Aging Pets Need Special Care

What You Need To Know About The Pet Dentist Visit

A pet dentist? That's right. You make sure that you get your teeth checked and cleaned every year, or even twice a year. So why skip your furry friend's dental care? The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that cats and small-breed dogs over one-year have regular dental exams and cleanings every year and that large-breed dogs start their care at age two. Before you schedule your dog or cat's dental, check out these need-to-know facts about your pet's annual healthy mouth care.

General Anesthesia

Even though your pet isn't having major surgery, they most likely need general anesthesia for the dental exam and cleaning. Why? Imagine what a challenge it would be for a pet dentist to ask your dog or cat to keep their mouth open or hold still. Your dog can barely sit for long enough to get a treat and your cat could care less about what you tell her to do. General anesthesia allows your pet to sleep through the dental visit and allows the veterinary pro do their job without having to wrangle a scared, anxious, or uncooperative pet.

Pet Vaccinations

Before the dental exam/cleaning your vet's office will need to make sure that your pet has all of their current vaccinations. This isn't just a random requirement. The veterinarian wants to make sure your pet is healthy coming into the exam/cleaning, and stays that way. Your pet dentist or vet staff can provide you with a list of required vaccination. Most pet professionals follow the AAHA's vaccination guidelines. You'll need to get your pet these immunizations prior to the dental visit. Along with getting the shots, you'll also need to provide proof that your animal has had them. This may include a certificate of vaccination or vaccination tags.

Pre-Exam Exam

The veterinarian will need to examine your pet before their dental day. This exam helps to make sure that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure and the anesthesia. The exam typically includes a physical inspection/evaluation, blood tests, urine tests, and possibly an electrocardiography (to monitor your pet's heart). If your pet has a dental problem, they may need dental x-rays for diagnostic purposes. This allows the vet to see what may be wrong with your pet before going in for the exam.

A pet dentist can help your dog or cat to stay healthy and happy. Even though you may help to clean your pet's teeth at home, a regular professional exam and cleaning are necessary to make sure that everything in your pet's mouth is in tip-top shape. Before heading out to your appointment always call the veterinarian's office to make sure that your pet has all of the vaccinations, tests and exams that they need. For more information, visit sites like