Dental disease is common in dogs, and it’s recommended that dogs should have regular dental cleanings to keep their mouths in good condition. While teeth cleanings can range in price and can be expensive, it’s a necessary expense to ensure that your dog remains healthy.
- It’s not a legal requirement to get your dog’s teeth cleaned, but most vets recommended having it done at least once a year
- Improper oral hygiene can lead to issues like periodontal disease
- Dental cleaning is usually done while your dog is under anesthetic
- Costs vary significantly but are typically between $300 and $600
Did you know that over 80% of dogs over the age of three have dental disease? It’s important to care for our pets’ dental health because if a pet has dental or oral issues that are left untreated, it can actually lead to severe medical problems.
Do I Have To Get My Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?
Most veterinary dentists recommend that your pet should have a professional dental cleaning at least once per year, but that’s just a general recommendation. Every pet is different! For example, smaller breeds with smaller mouths are likely to have more dental issues since their teeth may be overcrowded.
Benefit Of Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
Since periodontal disease in dogs is so common, it’s important to keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy. A professional dental cleaning by your veterinarian can prevent tooth loss, improve bad breath, prevent tooth pain, and avoid worsening dental disease.
Risk To A Dog If They Don’t Have Their Teeth Cleaned
In addition to dental issues causing pain to your dog, the bacteria from your dog’s teeth and gums can get into the bloodstream and spread to organs like the kidney and liver. This can cause serious medical issues. Having your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned can prevent these problems.
What’s Included In Dental Treatment For A Dog?
While the specifics of dental treatment will vary from dog to dog, the overall process is generally the same.
Since dogs won’t naturally sit perfectly still for a dental, they usually require anesthesia. Prior to anesthesia, your vet will want to run bloodwork to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, the procedure is similar to how it’s done in humans. The vet tech and vets use a variety of instruments and tools to remove plaque and tartar and polish the teeth. Dental x-rays should be taken so that the vet can get an idea of what’s happening underneath the gumline.
After the dental procedure is done, your dog is carefully monitored until they wake up. Once they’re alert and able to walk, they can go home! Your dog may still be groggy from the anesthesia, so it’s important to take it easy and only feed them a light dinner.
How Much Does A Dental For A Dog Cost?
When you schedule a teeth cleaning for your dog, your veterinarian should give you an estimate that has a low and high end so that you can be financially prepared. They’ll give you a range rather than a set cost to account for a variety of circumstances that may happen. Your vet won’t truly understand the condition of your pet’s mouth until they examine it under anesthesia.
Average Cost Of A Dog Teeth Cleaning
The average cost of a dog teeth cleaning can vary greatly depending on the vet, location, and the condition of your dog’s mouth.
The average cost for a young, healthy, adult dog can range anywhere from $300 to $600. It’s important to note that some people report paying as little as $200, while others report paying closer to $700.
Potential Additional Costs
As we already mentioned above, your vet will recommend running pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure that your pet’s organs are functioning well and can handle the anesthesia. This can range anywhere from $50 to $150.
When pet owners discuss costly dental cleanings for their dogs, this is usually due to their pet needing tooth extractions. Depending on the severity of periodontal disease, if your vet recommends any teeth extraction, the cost can quickly add up. Tooth extraction costs will vary depending on how many teeth are removed and how much time it takes to remove them.
If your pet requires additional dental x-rays during the extraction process or because of the stage of their periodontal disease, these could also add up in cost.
Understandably so, any medications to go home with your dog will also affect the overall cost of the teeth cleaning. Young, healthy dogs generally won’t need any medications to go home. Dogs with dental disease or dogs who had multiple tooth extractions will likely require at least a round of antibiotics and pain-relieving medications.
Dental Care For Dogs At Home
In order to keep your dog’s mouth healthy and clean and to limit the expense of a dental, there are ways to improve your dog’s dental health at home.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most important things you can do at home to keep your dog’s mouth healthy. Most veterinary professionals recommend doing this at least three times per week to see a noticeable difference in your pet’s dental health.
Veterinarian-approved dental chews are another way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy at home. Look for products and chews with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal on them. This endorsement means that the product has met specific criteria to reduce plaque and tartar through chewing.
Some vets recommend water additives as well. This is simply a liquid added to your dog’s regular drinking water that helps to keep plaque and tartar to a minimum. If you have a difficult time brushing your dog’s teeth, this is a good option.
But remember that nothing beats a good teeth cleaning!
How To Save Money On A Dog Dental
In veterinary medicine, February is National Pet Dental Health. To celebrate and encourage oral health, many vets offer discounts on dentals during the month of February, so check with your vet!
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?
If you’re considering pet insurance or already have it for your pet, it’s worth reading the fine print and asking the insurance company how they handle dental cleanings because every company is different. Dental cleanings for pets are handled very differently with pet insurance than how dental insurance is handled for humans.
Generally, most companies cover dental illnesses under their accident and illness plans. This includes things like broken teeth, gingivitis, and more. Tooth extractions also fall under these accident and illness plans.
The tricky thing is that most pet insurance plans don’t cover routine dental cleanings. These are often excluded as routine care or wellness preventive care. However, many insurance companies offer supplemental Wellness Plans, and these usually reimburse you for a routine dental cleaning.