I’ve admitted that I don’t brush Chester and Gretel’s teeth but that I am willing to pay for full teeth cleaning with anesthesia when they need it. I figured I better start looking around to see how much costs to get a dog’s teeth cleaned so I am prepared.
Our vet clinic is the Aurora Veterinary Hospital. The vets there are great, the clinic is highly rated, and I have no doubt that they would do a very thorough job with the cleaning. I called them to ask how much they charge to clean a dog’s teeth. Although they can’t give me a specific cost without a pre-dental exam, the estimate was $300 – $400 for a basic teeth cleaning, including the discharge antibiotics, per dog. If teeth needed to be extracted, the price could increase by $100 – $300.
I checked out prices at a few more places to compare.
Value Pet Clinic in Shoreline, just north of Seattle, sounded like it might be low-cost. I called them and they said the cleaning for 4-year old Gretel would be $190, including post-dental medication. It would cost another $130 for fluids and blood work for a senior dog like Chester (to make sure he can handle the anesthesia and to keep him hydrated) bringing the total cost of basic cleaning to $310. They would both need a pre-dental exam costing about $30 each. Extractions would cost extra if needed.
Vet’s for Less Animal Clinic in Federal Way, south of Seattle, quotes dental cleaning at $79 – $109 (based on weight) on their website. I called and was told a dog does not need a pre-dental physical exam so there is no extra cost there. If tooth extractions are needed, they cost $13 for small teeth and $79 to $99 each for larger ones. They would want to do blood work on Chester because he is a senior dog which would cost around $20. They said that they call you if they recommend extractions to see what you want to do (However, as far as I know, if your dog needs a rotten tooth out you SHOULD NOT leave it in). After-surgery antibiotics are only prescribed if they feel your dog need them and they do cost extra.
I found the Greenwood Animal Hospital up the road from our vet and their website says they charge $149.99 to clean your dog’s teeth. I called and the surgery ad-ons were very similar to the two value clinics above. After talking to the receptionists, the estimate to clean a senior dogs teeth was closer to $300 after the initial exam, blood work, etc. Any extractions needed would be an additional cost.
The Bottom Line
So, how much does it cost to have a dog’s teeth cleaned? As you can see, the amount can vary by vet clinic. The price can vary depending on whether your dog needs a routine, simple cleaning or they have a lot of tooth decay and need extractions. It also varies by the size of the dog with cleaning for larger dogs costing more.
According to my research, the low estimate for a simple teeth cleaning on a young dog would be $200 to $300. The same cleaning on a senior dog would cost an average of $125 more. If deep cleaning and extractions are needed, the cost could rise closer to $400 to $700 per dog.
For two small dogs, one young and one senior, I should expect to pay approximately $800 to $1,000 when I get their teeth cleaned.
Signs Your Dog May Need Their Teeth Cleaned
I ask my vet every time I take Chester and Gretel in for an exam if they need their teeth cleaned. So far year answer has been no. I only take them in once a year though for regular physicals (unless there is a medical issue) so I wanted to know what signs to look for that might indicate they need their teeth cleaned.
In addition to bad breath and tartar, signs that your pet needs a dental checkup include abnormal drooling, loose or broken teeth, discharge from the gums, avoiding chewing, standing at the food bowl but not eating, pawing at or rubbing the mouth, or even reduced activity or lethargy. (source: Seattle Times article above) If I saw any of these signs regularly, or a combination of signs, I would take them in to the vet to have their teeth examined.
Have you gotten your dog’s teeth cleaned under anesthesia? Where do you live and how much did it cost?
Since cleaning with anesthesia is so expensive, and the vet hasn’t recommended that kind of cleaning at this point, we are going with a less expensive option for now.