Should I have my dog’s teeth professionally cleaned?


The short answer is YES.  Dogs can suffer from the same oral problems that we do—periodontal disease, plaque, tooth decay, and tooth loss. These ailments cause

chronic pain and can also affect the overall health of your pet. Bacteria that is formed from certain gum diseases can spread through the bloodstream and into internal organs. As a result, poor dental health can lead to heart, liver, and kidney disease.  This is the reason why regular dental care is so important. But what kind of dental care does your dog need? And how often?

Dogs essentially need the same routine dental care that we do. They need:

  • Daily brushings at home
  • Semi-annual professional cleaning by a dental hygienist
  • Annual oral exam, x-rays, and deep teeth cleaning by a vet

Brushings at Home

Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth everyday but since this isn’t always feasible, brushing at least once or twice a week should suffice. Frequent brushing is the single most effective way to ensure your dog’s dental health. All you need is a toothbrush/toothpaste made specifically for dogs and a little patience. Check out our step-by-step guide on safe and effective brushing.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

There are two types of professional teeth cleaning for pets:

Cleaning done by a dental hygienist (without anesthesia)

This type of cleaning is performed by a trained dental hygienist without the use of anesthesia. It is a basic cleaning that is meant to be in addition to an annual deep cleaning done by a vet (discussed below). Depending on what other services are included, this type of cleaning costs about $150- $200. Even though this procedure does provide a great basic cleaning and does keep doggie breath at bay, since anesthesia is not used, it is primarily a cosmetic procedure. If you are regularly brushing your dog’s teeth at home, this service is only needed once or twice a year. If you haven’t been brushing regularly, you should schedule a cleaning by a hygienist every 3 months.

Cleaning done by a vet (with anesthesia) 

In addition to a cleaning by a hygienist, you MUST take your dog for an annual oral exam and deep cleaning. Cleanings done by a vet are done with anesthesia and cost anywhere from $350 – $600. Dogs who cannot be put under (short-nosed breeds, senior dogs, dogs that are ill) may not qualify for this type cleaning.  In such a case, daily at-home brushings and cleanings done by a hygienist without anesthesia (discussed above) may be your only options.

Our Teeth Cleaning Services

Here at Julie’s we understand the importance of doggie dental care.  As such, we are now offering veterinarian-supervised anesthesia-free dental cleaning provided by Breath Savers Pet Dental Care. Breath Savers hygienists work under the direct supervision of licensed vets in Orange County. Our Breath Savers hygienist works under the supervision of Dr. Tara Haddad.

Dr. Haddad is an Orange County veterinarian who owns and operates The Vet’s House, a grooming and boarding facility specializing in the care of medically fragile pets. When your dog comes in for a cleaning, Dr. Haddad will do a physical exam and let you know if there are any underlying medical issues. This exam is available at no additional cost to you.

Call us today at (949) 858-6687 to schedule an appointment!!


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