Dog Hygiene 101: Dog Dental Cleaning

Dog Hygiene 101: Dog Dental Cleaning

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Is Dog Dental Cleaning Necessary?

Dog Hygiene 101: Dog Dental Cleaning

Yes, dog dental cleaning is necessary.

Dog dental problems are common, and maintaining oral hygiene is the best way to prevent them. Brushing the dog’s teeth regularly and using dog dental products are vital.

While some dog breeds are more prone to dental problems, dental cleaning is recommended for all dogs regardless of breed and age.

Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Painful?

Yes, teeth cleaning can be painful to dogs.

Even if not painful, dog dental cleaning is uncomfortable. And since dogs cannot sit still during the procedure, vets use anesthetic agents. The type of anesthesia for the dental procedure varies from vet to vet.

What Age Should Dogs Get Their Teeth Cleaned?

The American Veterinary Dental College recommends that dogs have their dental exam by age two and have periodic checkups every six months afterward.

However, some veterinarians recommend starting teeth cleaning at an earlier age — between ages 1 and 3 — especially for dogs that display early signs of plaque or tartar build-up.

What Are the Benefits of Dog Dental Cleaning?

Regular dog dental cleaning has several benefits, including:

  • Reduced Risk Dental Disease. Tartar build-up pressures the gum lines and results in periodontal disease. In severe cases, this results in recession of the gum line and tooth loss.
  • No Bad Breath. Dental disease disrupts the normal microflora in the dog’s mouth and causes bad breath. Bad breath is not life-threatening, but it is a nuisance.
  • Improved Overall Health. Cleaning your dog’s teeth will help improve their overall health by reducing the risk of infection and disease, as mentioned above. But it also reduces the risk of heart disease and kidney failure – all common side effects of poor oral hygiene.
  • Better Behavior. Poorly maintained teeth can lead to pain for your pet when chewing or eating. This discomfort can cause them to act out in ways that are not typical for them – like biting or chewing excessively or refusing to eat altogether.
  • Improved Digestion. When tartar builds up on the teeth, it makes it harder for food to break down properly in the mouth. This results in less absorption of nutrients from food, which means your dog may not get all the nutrients he needs for healthy digestion and other bodily functions.
Vets Preferred Water Additive Oral Care for Dogs
  • DOG BREATH FRESHENER: Promotes good breath, coupled with calcium that strengthens teeth. Ensure fresh breath, clean dog teeth AND overall dog health! 
  • DOG WATER ADDITIVE: Help prevent tartar formation and protect your dog’s teeth and gums and from irreversible gum disease and countless vet visits.
  • NO TOOTHBRUSH NEEDED! Don't waste time wrestling with a dog toothbrush! Simply add a small amount of this dog breath freshener to your dog's water! Works like dog breath mints!

What Dental Cleaning Products Can You Use for Dogs?

There are many dog dental cleaning products for at-home use. Here are some of the best dog dental cleaning options reviewed.

Vets Preferred Water Additive Oral Care for Dogs’ Bad Breath. This is a proprietary blend of natural ingredients that help maintain dog dental health by neutralizing the pH levels in saliva, thus inhibiting the formation of plaque and tartar.

The formula is designed to be added directly to your dog’s drinking water, making it easy and convenient to use. It is safe for all breeds and sizes of dogs, including puppies as young as eight weeks old.

Dog parents love this dog dental cleaning product for dogs. They say it eliminated their dog’s bad breath and freshened his breath for weeks. It also helps prevent plaque and tartar build-up, making it an excellent choice for dogs with dental issues.

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Vets Preferred Dog Enzymatic Toothpaste – Safe and Natural. This enzymatic toothpaste is a safe and natural way to clean your dog’s teeth. Enzymes in the toothpaste are activated when exposed to water, which helps break down plaque and tartar.

The non-foaming formula can be used daily to freshen breath and promote healthy gums. Plus, it is gentle and very easy to use.

Pet parents love this enzymatic dog dental cleaning product. They say it doesn’t irritate their dog’s mouth or cause allergic reactions. It also leaves their dog’s breath feeling fresh and clean.

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Vet’s Best Dog Toothbrush and Enzymatic Toothpaste. This is another enzymatic toothpaste that helps keep the dog’s mouth healthy. The brush has an angled head that makes reaching all of your dog’s teeth easy, while the toothpaste contains enzymes that manage plaque and tartar build-up.

The Vet’s Best toothbrush is made from nylon bristles, which are gentle on your dog’s gums and teeth. It also has a rubber grip handle, making it easy to hold while brushing.

Parents love this dog dental cleaning product. They say it’s a great value and easy to use, unlike other products they’ve tried in the past. The toothpaste is non-irritating and removes bad breath and plaque build-up.

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Vet’s Best Dental Care Finger Wipes. These dog dental wipes are formulated with natural ingredients that help clean and freshen your pet’s mouth while removing plaque and tartar. These easy-to-use wipes are convenient for on-the-go use in your pocket or purse.

