How Often Should Dogs Have Their Teeth Cleaned by the Veterinarian?

According to professionals, in-office cleaning will help maintain your pups dental health in the long term.

Whether you're a lifelong dog owner or a recent pandemic puppy parent, there is no denying that we want them best for them. The fact that your pup really loves your homemade dog treats or his favorite squeaky toy likely gets you thinking about his dental health. Of course, we brush our teeth at least twice a day, but what about your dog? When was the last time you brushed his teeth?

According to Dr. Adam Christman, resident veterinarian at, dogs should have their teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. However, dogs that have a higher predisposition to experiencing advanced periodontal disease should have biannual teeth cleanings. Two breed varieties associated with this higher disposition are brachycephalic breeds (like pugs, Shih Tzus, and bulldogs) and dolichocephalic breeds (Dachshunds, Whippets, and Greyhounds).

close up of dog smiling showing teeth
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What to Expect from Your Dog's Teeth Cleaning

When you book an appointment, there are a few things to expect: First, these teeth cleanings occur at your veterinarian's office where the dog undergoes general anesthesia. Secondly, it's not unheard of for dogs to have tooth extractions during their teeth cleanings, Dr. Christman adds, as this can be due to a found abscess, root exposure, and gum recession.

Just as the dentist cleans, flosses, and polishes your own pearly whites, the vet's cleaning includes dental charting, scaling, polishing, dental radiographs, and any other measures to perfect your pet's dental health. "Because pets are under general anesthesia, I always advise my pet parents that their pets may experience grogginess from the anesthesia for a day or two," says Dr. Christman.

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