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Getting your dog’s teeth cleaned shouldn’t seem like a big deal, but it often is, indeed. Dog owners seem to fall into two distinct groups of people when it comes to the subject of teeth cleaning. Some of them make sure that this and every other detail is taken care of when it comes to their pet’s health. As such, they brush their teeth at home, give them special chews to help reduce plaque and they take them to the veterinarian on at least an annual basis for professional teeth cleaning. Other owners that might have been brought up in more of an old-school fashion simply don’t see the need for all of this and don’t do any of it. You’ve probably heard people say things like ‘dogs don’t live inside houses’ or ‘dogs don’t need to have their teeth cleaned. It sounds cruel, but it may not necessarily be coming from a place of abject cruelty. In some cases, that’s the way the particular individual was raised and they simply need to be educated about the importance of cleaning their dog’s teeth. That’s precisely why you should read this. If you want to know dog teeth cleaning prices as well as why it matters, you’ve come to the right place, so settle in and let’s get started.
Why You Should Be Getting Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned
There are a lot of reasons why you should be getting your dog’s teeth cleaned, not the least of which involves the fact that it could potentially add years to her life. If that’s not enough to get your attention, consider this fact: brushing your dog’s teeth and getting them cleaned on a routine basis by professionals can dramatically improve her quality of life, especially as she gets older. In some respects, dogs and people could not be any more different in the way that their bodies work but in this particular instance, they are very much the same. You’ve probably heard dentists say that humans need to have regular check-ups and have their teeth cleaned on an annual basis in order to make sure that they maintain good overall physical health.
That’s because the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. When it’s not properly cleaned, it makes it much more likely that some type of dental disease will eventually begin to take hold. When it does, that disease then has a direct path into the bloodstream. All it takes is a tiny amount of bacteria getting into the bloodstream to infect every major organ in the body. The end result is often something called sepsis . That’s the medical term for an infection that is present in the blood which runs throughout the course of the entire body. People that end up with sepsis often experience multi-organ failure as a direct result of it. Obviously, it can easily result in someone’s death. Even those who survive may not ever fully recover. The scary thing is, it’s exactly the same type of scenario for your dog. If you’re not getting her teeth cleaned on a regular basis, you are running the risk of allowing bacteria to get into her bloodstream that could potentially end her life. That’s precisely why it’s so important that you not only maintain her dental health at home but that you have her teeth cleaned at least once a year at the veterinarian’s office.
Teeth Cleaning for Older Dogs
You might be thinking that you’ll take your younger dog to the veterinarian to have his teeth cleaned, but maybe you’ll leave your older dog at home because you don’t want to put her through the stress of a trip to the veterinarian unless it’s absolutely necessary. Perhaps you’re worried about the idea of having an older dog put under general anesthesia, a common practice involved with a dental cleaning. It’s understandable that you are concerned, but it’s also important to consider the possibility that you might actually be putting her well-being in jeopardy by choosing not to go forward with the dental cleaning. That certainly isn’t the case in every aspect, but it is one that your veterinarian can help you with. If your dog has specific medical conditions which make her a high risk for general anesthesia, there may be other options available to you that can at least help keep her teeth as clean as possible.
Even if it’s a situation where your vet recommends that she not have the process done because of the level of risk involved, it’s still better to make that decision together with your veterinarian as opposed to deciding on your own. This is even more important as your dog ages because just like human beings, your dog’s immune system begins to get weaker as she gets older. As such, it becomes easier for her to come down with various types of diseases ranging from short-term issues that aren’t all that serious to far more concerning conditions that could become life-long issues.
The Cost of Having Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned
There are many variables involved when it comes to determining dog teeth cleaning costs. Some of those variables include where you live and others are related to the breed of dog that you have. Why do these things matter so much? Just as you’ll pay more for an apartment in New York City than you will in rural Oklahoma, you will also pay more to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned if you live in a major metropolitan area where things are generally more expensive. In other words, the cost can be a lot different between a practice that operates in a major city such as New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago when compared to a practice that is operating in a small town in the middle of the country.
There’s also a big difference between the cost involved with various breeds because it takes less time and effort to thoroughly clean the teeth of a small breed than it does a larger breed such as a German Shepherd. There are many factors involved when it comes to calculating the cost involved to clean your dog’s teeth. It isn’t just the procedure or the time involved, but also the anesthesia and the extra staff needed to handle any procedure that involves general anesthesia. In fact, the need for general anesthesia drives the cost up considerably. Depending on the aforementioned factors involved, you can expect to spend anywhere from $300 all the way up to $700 to have your dog’s teeth cleaned. If there are extenuating circumstances, that cost can go up even more.
