How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Tartar from Dogs Teeth

Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Tartar from Dogs Teeth

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According to VCA Hospitals, more than two-thirds of dogs get some type of periodontal disease by their third year of life.

Part of the reason most of our furry friends develop oral hygiene issues is because we don’t take care of their dental health.

Good oral hygiene means fresh breath always. Dogs love licking their owners’ faces. If you’ve ever been licked by a dog with dragon breath, you know it is not desirable.

In addition to bad breath, poor dental health causes tooth loss, oral pain, and organ damage.

Plaque buildup is one of the worst kinds of dental issues. Bacteria in the plaque can get to the bloodstream and ultimately reach the liver, heart, and kidneys. This can be fatal if not treated.

The best thing to do is to remove plaque buildup before it spreads further. There are several ways to do this, one of which is to use apple cider vinegar.

In this guide, we give you the ins and outs of using vinegar to remove tartar from your dog’s teeth.

The Danger of Tartar Buildup

Tartar is the substance that sticks to the bottom of your dog’s teeth. It is basically the product of food residue, mineral salts, and bacteria that accumulate over a long period of time.

You can tell your dog has tartar if her teeth have dark stains and hard yellow layers at the base of her teeth.

Tartar can also be found between the teeth. Bad breath and pain during chewing are some of the obvious tell-tale signs that your pet has tartar.

In some instances, your dog will have gum inflammation, excessive saliva, and lesions in the mouth.

Tartar buildup can cause your pet’s teeth to fall out and if it spreads to the internal organs, your dog can get really sick.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Tartar From Teeth?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is effective in dealing with bacteria that build up in your dog’s teeth. This is because it comprises of a natural acid called acetic acid, says Healthline.

The acid creates a harsh environment from where bacteria find it hard to survive.

When you put a small amount of vinegar on your dog’s food or use it directly in the mouth, it may fight bad breath and get rid of tartar.

ACV has been in use since the 1970s to treat infections of all kinds in the human body. It is also safe for your doggie as long as you use the right concentration and dosage.

Some pet owners prefer adding vinegar to their dog’s food and water. This trick works to reduce bad breath and oral infections.

Unfortunately, it may not get rid of tartar as you desire. In addition, some dogs do not like the tartness that the acid adds to the food or water.

If your dog is one of them, you need to actually brush your dog’s teeth with an apple vinegar solution to get through to the tartar.

Here are the steps to follow:


What You Need

  • A quality dog’s toothbrush
  • Good quality apple cider vinegar
  • Water


  • Gather your tools and signal the dog to come over.
  •  Position her right in a way that you can access her teeth well.
  • Dip the toothbrush in a bowl containing apple cider vinegar, open the dog’s mouth and start brushing the teeth. Focus more on the areas with tartar, brushing gently.
  • Keep dipping the brush in the vinegar and brush everywhere until satisfied. Don’t forget to run the brush through the middle of the teeth—just as far as you can go.
  • Once done, rinse the dog’s mouth with plenty of water. You want to get rid of the vinegar taste completely before you call it a day.
  • Repeat this every day until the tartar disappears. If nothing happens in a few weeks, it may be time to enlist the help of a veterinarian. Perhaps the plaque is too hard and stubborn for apple cider vinegar.

Will Apple Cider Vinegar Help My Dog’s Bad Breath?

Sure. Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria that cause bad breath in both humans and animals.

It has the power to get rid of bacteria on the teeth and the tongue—both of which can cause stinky breath.

Besides being antibacterial, the acid also has pH-balancing properties that further help create an environment for fresh breath.

ACV also has a rich mixture of minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, copper, and other trace minerals. The minerals support the overall health of the teeth and mouth and give nutrition to the body as well.

Addition Tips

When using apple cider vinegar to brush your dog’s teeth, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Rinse the teeth thoroughly: Besides getting rid of the tangy taste of apple cider vinegar from your dog’s mouth, rinsing with water protects the oral cavity from acid erosion. Although it is natural, ACV is highly acidic. This means it can irritate your dog’s enamel. You don’t want your pet’s teeth to waste away in a bid to remove tartar.
  • If your dog wants nothing to do with brushing, use the trick of adding the apple cider vinegar in water or his food. Just make sure you dilute the acid to prevent it from irritating your dog’s insides.
  • Mix vinegar with baking soda to make a paste. Rather than using apple cider vinegar by itself, you can mix it with baking soda to create a paste. This makes it easy to scoop and brush your dog with it.
  • Be patient. Don’t imagine that you will get overnight results with vinegar. Give it time and maintain your commitment to brushing your doggie’s teeth.

Closing Thoughts

Tartar buildup in dogs causes bad breath, loss of teeth, and infections that can reach the internal organs.

Why wait to deal with severe consequences when you can get rid of tartar at home? Just arm yourself with ACV and brush the dog’s teeth daily until the tartar is eliminated.

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Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.