The Average Cost of a Dog Dental Cleaning


Insurance Ranked

- Updated November 17, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Prevalence of Dental Diseases in Dogs
  • Dental Cleaning Procedure
  • Cost Factors for Dental Cleaning:
  • Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings
  • Home Dental Care and Cost Savings
  • Expert Advice
  • Preventative Care is Key
  • Pet Insurance Consideration
  • Importance of Professional Cleanings
The Average Cost of a Dog Dental Cleaning

There are many reasons why routine dental cleanings are essential for dogs. Primarily, they help prevent dental diseases, which are common in dogs. Some estimates state that over 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease by three years old. These diseases can range from mild to severe, and some dog breeds are even predisposed.

A doggy dental cleaning includes thoroughly examining the dog’s mouth, a tooth cleaning, and removing the plaque and tartar that can cause dental diseases. In almost all cases, the dog will be put under anesthetic to avoid stressing them out and to keep them still during the procedure.


Understanding the Dental Cleaning Procedure

There are several steps to the dental cleaning procedure for dogs. First, the dog will go under an anesthetic, primarily to help keep them still during the procedure. In addition, the anesthesia can allow the veterinarian to access the subgingival areas, where systemic inflammation can occur. The amount of anesthetic used will mainly depend on the size and age of your dog, and using more anesthetic may increase the overall cost of the procedure.

After administering the anesthetic, the veterinarian will examine the dog’s mouth, gums, and teeth. Doing so will allow the veterinarian to identify any problems within the mouth and their severity. From there, they can establish a plan to best handle the issue.

After the examination is complete, the veterinarian will perform a dental scaling, which is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface. Once plaque and tartar have hardened onto a dog’s teeth, a veterinarian can remove it safely and effectively. This step is important because tartar formation creates a rough surface that provides ample room for bacteria to grow. This bacteria, among other things, can cause gingivitis (early-stage gum disease).

Lastly, unless any other issues need to be handled, the veterinarian will finish the procedure with a polishing. Polishing the teeth after scaling creates a smoother outer surface, which can help reduce the risk of future plaque buildup and the development of bacteria.


Factors Influencing the Cost of Dental Cleanings

Several factors can influence your dog's overall dental cleaning price. While this can make the price unpredictable, it’s still a good idea to have a rough estimate to prepare to cover the cost as needed. Here are a few of the factors to consider:

Type of Veterinary Facility

First and foremost, the type of veterinary facility you take your dog to can make a substantial difference. Facilities such as veterinary dental clinics or other specialized facilities typically charge more for their procedures because they tend to have more specialized equipment and expertise. Alternatively, charitable organizations or veterinary education facilities usually offer services for reduced prices, so it’s always best to shop around. However, you should also remember that cheaper isn’t always the best quality.

Geographic Location

The geographic location can also make a difference in the overall cost. Primarily, the local cost of living and fees that the vet clinic has to pay will increase the cost. Additionally, rural areas will cost less than urban or major metropolitan areas because the demand is lower and fewer clinics are available.

Condition of the Dog's Teeth

Dogs whose teeth are in worse condition will require more extensive cleaning and treatment, resulting in a higher cost. Typically, a tooth cleaning should cost between $500 to $1,000 without insurance, but those that require more extensive treatments will cost more because more time and resources will be used.

Use of Anesthesia

Anesthesia is necessary for the procedure and can also influence the cost. Not only can the sedation itself be expensive, but the dog must also be monitored while under anesthesia to reduce the risk of adverse reactions, and post-procedure care may also be required.

Average Costs Breakdown

While the price varies greatly depending on certain factors, you can typically expect the price to fall between $300 and $1,000. However, this doesn’t cover the costs of additional procedures for periodontal disease or tooth extractions. If a tooth needs removal, it may cost $500 to $2,500.

Cost comparisons are influenced by additional factors such as a dog’s age, pre-existing conditions, the complexity of the dental work needed, and the choice of veterinary facility. Opting for routine preventive care and selecting a reputable veterinarian can help manage costs and ensure your beloved canine companion's overall health and well-being.

Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings for dogs are paramount, not only for maintaining their oral health but also for their overall well-being. Proper dental care can significantly impact a dog’s quality of life. It helps prevent many dental issues, such as plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Beyond oral health, these cleanings can contribute to the dog’s general health.) by reducing the risk of systemic infections resulting from untreated dental problems. These infections can affect vital organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, leading to severe health complications. Regular cleanings can also improve a dog’s appetite, as painful dental issues often deter them from eating, which can result in malnutrition and weight loss.

