|$ At Home Dog Teeth Cleaning Kit: $7 - $20||$ $ $ Annual Dog Teeth Cleaning: $300 - $1K|
Dental hygiene tends to be underestimated when it comes to dogs.
Yet the consequences of not maintaining good dental care could be severe in both the short and long term.
Just like us humans, dogs’ teeth must be brushed often and checked for any signs of dental disease.
We may think that it’s enough with the food they eat or with the toys they have, but that’s not the case.
Let’s review the importance of dental hygiene in dogs, signs of dental problems, what you can do to help avoid them, and how much dental hygiene in dogs costs.
Table of Contents
Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Important?
Believe it or not, it’s very important.
Your dog’s teeth can begin to deteriorate early in life if its teeth are not kept clean.
Plaque starts to accumulate, leading to tartar, which is made of bacteria.
If it’s not cleaned, tartar can then lead to serious health issues since bacteria can travel to vital organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is not just a matter of esthetic, it’s an essential aspect of its health that must be routinely checked by you and by its veterinarian.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Dental Problems?
Although it’s not always possible to see everything that’s going on in your dog’s mouth, there are a few signs that can tell you if your dog is having dental problems:
It’s understandable given any dog’s diet that their breath is not going to be perfect, but if you notice that your dog’s breath seems worse than usual or more persistent, it could be a sign of dental issues.
Plaque or Tartar
Plaque and tartar are bacteria that have been accumulating over time in the teeth.
You’ll see it as a discoloration of the teeth, going from yellow to even brown.
This might not be as clear as the other two signs at first but there are a couple of ways of telling if your dog’s gums are swollen: loss of appetite and refusal of playing with its favorite toys.
When gums are swollen, they become much more sensitive, so even if your dog gets hungry, he or she won’t be able to chew its food because of the pain it causes.
The same thing will happen with its toys; it’ll be too uncomfortable to play with and your dog will stop doing it.
How Can I Keep My Dog’s Teeth Clean?
There are things you can do to maintain proper dental hygiene in your dog.
Brushing its teeth should be done as frequently as once a day, but if it’s not possible, at least every other day.
This will ensure that bacteria don’t start to accumulate in its mouth, therefore preventing plaque and tartar.
There are specific toothbrushes made for you to clean your dog’s teeth and tasty toothpaste with flavors your dog will love.
It’s always better to start doing this when your dog is a puppy, so he or she can get used to you touching its mouth.
But older dogs can also learn to get comfortable with this routine, you just need to be patient and remember to reward your dog every time you complete brushing its teeth, so the experience becomes a positive one.
In addition to that, you should always take your dog for an annual dental checkup with the vet.
There, the vet will be able to identify anything that might be wrong with your dog’s teeth or gums, and he or she will perform an extensive and meticulous dental cleaning while your dog is sedated.
How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost?
For brushing your dog’s teeth at home, you can generally find toothbrushes from $5 to $10, and toothpaste from $2 to $10.
The cost of an annual dental checkup at the vet will depend on the city where you live and if your dog already has any dental problems.
The usual cost tends to be between $300 to $1,000.
Some vets also offer dog teeth cleaning without anesthesia, which significantly lowers the overall price, but it could be difficult for your dog to stay quiet for that long and it could also be painful.