DDW BLOG Post #0008
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**Veterinary Q&A: Why does it cost so much to clean a dog’s teeth?
Question: A Times reporter gave us her vet office’s estimate to clean her dog’s teeth. It appears to be a standard itemized estimate that ranges from $500 to $900. The cleaning itself is $99. Add $33 for X-rays, $11 for polishing and $21 for sealing. There are separate charges for pre-anesthesia, induction, monitoring and the general anesthesia itself. This adds $120 to the estimate. What’s left? Drugs before, during and after the procedure, hospitalization fees, etc. The bill could jump by hundreds, even thousands, if you add extractions, fillings or even root canals. Is all of this really necessary?
Answer: The least expensive method of maintaining your pet’s oral health is prevention. About 80 percent of dogs and cats over 2 years of age have significant oral-health issues. Brushing, dental chews and toys, dental diets and some supplements can help keep your pet’s mouth healthier longer.
Dental Hygiene: Dental hygiene is an example of preventative maintenance and one of the most important. Although smaller dogs are more prone to the growth of plaque than larger dogs, all dogs are susceptible to plaque. Periodontal disease caused by plaque is considered a serious repercussion of dental neglect and lack of maintenance. It is the tartar build-up that remains manageable by brushing or scraping off which, if neglected, turns into plaque. The only solution when it gets to the stage of periodontal disease is to remove the teeth. This is obviously quite costly, more importantly, quite painful for your pup and also affects their overall longterm health.
To try to avoid having to remove the teeth from neglect, a daily brushing regiment can be implemented at a more minimal cost. This is a routine that is easier for a younger dog to learn. If you have an older dog, this can be more of a challenge. You can start off with the pup getting used to the toothbrush in the mouth, then used to the actual brushing while you work your minutes up each day. Overall, any routine involves consistency and persistence on your part. A few minutes a can keep your larger bills in your wallet and your dog in its best health.
Let us not forget what it feels like to have a toothache ourselves as we humanely spend money on our pups to avoid health issues. There are several products you can use in the meantime as a daily preventative. Whimzies (image on left) is a great dental chew that DDW sells. There are powders we can sprinkle in the food or water and liquids to add to the water both of which are also best to get the pups used to early on. Also, there are several types of dental chews and you can ask your veterinarian which one he recommends AND WHY. I suggest knowing why your vet is recommending any product because their reason may not work for your individual pet's overall situation or disposition.
Dental and Breath Products: I highly urge you to consider this product. People are always complaining about their dog's breath, but more importantly...the expense of dental care. Consider how painful it is for the pup, too. Get into a healthy routine with your dog DAY 1 with 'FRESH BREATH' BY TROPICLEAN - Advanced Whitening Oral Care Water Additive, sold here at DDW. It would be difficult to introduce this product later on because your pup may not appreciate the difference in the taste of their water with this additive. It works AMAZINGLY!
Deciding on a "Wellness" plan
As a humane pet owner, you are also expected to keep up with the wellness check and shots/vaccines. We have already established how expensive this can be. A decent wellness plan is especially beneficial in the first year of your pet's life as everything needs to be done including spay and neutering. Note: If you are signing up for a wellness plan, you are committed to paying out the year in full and can do this on a monthly basis. When you sign up for another year, it is the same commitment. The benefit I love the most after year 2 is the annual teeth cleanings. For a little more money you can opt for an additional teeth cleaning within the policy year. For small dogs prone to tarter and plaque, this is a great benefit. For neutering/spay and teeth cleanings, the procedure and anesthesia are included. For all of the aforementioned reasons, a wellness plan is to your advantage.
Ask your vet for wellness plans they may be affiliated with. I highly recommend Banfield Wellness Insurance which is offered in all Banfield Vet's located in Petsmarts across the country.
The preventative care and maintenance of a pet's health provide the best solution for a well deserved healthy life. If it is visible that a dog is hurting, has an open wound or distressed, for example, it is best to seek immediate professional attention. If left untreated the problem can become a bigger problem than you could have anticipated. Before you take the time to post your dog's symptoms on FB seeking advice, think about who you are asking; certainly, not a professional and not recommended for a serious scenario.
Please search 'Dental' on this site to see some great DDW products for your pup.
Final Words From DDW
Whether you do or you do not yet have a pet, it is great to take more time to consider your options to support the needs benefiting the pet's overall health. You will, also, will be more equipped to manage the financial demands of maintaining their health. Ultimately, you never want to feel burdened in any way as it is a pet's right to live its best life and your home will deservedly be the only home the pup will ever know. Too many pets get re-homed due to poor planning and this IS NOT healthy for your pets!
Many dog experts say that a dog that is acting out or has bad habits is not the fault of the dog, but the owner. Please educate yourself as a dog owner, in the long run, you will have a happy house and a well-adjusted dog always eager to please.
Finally, keep an eye on your dog while training just like you would a mischievous child. This way you can be consistent with your training. Give high praise when the pup is doing well and a firm NO when he/she isn't. Please do not hit your pups, your dog should not fear you!
Best of luck, Kimberly