Phone: 520.889.9643 | Fax: 520.889.9023
By Appointment Only

NOTE: We are NOT taking ferals on the following dates for the month of April : 4/17, 4/18 and 4/25

Starting in 2024 all dog spay/neuter surgeries will be required to go home with an e-collar (cone) for $15.

Teeth Cleaning for Dogs

Teeth Cleaning for DogsMost people do not realize how essential teeth cleaning is for dogs. There are many common dental problems, some of which are very serious, that dogs can experience if their teeth are not kept clean on a regular basis. Not only that, it is quite costly to fix neglected teeth.

One of the most common disorders for dogs is periodontitis. So when people ask if teeth cleaning for dogs is necessary, the answer is a resounding “YES”.

It is estimated that by the age of three, most dogs have developed or are developing periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease allows plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — to build up on the teeth and harden, resulting in infection, inflammation, and the breakdown of the tissues that structurally support the teeth. If this continues for too long a time, tooth loss may occur. 

What to Look for to Know You Need Teeth Cleaning for Dogs

There are many signs that your dog needs to get its teeth cleaned. Here is a short list of things that you can look for. Most people do not know to watch for excessive nasal draining and sneezing that can occur when an abscess breaks within the nasal passages. Drooling, poor appetite, discolored teeth, bad breath, receding gums, bleeding gums, missing teeth, and loose teeth are other signals to look for. 

Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Teeth Cleaning

Before you take your dog to have their teeth cleaned, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare them for the appointment. 

  • Have a Physical Check-Up First – Many people ask how safe is teeth cleaning for dogs? Teeth cleaning is generally safe, but if your dog has an underlying health issue, the anesthetic could cause problems. Make sure that your dog has been checked for underlying health conditions before a teeth cleaning is performed. 
  • Get Bloodwork Done – Recent lab tests will be needed for your dog before teeth cleaning. The labs will check for conditions that could cause complications during teeth cleaning. Labs can also look for infections that could be present from poor dental health. 
  • Use Antibiotics – Some veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics before or after teeth cleaning. If your vet prescribes antibiotics, make sure that you are giving them to your dog.
  • Don’t Feed Your Dog – Most pet owners remain concerned asking if teeth cleaning is even safe for dogs. One thing that can cause teeth cleaning to be dangerous is feeding your pet after the recommended time. This can cause complications with the anesthetic. 

Frequently Asked QuestionsPeople Also Ask

Do Dogs Really Need Teeth Cleaning? 

Yes, your dog needs to have his/her teeth cleaned. Some breeds are more likely to have periodontal disease issues, particularly smaller breeds or those who eat wet dog food. Regular cleanings will not substitute good dental hygiene, so make sure that you are also brushing your dog’s teeth. There are special chew toys and teeth cleaning treats that can help as well.

What Happens After a Dog’s Teeth Cleaning? 

You will take your dog to the veterinarian’s office or clinic for teeth cleanings. These cleanings are generally painless, and typically, your dog goes home immediately afterward. Most dogs do receive a mild anesthetic to keep them from injuring the person who is cleaning their teeth. They might seem tired when you take them home, and they might experience mild pain if they had tartar and plaque removed, but within a day, they should be back to normal.

How Often Should Dogs Have Their Teeth Cleaned? 

X-rays, teeth cleaning, and examinations should begin when your dog is six months old and should occur annually; why we are saying this, check this article out.

Why Is Dog Teeth Cleaning So Expensive?

Many people seem shocked when they hear the cost of teeth cleaning for dogs. Teeth cleaning is not the expensive part of dental work for your dog. The expenses come from the anesthesia and the x-rays. 


Poor dental hygiene can cause more problems than just bad breath. Teeth can have plaque, which will become tartar if left untreated. Tartar, along with a plaque, can cause several problems with the gums and infections. You can brush the plaque from your dog’s teeth at home, but you cannot remove the built-up tartar. This is something that will require the attention of a veterinarian. 

Untreated dental problems can lead to an infection in the bloodstream that could damage the heart, kidneys, lungs, or other organs. While not as extreme, it can also cause your dog’s teeth to become loose and/or fall out, abscesses, gum loss where the gums support the teeth, gum separation, and oral pain.

Your dog’s dental health is important. Teeth cleaning for dogs is a necessity if you want your dog to live a long and healthy life. In Tucson, Santa Cruz Pet Clinic is the trusted veterinarian that you desire for your dog’s teeth cleaning. Contact us today to schedule the teeth cleaning and all necessary appointments to ensure that your dog is in optimal health when going into the cleaning.

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