anything to can’t clean his teeth that way but do brush their teeth daily

I’ve heard vets say that even dogs that are raw fed can get tartar on their teeth. Some dogs are just susceptible to it. As you are already brushing regularly, the only other thing I can suggest is to try PetzLife gel as well. I use it on my dogs and have observed that it does need to be used once or twice a day. Have you tried Plaque Off? I use it on my two but I think that you still need to brush the teeth.

Personally I wouldn’t use that food. The primary purpose of food is to provide good nutrition for the body so I would always seek a product that does just that.

Your Cav might be one of those dogs that build up tartar easily, whatever they are fed. They will need a dental every year or so. Some dogs, particularly small ones are just made that way

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Hi, thank you for your reply. I did actually raw feed our dogs for 2 years and yes one of the still got plaque, in fact a vet told me it was because I wasn’t feeding kibble! I then changed to Mühle bit one wasn’t keen on that so I get Eden for him but was mixing some of the Hills t/d with it. They all say different things. We were using plaque off but it didn’t seem to help either. I brush with Tropic Frash breath which is supposed to break down plaque. I will try the product you suggested and not bother with the t/d kibble thanks

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A couple of thoughts spring to mind…if you decide a change of diet, then I’d advise choosing a food which has no added sugar, and also that is not high in carbohydrates. This would help to reduce plaque forming.

Another idea may be to encourage the dogs to play using toys which may possibly help with ‘teeth cleaning’. Having said that though I’m aware dogs do have their favourites! Some will instantly dismiss any toys that are not to their liking, and this is where your encouragement to instigate play is paramount. The claims made regarding certain toys are eye watering at times, as it is no mean feat to remove formed plaque, yet I feel as long as our dogs are supervised they may benefit from a session of toy-meets-teeth… I’ve a dog that likes - at best guess I’d say - ‘mouthing’ at a Kong Jump’N Jack several times a day.

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Meg makes a good point in her comments re sugar and carbs. Unfortunately manufacturers do not usually give the carbohydrate percentage on their packaging so it is a case of asking them. The Dog Food Directory on this website does not have a carbohydrate slider under the Nutrient filter so it is a case of looking through the products that interest you. Quality wet food such as Forthglade grain free and of course raw food have low carbohydrate levels so might be worth looking at for a dog who tends to built up plaque and tartar very quickly. There are a few kibbles with lower levels of carbohydrate but not too many. Most have a high percentage of carb. but as has been said, whatever type of food is chosen, it is no guarantee of preventing plaque and tartar from forming.

Chewing is great for teeth and I like the Kong that Meg refers to but I would not dare let mine have one - they would gnaw it to bits obsessively and the older one would probably swallow the pieces! They do have a chew at their Nylabone and antler when the mood takes them.

Sometimes it is best to book the dog in for a veterinary dental treatment then you have a clean mouth to work on and (hopefully) prevent further build up.

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Trying to work out how much carbohydrate is in a dog food is achieved by using the analytical constituents (the percentages of protein, fibre, ash, and fat) which are written on the dog food packaging. Moisture may be declared on the packaging and if not then a default value of 8% is used in the allaboutdogfood website.

To work out the amount of carbohydrate in the food you start with 100%. Subtract the protein percentage, subtract the fat percentage, subtract the ash percentage, subtract the moisture percentage. The remainder is the carbohydrate percentage in the food.

So as an example a dog food with 20% protein, 8% fat, 7.5% ash, 3.5% fibre has 56.5% carbohydrate of which the fibre (the indigestible part of carbs) is 3.5%. Here is how that is worked out:

Using default (of 8% moisture) equates the carbohydrate level as follows: 100% minus 20% protein minus 8% fat minus 7.5% ash minus 8% moisture =56.5% carbohydrate of which the fibre (the indigestible part of carbs) is 3.5%.


Dottie, adding carbohydrate to the Nutrient level sliders as another option in the allaboutdogfood Food Directory is a good idea.

It would be a help to know in an instant which foods have the lower carbohydrates and which are higher. I believe part of the coding should already be there for working out those useful nutrient dials.

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Meg - thank you very much for telling us how to work out the carbohydrate percentage of any give food product. I am sure that this will be useful, especially as many pet owners seek to feed a lower carbohydrate diet.

The cavalier who has the build up is totally not interested in any toys and refuses to chew anything, even those dental chew sticks or raw bones. The vet said he will need regular dentals but he will need to have a GA and id like to avoid that, and the expense and upset involved for as long as possible

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The only thing you can do is to keep on brushing and hope for the best. I tend to use Virbac toothpaste but have heard good reports about Logic.
I once had a vet who cleaned the teeth of one of my dogs under sedation. It worked very well and the dog was up and about very quickly.