How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Oral hygiene is considered necessary for humans, and the same goes for your dog. The fact that they are animals does not exempt them from getting serious dental diseases. They can develop swollen gums, painful swallowing, and tooth loss. As many pet owners do, however, they overlook this. They forget that oral care and hygiene is also important for the overall health and well-being of their dogs.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Humans are advised to brush daily, if not more than once or twice a day. Just like you, it is ideally better to have your dog’s teeth cleaned daily. It might take a while for you and your dog to get used to it, though. It helps in avoiding plaque and tartar to build upon your dog’s teeth which may cause further problems such as periodontal disease.

Man preparing to clean a dog's full teeth

Depending on the dog’s breed and age, the frequency in cleaning your dog’s teeth might change. Larger breeds might not need as frequent brushing as smaller breeds because the latter is more prone to dental problems. The same goes based on age. Younger dogs are fine to skip a brush or two each week. Older dogs need to have their teeth cleaned more often.

Ideally, the recommended tooth-brushing frequency for dogs is daily. Generally, your dog should at least be getting their teeth cleaned twice or three times a week.

Do Dogs Need Their Teeth Cleaned Every Year?

Again, much like humans going to the dentist at least once a year, the same also goes for your dogs. They need dental cleanings, with their teeth cleaned by a professional veterinarian at least once a year. This is important to also have a full checkup of their teeth including their gums.

Veterinarians might also do X-rays. This is a more thorough checkup of your dog’s gum line. They can check to see if there is a need for tooth extraction or treatment or if there are any early signs your dog has a dental disease. If so, it is better to have it examined and treated early. After all, prevention is better than cure. Right?

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

The cost of professional dental cleanings for your dog varies. It depends on the inclusive extraction, treatments, and medications. It also depends on the size, age, and breed of the dog. It might also depend on the blood-work and whether it is anesthesia-free or anesthesia-based.

If the cleaning has anesthesia, it’s usually more expensive. It could range from $500-$1000.

Other exclusive add-ons for your dog’s oral cleanings that you might want to include are antibiotic injection, teeth polishing, application of fluoride treatment, and IV catheter and fluids. All these may be optional or required depending on what the veterinarian suggests your dog needs.

Do Dogs Really Need Dental Cleaning?

It is very important for you to not overlook your dog’s dental cleaning. Dogs need it to prevent tooth decay, dental damages, and oral health problems.

How Important Is It to Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

If you aren’t convinced with how important it is, research says that around 70% of dogs develop periodontal disease before they even reach the age of 3. If left untreated, this disease makes them more prone to issues with their blood pressure, kidney or liver, cardiovascular diseases, and worse, cancer.

These are just some of the further health problems you are preventing for your dog. To avoid these, commit to regularly cleaning their teeth and going for a once-a-year dental cleaning and checkup with a veterinarian.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

It may be uncomfortable for you and your dog when you initially start cleaning their teeth at home. Be sure to use pet-friendly toothbrushes and enzymatic toothpastes that don’t contain chemicals that may poison your pet if they swallow any. Hang in there, because you will get used to it at some point.

Dog showing his clean teeth

If you don’t end up getting your dog’s teeth cleaned at all, this could lead to many disadvantages, such as poor tooth care and oral hygiene. At first, it may not be that obvious. But, as the bacteria and tartar builds up in their teeth, your dog may suffer the following:

  • Tooth decay
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath from rotten tissues
  • Excessive, involuntary drooling
  • Painful eating hence losing appetite
  • Heart, liver, or kidney diseases

A simple oral problem overlooked can actually cause long term (and even fatal problems) with your dog’s health.

Is It Dangerous to Get Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

Your dog will react to the process when they first get their teeth cleaned. After all, they are not used to it and they may not be fully aware that it’s generally good for them.

Yes, it may be risky to get your dog’s teeth cleaned with the help of anesthesia. The benefits are said to outweigh the risks. Pets are first examined for their health status and physical condition before being anesthetized.

Anesthesia is usually used for a thorough dental cleaning for your dog. Additionally, if you don’t want your dog to be physically restrained during professional dental cleaning, it is best to go with the anesthesia-based. It helps in reducing the stress and discomfort of the dental cleaning.

Conclusion

We could not emphasize enough how important and beneficial it is both for your dog and you as a pet owner to regularly clean their  teeth. Ideally, daily. Two or three times each week would do, too. You should also schedule a yearly professional dental cleaning done by a veterinarian. This will help to ensure prevention against tooth decay, dental damage, and health problems resulting from buildup of plaque and tartar in your dog’s teeth.