Moreover, investing in routine dental cleanings for your dog can lead to cost savings in the long run. Preventative care is typically more affordable than treating advanced dental problems that may require extractions, root canals, or other extensive procedures.

By addressing dental issues early, you can avoid the need for costly interventions and the associated risks and discomfort for your pet. Maintaining your dog’s oral health can extend their lifespan, saving you money on medical bills and enhancing their overall quality of life. Regular dental cleanings for your dog are essential for their oral health and overall health and longevity, offering both emotional and financial benefits.

Home Dental Care and Cost Savings

Brushing and Dental Chews

Home dental care for dogs is vital in maintaining their oral health, and two effective strategies are brushing and dental chews. Brushing your dog’s teeth with a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste helps to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, reducing the risk of dental issues. Regular brushing, ideally a few times a week, can significantly contribute to fresher breath and healthier teeth and gums.

Dental chews designed for dogs can also be a valuable supplement to brushing. These chews are designed to promote dental hygiene by helping to remove plaque and tartar as dogs chew on them, providing both mental stimulation and oral health benefits. Combining these practices can keep your dog’s teeth and gums in good shape, enhancing their overall well-being and reducing the need for more extensive dental procedures later.

Cost-effective Dental Products

Cost-effective dental care products for dogs are readily available, making it easier to prioritize your pet’s oral health without breaking the bank. One of the most budget-friendly options is investing in a simple toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. These products are relatively inexpensive and are essential for maintaining oral hygiene. You can find toothbrushes with soft bristles that are gentle on your dog’s gums and flavored toothpaste that can make the brushing experience more pleasant for your pet. Regularly using these essential dental care products can go a long way in preventing costly dental issues.

Another cost-effective option is dental chews or treats designed to promote oral health. These products are often priced reasonably and offer an enjoyable way for dogs to clean their teeth naturally. Look for options that have received Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approval, ensuring their effectiveness in reducing tartar and plaque. Dental toys, like rubber chew and rope toys, can also help maintain dental health while providing entertainment for dogs. These items can be more affordable than specialized dental treats and can be a long-lasting investment in your pet’s oral care.

Lastly, consider incorporating dental water additives into your dog’s routine. These products are relatively inexpensive and can be added to your dog’s drinking water to help reduce plaque and freshen their breath. While not a standalone solution, dental water additives can be a cost-effective addition to your pet’s dental care regimen. They are especially beneficial when combined with other dental products. By choosing these cost-effective dental care options, you can take a proactive approach to your dog’s oral health while being mindful of your budget.


Expert Opinions and Insights

According to the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Hospital of Topeka, brushing your dog’s teeth should be included in their weekly grooming. They explain that periodontal disease is a common problem for dogs, with more than 80% of dogs showing signs of it by three years old. When the condition is left untreated, it will worsen until the bacteria spreads to other organs throughout the body. Bad breath is one of the most common early signs of gum disease, so being alert and getting your dog regular dental checkups is vital.


Understanding the average cost of dog dental cleaning and recognizing the significance of regular dental care for your dog is crucial for responsible pet ownership. With an average price of $300 to $1,000, dog dental cleanings are an investment in your pet’s oral health and overall well-being. These cleaning can prevent dental issues, such as plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay, leading to severe health complications if left untreated. Moreover, a healthy mouth can contribute to better appetite and nutrition, ultimately enhancing your dog’s quality of life.

While the cost of dental cleanings may seem daunting, remember that preventative care is more affordable than treating advanced dental problems, which could require costly interventions. By incorporating routine dental care into your dog’s health regimen, you can save on medical expenses and ensure a longer, healthier life for your beloved pet.

So, make sure to include dental brushing, dental chews, and other cost-effective dental products in your pet care routine to complement professional cleanings, safeguarding your dog’s oral health and promoting their overall vitality. Caring for your dog’s teeth preserves their beautiful smile and protects their lasting health and happiness.

However, if the price of the procedure is more than you are financially capable of, there are a few steps that you can take to potentially reduce this cost. The main option is to invest in pet insurance, which can often cover a portion of the cost. However, a copay may still be necessary. Reading the terms and conditions of the pet insurance policy you’re considering is essential, as some may not cover these procedures.

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