My Veterinarian Says My Pet Needs a Dental Cleaning, But Isn’t Doggie Breath Normal?

Is your dog’s breath keeping you at a distance? Does your cat want to snuggle and you can’t stand the stench? Contrary to popular belief, bad breath isn’t healthy for pets. Instead, it’s a sign your pet at a minimum, needs a dental cleaning. But the $29 check-up and cleaning we may be able to get isn’t available for a dog or cat…and you’re getting prices that are all over the board…and what about the cheaper anesthesia-free dentals?

There Are So Many Opinions. How Do I Know What’s Best For My Pet?

First, dental cleanings and dental work for pets are more complex due to the fact we can’t explain what’s happening to them and have them sit still for the process. For a thorough cleaning, pets require anesthesia according to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the AVDC (American Veterinary Dental College). While under anesthesia, dental cleanings can be accomplished safely as your pet remains still and isn’t scared or stressed. Anesthesia-free cleanings just don’t offer the same level of care. For more about anesthesia-free dentals check out this information from the AVDC at

Secondly, having the teeth cleaned before dental disease can really take hold can help save money and keep your pet healthier. Having your pet’s teeth cleaned when they’re at Stage 1 (out of 4) is typically cheaper than waiting until later stages when the amount of tartar, gum disease, and tooth decay have all increased requiring more advanced dental work. Most basic dental cleanings, when shopping local area clinics in the Denver metro area, range between $200-$500. All dental packages aren’t equal either, …make sure to ask if pre-anesthetic bloodwork, dental x-rays, and pain medications are included in the quoted price.

Third, don’t wait! The cost of waiting to clean your pet’s teeth can be to their overall health. Bacteria from infections in the mouth spread throughout your pet’s body when he or she drinks or eats. Your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys may be affected.

We Have Options to Help Your Pet Have Good Dental Health!

At Arvada West, a free package of home care products will go home with you and your pet after every dental cleaning. By trying the samples included, you can determine which works best for you and your pet for home dental care, and you can buy a full-sized product after you’ve “road tested” several options. Our technicians are happy to show you how to use the toothbrush and finger brush included in the kit to introduce brushing into your pet’s routine successfully, too. Regular attention to the chompers at home can stretch the time between dental cleanings. If just a cleaning is needed, we offer a Basic or Wellness Dental for $249*, now including full-mouth x-rays.

Successful and Smiling!

Juliette, our hospital cat, is featured in a recent video of a dental cleaning; check out the procedure!

At sixteen, Juliette had two teeth removed but still has enough teeth to eat her food and favorite treats, roasted chicken breast, and cheese. Because she’s had yearly dentals, we’re able to enjoy Juliette’s special personality and feistiness at an advanced age, and she has an excellent quality of life.

Payment Plans, Free Exams, and Coupons!

If your pet hasn’t been in for an annual exam which includes a dental exam and recommendations, book a free dental check-up today! During February we’re offering a $10 coupon for full-sized dental home care product. Pay for the dental treatment with no down payment and a variety of payment plans with Care Credit. Schedule an appointment, ask a question or apply for Care Credit at or call/text us at 303-467-0345.

*Pre-anesthetic bloodwork, medications, and dental work beyond cleaning are not included.