UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
I’ve admitted I don’t brush my dog’s teeth but that I am willing to pay for full teeth cleaning under anesthesia when they need it.
So that I was prepared when that day comes, I started doing some research near where I live in Seattle.
How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost in Seattle?
I called and spoke to several nearby veterinary clinics about the cost of getting my dog’s teeth cleaned. I found that the service level and price quotes varied.
Our regular vet clinic is the Aurora Veterinary Hospital. The vets there are great, the clinic is highly-rated with 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp, 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 couldn’t give me a specific cost without a pre-dental exam, the estimate was $300 – $500 for a basic teeth cleaning, including the discharge antibiotics, per dog. If teeth needed to be extracted, the price could increase by $100 – $300 or more.
I checked out prices at a few more places in to compare.
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).
They would both need a pre-dental exam costing about $30 each. Extractions would cost extra if needed.
In other words, a dog dental cleaning through them would cost a minimum of $220 for a young dog with little or no dental disease.
The Vet’s for Less Animal Clinic in Federal Way, south of Seattle, quoted a dental cleaning at $79 – $109 (based on weight) on their website. This clinic is named VCA Panther Lake Animal Hospital on Yelp and receives 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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 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).
They would want to do blood work on Chester because he is a senior dog which would cost around $20.
After-surgery antibiotics are only prescribed if they feel your dog needed them and they do cost extra.
When I did the math, having my dog’s teeth cleaned at their clinic would start at $80 for a young dog with little or no dental disease. That same cleaning would be about $100 for a senior dog but, because a senior dog is more likely to need teeth extracted, the price could easily climb from there.
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.
Based on my limited research, the average cost to get your dog’s teeth cleaned under anesthesia in Seattle starts at around $210 at a value clinic and could be closer to $1,000 at a higher-end vet clinic.
How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost Near Me?
I originally wrote this article in the beginning of 2014. Since then, readers have chimed in and shared what they paid, or were quoted, from other locations around the US and Canada.
Instead of making you comb through all of the comments, I decided to compile that information directly in my article.
Some things to keep in mind around these numbers:
- These are reader reported. I have not confirmed the accuracy of these costs myself.
- The low-end quotes may be from budget or value clinics that may or may not cut corners.
Before choosing where to get your dog’s teeth cleaned, be sure to ask a lot of questions, especially if the quote falls on the low end of the ranges below.
Questions to ask include:
- Will pre-anesthesia bloodwork be done?
- How do they keep the pet’s body temperature steady during the procedure (make sure it’s not by using a heating pad – that is an outdated method and I know a dog who died heating pad burns received during teeth cleaning.
- Does this quote include tooth extractions if they are needed? Be sure to ask about this because extracting one tooth could add $50-200 to the cost.
- Does this quote include post-surgery medications?
Based on reader reports, the US National average cost for dog teeth cleaning is $674.
Based on the few reports I received, the average cost to have your dog’s teeth cleaned in Canada is almost twice that ( $1,244).
Here is my compiled list of individual reports so you can find dog dental cleaning cost information for a city near you.
- Mobile: $629
- Auburn: $100-$250
- Muscle Shoals: $150
Alabama average: $282.25
- Unknown City: $1,500
- Cypress: $250-390
- South Lake Tahoe: $600-$800
- Bay Area: $600-$1,700
- Los Angeles: $400-$1200
- Murrieta: $1,000
- Sacramento: $800
California average: $774
- Denver: $1,300-$2,900
- Unknown City: $700
Colorado Average: $1,633.30
- Unknown City: $400-$800 ($600 average)
- Atlanta Suburb: $500-$900 ($700 average)
- Unknown City: $500
- Carson City: $300
- Amherst: $791
- Atlantic City: $600-$900 ($750 average)
- Buffalo: $900-$1,100
- Unknown City: $800-$1,000
- Upstate: $1,050-$1,600
New York Average: $1,075
- Charlotte: $200
- Portland: $600
- Tualatin: $240
Oregon Average: $420
- Austin: $200-$1,000
- Houston: $700-$2,500
Texas Average: $1,000
- Maryville: $375
- Richmond: $225
District of Columbia:
- Washington DC: $250-$400 ($325 average)
- Alberta: $1,500 (Grand Prairie)
- Ontario: $900-$1,200 (Niagra area)
- Saskatchewan: $1,120-$1,500
Canada Average: $1,244
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the cost to get your dog’s teeth 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.
- The size of your dog (with cleaning for larger dogs costing more).
- The age of your dog.
- Whether there is a low-cost clinic in your area or your veterinarian charges on a sliding scale.
- Whether only the minimum safety standards are followed or the clinic goes above-and-beyond to make sure your dog is safe and comfortable.
According to my informal research, the low estimate for a simple teeth cleaning on a young dog at a value clinic could be as low as $200. In my opinion, it’s more likely to cost in the $700-$1,000 range though and could be as high as $2,000.
Keep in mind that some veterinarians recommend a thorough teeth cleaning under anesthesia every 6 months so you could be paying that fee twice a year.
Many recommend a thorough dental cleaning once a year.
Other’s only recommend teeth cleaning when there are signs of major plaque build-up, dental disease or tooth issues.
Signs Your Dog May Need Their Teeth Cleaned
I ask my veterinarian 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.
Signs of dental issues in dogs include:
- Foul smelling breath
- Yellow teeth or teeth that are are brown at the top (or all over)
- Abnormal drooling
- Inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Loose or broken teeth
- Refusal to eat or chewing food slower and more carefully than normal
- Pawing at or rubbing the mouth
- 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 my dogs to the vet to have their teeth examined immediately.
Have you had your dog’s teeth cleaned or received a quote for getting it done? Please share below so I can add more cost information and cities to my list.
Since cleaning under anesthesia may not be recommended by your vet yet, or your dog may have health issues that make them a poor candidate for anesthesia, you might want to check out another one of my articles to see how I help keep my dog’s teeth clean (it’s not by brushing)