How Much Does Professional Teeth Dog Cleaning for Dogs Cost? (2024)

April 14, 2023

How Much Does Professional Teeth Dog Cleaning for Dogs Cost? (1)

Dogs, just like humans, need professional teeth cleanings. While ongoing at-home canine tooth care is important, having a veterinarian professionally clean your pup's teeth once every year or two is very importantto supportyour dog's dental health and overall wellbeing.

Without professional cleanings, your dog may experience bad breath, inflamed gums, periodontal (gum) disease, andtooth loss. Over time, periodontal disease can causechronic pain, receding gums, bone loss, and even heart diseases likeendocarditis,a potentially fatal bacterial or fungal infection of the heart's chambers and valves.

In thisDJANGO Dog Blogarticle, weexplain what actually happens during doggy teeth cleanings, we discuss the average cost of professional canine dental care, and we review what dog owners can do at home to promote their dog's dental health.

Preliminary Dental Exam

In order tohavetheir teeth examined and cleaned thoroughly, dogs must be put under anesthesia. Before this happens, however, your vet will complete a preliminary dental exam with you in the room. During this exam, the vet is looking for canine dentalproblems including:

  • Bite misalignment
  • Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Extra baby or adult teeth
  • Bad breath (canine gingivitis)
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Yellow- or brown-colored teeth
  • Blood or stringysaliva

During the preliminary exam, tellyourvet if your dog has been eating less (which might be a sign he has gum disease), excessively drooling, chewing abnormally, or dropping food from his mouth.

Now is also a good chance to ask your vet any other questions you might have related to anesthesia,your dog's dental heath, and/orthe teeth cleaning process in general.

Mandatory Pre-Op Lab Work

After the preliminary exam,your vet will order pre-op lab work to confirm that your dog is able to go under anesthesia. Assuming your dog is in good health, you will then be able to schedule and proceed with your dog's teeth cleaning.

Teeth Cleaning and Exam

Your dog will be under anesthesia throughout the entire teeth cleaning and exam. During this time, the veterinarian will take x-rays of your dog's mouth and probe each tooth to measure the depth of its pocket.The veterinarian will also perform a complete oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) and charting. Hewill use hand and ultrasonic scalers to remove tartar and plaque from your dog's teeth and under his gum line. Then the vet will polish your dog'steethto fill in any microscopic scratches.Finally,he will apply fluoride and a dental sealant tostop tooth decay.


According to Cherry Hill Animal Hospital, a reputable animal hospital in New Jersey, dogs are typically under anesthesia for 1 to 1.5 hours. This time estimate assumes that there areno teeth extractions during the cleaning and exam process.

If a dog ultimately needs one or more teeth extracted, he mayneed to be under anesthesia for as long as 2-4 hours. Total time under anesthesia will largely depend on the size of the dog and how many teeth ultimately need extraction.

Estimatedcostfor dog teeth cleaning and exam

Professional teeth cleaning for dogscan range anywhere from $250-$750 when performed by a general practitioner veterinarian. Thisestimated cost range is for the anesthesia and actual cleaning and exam while your dog is under.Pricing will vary basedon geographic location, the size of your dog (cleanings for larger dogstake more time and thus are typically more expensive), and even thereputation of the veterinarian who performs the service.

As a pricing reference,professional canine teeth cleanings in New Jersey (where we live) average $500, assuming no tooth extractions.This $500 doesnotinclude a few additionalexpensesrelative to the cleaning process (more on this in the next section).

For dogs that need teeth extracted while the dog is under anesthesia for the cleaning and exam, pricing startsaround $1,000 and goes up from there.To be clear, thisamount covers the cleaning and exam as well as the tooth extractions.

Additional coststo be aware of

In addition to yourdog's teeth cleaning and exam, there will be a few moreexpensesassociated with yourpup'sdental care. Veterinarians will charge for:

  • Initial consultation / preliminary dental exam: $50-100
  • Pre-op lab work that determines your pup can handle anesthesia: $100-250
  • Any necessary tooth extractions while your dog is under anesthesia: $300-500+.

All of these estimated costs are in addition to the cleaning/exam cost we listed above ($500 on average where we live in New Jersey). Any aftercare medications, root canals, and advanced imaging will also increase the price further.

Finally, know that dog owners can pay as much as$4,000 for professional dog teeth cleanings ifthey go to aboard-certified veterinary dentist (DAVDC) at a high-end facility.Board-certified veterinary dentists are trained in anesthesia, pain management, and reading computerized tomography scans (CTs) and x-rays.