Veterinarians recommend wiping your pet’s teeth daily to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria before they become serious health concerns. The wipes contain thyme oil and green tea extract that inhibit bacterial growth. Plus, they feature a pleasant mint flavor that encourages dogs to open their mouth.

Pet owners love this dog dental cleaning product because they are easy to use and effectively remove plaque from their pets’ teeth and gums. They say the wipes work best when used regularly as part of a daily dental hygiene routine for dogs.

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Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs. The kit is an advanced oral care formula that reduces plaque and tartar for cleaner teeth and fresher breath. The natural ingredients in this product are safe and effective, removing the build-up of plaque and tartar that can trigger bad breath and gum disease.

The unique formula includes baking soda, a natural substance that helps eliminate odors from the mouth. This kit includes toothpaste, a small bottle of whitening gel, a toothbrush, and a toothpaste dispenser.

With over 30,000 positive reviews, pet parents love this dog dental cleaning product. They say it’s easy to use, and their dogs love the taste. The kit comes with dog toothpaste that helps remove plaque and tartar without the abrasiveness of other products.

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Greenies Original Large Size Dog Dental Care Chews. These Greenies dog dental chews are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath, providing a healthy alternative to traditional rawhide chews.

The treats are made with natural ingredients that reduce tartar and plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. It’s also gluten-free and has no artificial colors or flavors. Each dental chew contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support strong teeth, gums, and overall wellness.

With 4.8 ratings out of 5 on Amazon, customers are more than happy with this dog dental cleaning product. They say these chew toys are easy to use and help clean their dogs’ teeth. Some reviewers say that their dogs didn’t like these treats at first, but they eventually got used to them and now love them!

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Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution Pet Water Additive. This water additive helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth. It works by breaking down the biofilm that forms on your pet’s teeth, preventing it from forming in the first place.

This product can be used as part of an oral care program or as an occasional addition to your pets’ drinking water. It comes in a big bottle that will last you for many months, making it an economical option compared with other dental care products available today.

With over 20,000 positive reviews, pet parents say their pets love this dog dental cleaning product. They say it makes their pets’ breath smell fresh and clean. It also helps to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.

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Dental Fresh Advanced Plaque and Tartar Water Additive for Dogs. This is a great way to help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums. The product reduces plaque and tartar build-up on your dog’s teeth.

It neutralizes harmful bacteria in the water, making it easier for you to clean your pet’s teeth at home. It also helps remove tartar and plaque from the surface of the tooth enamel. This product is safe for any drinking water bowl, including automatic waterers. Just add one drop per gallon of water.

With over 15,000 positive reviews, pet parents love this dog dental cleaning product. They say it makes their dog’s teeth whiter and fresher smelling. It’s also said to help reduce bad breath.

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How Often Should You do a Dental Cleaning on a Dog?

Dog Hygiene 101: Dog Dental Cleaning

The frequency of a dog dental cleaning varies among dogs.

When you bring your dog to a veterinary hospital, the veterinarian will take dental x-rays or mouth radiographs to determine whether or not there are any problems with his tooth roots and jawline. If there are no major issues, they will recommend doing another professional dental cleaning in six months or once a year.

If you see signs of periodontal disease (gum disease), they may recommend an oral exam more often — perhaps once every three months until they get everything under control.

How Long Does Dog Dental Cleaning Take?

Dog dental cleaning depends on several factors.

The first is your dog’s age and health. If your pet is young and healthy, the procedure could be as short as 30 minutes. But if your dog is older or not in good health, it could take an hour or more.

A second factor is how many teeth need to be cleaned. For example, if you have a small breed dog like a Chihuahua or Pug that only needs one or two teeth cleaned, the process will be shorter than with a larger breed like a German Shepherd, who may require all four quadrants of their mouth to be cleaned.

Thirdly, if your pet requires general anesthesia for the procedure, it will significantly add to the time involved in cleaning their teeth.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean a Dog’s Teeth?

The cost of cleaning your dog’s teeth depends on where you live and what type of appointment you choose.

On average, most veterinarians charge between $20 and $30 per cleaning, but the price may vary based on where you live and whether or not the vet offers a discount for multiple cleanings.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Dogs Teeth?

If you do not practice regular dog dental cleaning, you can expect the following issues:

  • Tartar Build-Up. Plaque is a film of bacteria that can stick to a dog’s teeth if they’re not cleaned regularly. The plaque builds up over time and sticks to the tooth’s surface, turning into tartar. Tartar is much harder than plaque and can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • Dental Disease. Tartar build-up isn’t just gross; it can cause serious health problems for dogs. Plaque and tartar can lead to dental diseases such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, which causes inflammation and infection in the gum tissue around the tooth. Left untreated for too long can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
  • Bad Breath. Gum disease and issues in the dog’s mouth lead to bad breath. Bad breath is very uncomfortable for the owners and decreases the dog’s quality of life.