Remember, you can’t take your dog home until she starts to come out of the general anesthesia and the veterinarian deems it safe for her to leave the premises. If she has any problems with the procedure and she’s not recovering from the anesthesia well, the veterinarian may decide to keep her overnight for observation. This further drives up the cost. It’s a relatively rare chance that something like this could happen, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Therefore, it’s crucial that you be prepared for these types of things just in case something unexpected does happen.
How Can You Help Mitigate Dog Teeth Cleaning Prices?
Unfortunately, $700 for dog dental cleaning is a lot of money. In some cases, it’s more money than the individual in question can afford to spend. There are ways that you can successfully mitigate some of these costs. One way is to save up for the procedure over the course of the year. Remember, dogs typically only have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian once a year. Therefore, putting anywhere from $50 to $100 away every month just for this procedure can help lessen the blow when you actually have to pay for it.
Another way to mitigate these types of costs is to purchase an insurance plan for your dog that includes routine procedures such as dental cleaning. The cost of these types of plans varies depending on the company you decide to go through and the specific policy that you purchase. It’s best to ask your veterinarian for their recommendation in order to make sure that you get a plan that is accepted at their office and that has a solid history of performing well whenever you turn in a claim.
Not all insurance companies are created equally, so it’s vital that you do your homework. It only makes sense that you would start by asking your veterinarian for recommendations, as they can help point you in the right direction. By the same token, they can also tell you if there are certain companies that you should avoid at all costs. The point is, having a good insurance plan can help reduce the costs associated with having your dog’s teeth cleaned. It’s not likely that they’ll cover the entire dog dental cleaning costs, but there is a possibility that it could reduce the cost by half. When you’re talking about a $700 procedure, that’s quite a lot of money in and of itself.
Now that you know how much you can expect to pay to have your dog’s teeth cleaned and you have a better understanding of why it’s so important to do so, you can start planning for the next appointment that you can make with your veterinarian to have this done. Of course, it’s important to remember that there are also things you can do at home to further help increase your dog’s dental health. As previously mentioned, that includes brushing your dog’s teeth three or four times a week and incorporating specially-designed treats that help reduce plaque. Keep in mind, these things don’t take the place of professional dental cleaning, but they certainly do help with overall dental health. Perhaps you’re still undecided about whether or not you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian right away so you can have your dog’s teeth cleaned. If you still have a few questions, go ahead and refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section directly below. It might help you decide what you should do next.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should a dog’s teeth clean cost?
As previously mentioned, the cost for having your dog’s teeth cleaned will vary depending on a number of factors such as where you live and the type of breed that is in question. Larger veterinarian practices located in major cities typically charge more than smaller practices located in rural areas. By the same token, it costs more to have a large breed’s teeth cleaned than it does for smaller breeds. Depending on these and other factors involved that may be pertinent to the individual dog in question, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $700 in order to have their teeth cleaned.
Why is dog dental cleaning so expensive?
The main reason that it costs so much money is that it’s necessary to put dogs under general anesthesia in order to effectively clean their teeth. If you’re wondering why they need to be put under anesthesia, it’s largely to keep them from hurting themselves throughout the procedure. If you’ve ever had your own teeth cleaned, you know that it’s not exactly the most pleasant experience in the world. It can be uncomfortable and in some cases, it can even be slightly painful. The same is true for your dog. Since your dog can’t understand what’s happening, they could begin thrashing about and injure themselves or someone else. They can’t be muzzled during this type of procedure for obvious reasons, so the only other recourse is to put them under general anesthesia so that they will remain perfectly still.
How often should dogs have their teeth cleaned?
Typically, you want to make sure that you have your dog’s teeth cleaned once a year. In some cases, this can be incorporated into your dog’s annual physical exam. However, it might not be such a great idea to have your dog receive her physical exam, have her teeth cleaned and get all of her shots on the same day. That’s a lot to ask of anyone. In fact, it might be best to do the teeth cleaning on another day or at the very least, leave the vaccinations for another day so that your dog isn’t overwhelmed. In some rare cases, it may be necessary to have your dog’s teeth cleaned more than once every 12 months. This is something that you can discuss with your veterinarian depending on her specific health conditions in order to decide which course of action is best for her.
Is it worth getting your dog’s teeth cleaned?
You might think that this is just another procedure that costs money at first, but now that you have a better understanding of why it is so important to get your dog’s teeth cleaned, it’s probably starting to become obvious that it is indeed very much worth the cost. Having your dog’s teeth cleaned regularly can improve her quality of life and might even allow her to live a longer life. If you have the opportunity to help your best friend and you have the chance to spend more time with her in the process, the cost of having her teeth cleaned suddenly doesn’t seem like such an imposition.