Like humans, dogs also require frequent, quality dental care to maintain health and prolong their life. Good dental care helps prevent infection in your pet’s mouth and keeps them out of pain. It’s one of the easiest ways that you, as a pet parent, can directly influence your dog’s health. And, it doesn’t have to be nearly as costly as you might think.
In this article, we’re sharing all the information you need to know about dental care for dogs, including ways you can care for their teeth and how often you should have them professionally cleaned. Then, we’ll be covering the best tips for helping you save money on dental care while also prioritizing your dog’s health.
Why Dental Care is Important for Dogs
As we mentioned above, dental care is important for dogs because it can affect their overall health and quality of life. Dogs with dental problems may experience pain, infections, weight loss, and bad breath. And if bad oral bacteria are allowed to fester for too long, they can spread to the bloodstream and begin damaging the heart, kidneys, and liver.
How To Care For Your Dog's Teeth
To help you care for your dog’s teeth, here are some tips:
- Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly: You can purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for dogs at most pet supply stores. Dog toothbrushes are more effective than those made for people because they tend to have a long, curved handle that allows you to reach those back molars.
- Offer Your Dog Dental Chews: Give your dog chew toys or treats specifically designed for dental health. Some treats help clean the teeth, while select chews can remove up to 70% of the existing plaque. Foods like carrots and celery also help remove plaque from your furry friend’s teeth!
Where To Get Your Dog's Teeth Cleaned
The best practice is to get your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian or certified pet dental center. In order to find the best location for your dog, you should:
Look at the Credentials of the Staff
A good staff is made up of experienced and well-trained individuals who are also kind and gentle with animals.
Consider How Often They Do Procedures
If you can't find a place that does cleanings every three months or even more frequently, then it's probably not going to be a great place for your pet. You'll want someone who knows what they're doing so that you can feel comfortable leaving your pet in their hands!
Make Sure They Have all the Necessary Equipment on Hand
This includes things like x-rays, dental chairs and syringes (for anesthesia).
Ask Around for a Recommendation
Word-of-mouth referrals are usually pretty trustworthy when it comes to making big decisions like this one! It's always best when people are happy with their experiences after visiting certain service providers.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?
The price of a teeth cleaning varies depending on the size of your dog, and how many teeth need to be cleaned. The type of cleaning also affects the cost—a routine oral exam may be cheaper than an extensive tooth cleaning—and so does whether or not your dog needs any other dental procedures (such as tooth extractions).
Because of all the different factors involved, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact number for how much dog teeth cleaning costs. But according to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), the average cost is between $300-$700 per dog.
What Is Included In Dog Dental Care?
When taking your dog in for professional dental care, there are typically a few main steps involved.
Professional teeth cleaning by a vet can be beneficial for keeping your dog’s mouth healthy and clean. The process includes removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, along with any other debris from around the gum line. If you think about how much bacteria builds up on your own teeth after only one meal, imagine how much more bacteria gets built up when it remains in place for several days at a time!
In addition to the actual cleaning process, most vets will also examine your dog's mouth as a routine checkup. The reason for this is because there are many other diseases that affect their oral health besides just tooth decay or tartar buildup (such as gingivitis). So if you have concerns about any redness or irritation in your dog’s gums or throat area—or if he seems particularly lethargic lately— make sure to mention these concerns during the dental appointment.
Are Dental Cleanings Safe?
While most people associate having their own teeth cleaned with some level of discomfort (or even pain), this isn't always true when we talk about our pets' oral health. Instead, many dogs actually enjoy getting their mouths checked out at the vet because they know it means something yummy will follow afterward! Dogs that do feel nervous about flashing their pearly whites can always be sedated during the procedure.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) actually recommends that all dogs be anesthetized prior to a routine oral exam. This is because sedation allows a dental professional to complete all of their work without fear of being bitten or behavioral interference. In fact, the fear of anesthesia (from the pet parent) is one of the most common reasons for insufficient dental care - which can be much more serious than the complications from anesthesia.
How to Save on Dental Care for Dogs
Affording routine dental care for your dogs can be overwhelming for many pet owners. This is especially true when facing additional testing or treatments. With Fursure Wellness Rewards, you can save money on your dog's dental treatments and preventative care. Learn more and get your pet covered, today!