Standard petinsurancetypically does not cover professional teeth cleanings for dogs. But some pet insurance companies likeEmbrace Pet Insuranceoffer wellness add-ons that cover up to $1,000 in dental care each year.

If you have a senior dog or a dog with poor dental health, it may make sense to find a pet insurance program that offers canine dental care options.

How Much Does Professional Teeth Dog Cleaning for Dogs Cost? (2)

While professional dog teeth cleanings are crucial, there are a lot of things dog owners can do at home to promote their pup's dental health.Here are 4 easy ways to keep your dog's chompers clean at home.


Brush your dog's teeth daily, or as frequently as you can.Use a traditionalpet-friendlytoothbrush or a toothbrush thatslips over your finger (example in the video below). Sincehuman toothpastemay include ingredients likexylitolthat are not safe for dogs, purchase ahigh quality dog toothpaste such asArm & Hammer's Tartar Control Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs. Canine toothpaste usually comes indrool-worthy flavors like beef, chicken,andpeanut butter.

If your pup violently squirms away from dog toothbrushes and wipes,use oureffective bully stick method. It's a great trick for dogs that hate teeth brushing.Watch this YouTube video to learn more.


Dog dental chews are deliciousdog treats designed to scrape plaque and tartar off your pup’s teeth. Many all-natural dog dental treats also contain enzymes that break down food particles and repair tooth minerals.

Mike and I (Steph) highly recommend theBARK Bright Dental Kit. It comes with a 30-day supply of triple-enzymatic toothpaste and chicken-flavored dental sticks. After you squeeze BARK's triple enzymatic toothpaste into the dental chew's deep groove, your dog does all the dirty work.Here is our full product review of the BARK Bright Dental System.

Other dog owners swear by Greenies Dental Treats for Dogs. These oral health dog treats have a unique texture that helps to clean dogs' teeth down to the gum line and ultimately fight plaque and tartar and freshen bad dog breath.

While none of thesedog dental chews are magic solutions to dental problems and bad breath (and should not replace professional dog teeth cleanings), theyare a cheap and easy way topromotedoggydental health on a small scale and from the comfort of your own home.


Simply add a dog mouthwash, such asTropiClean Fresh Breath Original Dog Dental Water Additive, to your dog's water bowl. The tasteless and odorless formula fights plaque and tartar formation. It also provides fresher breath in 14 days or less.


You can also try disposable dog dental wipes, such asVet's Best Dental Care Finger Wipes. While they cannot squeeze into the same nooks and crannies a dog toothbrush does, dog dental wipes are often easier to use.

Yes. Professional teeth cleaning does not justkeep your dog's bad breath at bay.It also helps fightgum disease thatcan cause abscesses,inflamed gums, infections, pain, and tooth loss.

In the long term, poor oral health can even affect your dog's heart, liver, and kidneys. Not only would serious health problemsarising from poor dental care be devastating to you and your four-legged family, they would also be extremely costly to address.

Are professional dog teeth cleanings cheap? No. But they can potentially save youthousands of dollars in future doggy medical bills in the futurewhile also promotingyour dog's long-term health—the most important thing! Ask your vet about professional teeth cleaning for your pup at your next visit.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below!






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How Much Does Professional Teeth Dog Cleaning for Dogs Cost? (2024)


What is the price list for dog teeth cleaning? ›

How much does dog teeth cleaning cost? Typically, dog teeth cleaning costs between $300 to $700, which doesn't include special treatments for periodontal disease or tooth extractions. These extras can add several hundred dollars to the total vet visit cost.

Why is dog teeth cleaning so expensive? ›

Dog teeth cleanings with anesthesia are generally performed by a veterinarian and are more expensive due to the cost of sedation. Non-anesthetic dental cleanings cost less because they use calming techniques instead of sedatives to keep pets relaxed during the cleaning process.

Is dog dental cleaning worth it? ›

Vets encourage dental cleaning because dental disease is painful for your dog. Regular brushing with dog-safe enzymatic toothpaste, dental treats, and dental specific diets will all help slow the buildup of dental tartar, and hopefully lessen the risk of dental disease.

Is professional teeth cleaning good for dogs? ›

While implementing an at-home oral care routine (and perhaps pairing it with dental treats or chews) is important in that it helps control plaque and tartar buildup, visiting the vet regularly for a professional cleaning is the best way to keep your dog's mouth clean and healthy.

Can I get my dog's teeth cleaned without anesthesia? ›

You can have your pet's teeth cleaned without anesthesia whether they're young and healthy or have health issues. Non-anesthetic dental cleanings complement anesthetic dental procedures and are primarily recommended as prevention and maintenance.

How can I remove tartar from my dogs teeth at home? ›

The best way to remove plaque is to simply brush your dog's teeth daily with a dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste. Brushing your pooch's teeth every now and then won't get rid of a buildup of plaque, but regular brushing will help keep their teeth and mouths healthy.

What is the average age for a dog to get a dental cleaning? ›

Most dogs and cats should have their first dental cleaning at 2-3 years of age. Small breed dogs should definitely receive care no later than two years of age. You don't want to wait much longer than this, as signs of periodontal disease are commonly seen by these ages.

How long is a dog under anesthesia for teeth cleaning? ›

A dental cleaning performed under anesthesia can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, beginning with pre-procedure blood work and patient preparation. Once a pet has been anesthetized, a dental cleaning in a vet's office usually lasts around 30-45 minutes, although it can take up to 2 hours if extractions are involved.

How painful is teeth cleaning for dogs? ›

Most dogs and cats don't exhibit signs of dental pain, even after a dental procedure — they just want dinner. An animal's drive to eat generally supersedes any pain they may experience, so it's up to us to keep them comfortable until their mouth returns to normal.

How can I save my dog for dental cleaning? ›

Ways to Reduce the Cost of Dog Dental Cleaning

At-Home Hygiene: Brushing your dog's teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews and toys can help maintain their dental health and reduce the need for professional cleaning.

How do you remove tartar from a dog's teeth without a dentist? ›

One of the most effective ways to remove tartar from your dog's teeth is brushing their teeth daily with a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.

Are greenies good for dogs? ›

They're Safe for Dogs

The lack of harmful ingredients means Greenies Dental Treats are a safe, healthy pet food that is easily digestible. Just make sure your pet chews them thoroughly before swallowing.

What is the best dog teeth cleaning technique? ›

Brushing your pet's teeth is slightly different than brushing our own. You need to brush only the outside surface of their teeth (those facing their cheeks). For dogs, Lee recommends brushing in a downward direction (and for cats, a horizontal motion is preferred). Ideally, you'll brush their teeth every day.

What do dogs teeth look like when they need to be cleaned? ›

Signs your dog needs veterinary help

Take a look at their teeth and their gums. Your dog's teeth should be clean and white, and their gums should be nice and pink. If you see brown on their teeth and you notice that their gums are red then now would be the time for you to call the vet.

Should senior dogs get their teeth cleaned? ›

Older dogs tend to need more dental care than younger dogs, and the reason is simply that time, diet, and eating habits contribute to oral decay. So it's always a good idea to have annual exams with your veterinarian if your dog is over seven years of age to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy.

How do vets sedate dogs for dental cleaning? ›

Once we have the IV catheter placed, and your pet has been premedicated with a sedative and pain medication combination, we are ready to use an anesthetic agent to put your pet completely under anesthesia, so she is unconscious and unaware.

What happens if dogs teeth aren't cleaned? ›

Teeth brushing is important because it eliminates food particles and bacteria from the teeth. Without brushing, the particles adhere to the teeth. Bacteria then feed on these particles and produce tartar. This leads to dental disease, which causes bad breath, tooth loss, and pain.

Do greenies remove tartar? ›

When given once a day, GREENIES Dental Chews are clinically proven to effectively reduce tartar buildup on average by 60 percent, and to reduce plaque buildup to keep gums healthy.

What food causes tartar on dog's teeth? ›

Dry food has a much higher starch content than other food forms. Since there's no type of abrasive in kibble such as bones, it gets trapped between teeth and promotes the formation of tartar.

Can I scrape plaque off my dog teeth? ›

We do not recommend scraping the plaque or tartar off your pet's teeth on your own, as it could damage the teeth's enamel, and it can also lead to other complications such as gum bleeding. We recommend a reputable and qualified provider to perform a dental cleaning procedure.

Is it too late to clean dogs teeth? ›

It's ideal to begin home care when your pet is young however, it is never too late to start. There are many different methods to prevent dental disease and to assist with dental hygiene at home, some of which include: Regular brushing. Treats and chews.

What are the signs of dental problems in dogs? ›

What are the signs of dental pain in dogs?
  • decreased interest in eating dry food.
  • decreased interest in hard treats.
  • chewing more slowly than usual.
  • dropping food from the mouth while chewing.
  • excessive drooling.
  • pawing at the mouth.
  • new or worsening resistance to having the face/mouth touched.

Is it safe to put a 13 year old dog under anesthesia? ›

With anesthesia, age really can simply be a number. Although anesthesia is never without risk, older pets who are in good physical condition can undergo anesthesia with no complications. Sometimes, however, an older pet with a pre-existing health condition requires surgery, and specialized care.

Why is my dog crying after dental cleaning? ›

You may also have seen videos of kids or adults waking up from anesthesia, after dentistry or surgery, and they say the weirdest or funniest things – which they don't even remember later. Since dogs don't understand what's happening, it causes anxiety. And they don't know how to express that, except through whining.

Do dogs need pain meds after teeth cleaning? ›

Will my pet be in pain? Your pet received pain medication throughout their dental cleaning, with additional oral nerve blocks if extractions were required. Your veterinary team may also prescribe additional pain relievers to keep your pet comfortable at home.

What is Stage 4 dog dental cleaning? ›

Stage 4: Advanced periodontitis indicates bone loss of 50% or greater. During this last stage, tartar is very apparent to the naked eye, gums are retracted, the teeth are damaged, and there may be a need for extraction.

Do carrots clean dogs teeth? ›

The Benefits of Raw Carrots

This chewing mechanism helps clean your dog's teeth and gums by removing residual food pieces and help clear plaque from tooth surfaces. Carrots can make great treats for your dog, due to their low-calorie content, especially if you need a larger quantity of treats when training.

What foods are good for cleaning dogs teeth? ›

Foods such as apple slices, carrot sticks, uncooked pumpkin, sweet potato, and squash are all tasty dog-friendly human foods that help to scrape plaque and build-up off of your dog's teeth.

What softens tartar? ›

Clean using Baking soda– A mixture of baking soda and salt is an effective home remedy for dental calculus removal. Brushing your teeth with baking soda and salt softens the calculus, making it easy to remove. The mixture should smoothly be scrubbed on the teeth by using a toothbrush.

Will coconut oil remove tartar from dog's teeth? ›

Coconut oil is safe for dogs to consume, and can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth. To use coconut oil to brush your dog's teeth, simply rub a small amount of coconut oil onto their teeth and gums. You can also add a bit of water to help make the process easier.

What do vets use to remove tartar? ›

If your dog's tartar hardens to the point of no return, it will require a visit to the vet to remove it. During a routine teeth cleaning, dogs are put under anesthesia, then the vet gets to work scraping buildup off with a dog tartar removal tool called a scaler.

What is a cheaper alternative to Greenies? ›

  • Greenies Regular Dog Dental Treats. $16.79. $17.98. ...
  • Pedigree Dentastix. $14.26. $16.99. ...
  • Milk-Bone Original Brushing Chews. $10.99. Chewy. ...
  • Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews. $26.89. Tartar Shield.
  • OraVet Hygiene Dental Chews. $28.99. $35.99. ...
  • Virbac CET Veggiedent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews. $28.97. $37.99. ...
  • Purina DentaLife Chews. $14.56.
Mar 27, 2023

Are milk bones good for dogs? ›

If given in moderation (and if your dog is not allergic to the ingredients), Milk-Bone treats should not have adverse effects on your dog's health, and even contain added vitamins and minerals. Milk-Bone's three main ingredients (wheat, beef, and milk) are generally not harmful to dogs in moderate quantities.

Can you dissolve tartar on dog's teeth? ›

Calculus (tartar) is mineralized plaque and forms in 72 hours in the absence of brushing. Calculus can only be removed through a professional dental cleaning. Daily tooth brushing and the use of different oral home care products can help remove plaque dog teeth and therefore minimize calculus accumulation.

Can I scrape tartar off my dog's teeth? ›

Can I Scrape Plaque Off My Dog's Teeth? Plaque can easily be removed from your dog's teeth. You can use a toothbrush with dental bristles or a finger toothbrush to help remove plaque from your dog's teeth.

What softens tartar on dogs teeth? ›

1 Polish your dog's teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. 2 Give your dog dental chews to remove tartar buildup. 3 Clean your dog's teeth with dental wipes. 4 Rub oral care gel on your dog's mouth.

How long does it take for a vet to clean a dog's teeth? ›

How Long Does a Pet Dental Cleaning Take? A routine oral assessment and dental scaling and polishing typically take about 2 hours. This includes time for x-rays to be taken and reviewed by the doctor. If extractions are needed your pet will remain sedated for longer.

What food is best for dogs teeth? ›

Carrots, apples, and pumpkins are the best options to consider: Most dogs enjoy them, and they won't stick to the teeth. What is this? Vegetables and fruits are great for scraping food off a dog's teeth. Also, they contain antioxidants that will help a dog deal with chronic oxidative stress causing periodontitis.


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