Should You Get Your Old Dog's Teeth Cleaned?

Updated: June 21, 2022

Good dental health is important in every dog. One way to help keep your dog’s dental health in tip-top shape is to have their teeth cleaned. But what if your dog is already in their senior years? Is having their teeth cleaned still a good idea and is it safe to have an older dog's teeth cleaned?

In this article, we’ll talk about the factors that will affect your decision on whether or not you should have your old dog’s teeth cleaned and other ways you can maintain their dental health.

Dental Health in Senior Dogs

Around 80% of dogs suffer from tooth and gum diseases. If your dog is young but maintaining their dental health has been put off, they can have an array of dental problems when they reach their senior years.

"If your furbaby never had their teeth cleaned before and is a senior, it is very likely that they have a great amount of tartar present on their teeth and gums."

Dental Cleaning for Senior Dogs

As Modern Dog Magazine states, 80% of dogs have some degree of periodontal disease by the age of two. This is defined as inflammation affecting any of the structures supporting the teeth—the gums, the roots, the bone around the roots or the periodontal ligaments that anchor the roots to the jawbones. 

If your furbaby never had their teeth cleaned before and is a senior, it is very likely that they have a great amount of tartar present on his teeth and gums. This may even go beyond bad breath, swollen gums, or loose teeth. 

As dog teeth cleaning can be a great way to keep your furbaby’s teeth healthy, it can also be a cause of concern as teeth cleaning will require your senior dog to be placed under anesthesia.  

Factors to Consider

Older Dog Teeth Cleaning Risks

Most pet parents are worried and anxious to have their old dog’s teeth cleaned because of the anesthesia involved.

Anesthesia brings about certain reactions and side effects like:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of balance and coordination
  • lethargy
  • decreases to no appetite

Anesthesia may cause some medical complications, but only if your furbaby has an underlying health condition like diabetes, anemia, kidney & liver diseases, and certain infectious diseases like the heartworm disease.

If you make sure to do dentals regularly while your dog is healthy, they will be much better off if ever you have to stop doing dentals later. And while we understand you don’t want to put your senior dog under anesthesia more than you have to, your furbaby can still go under dog teeth cleaning safely. This is why pre-procedure blood work and exams are very essential. 

According to the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists, you have to have your dog checked by your veterinarian first for pre-anesthetic evaluation so you don’t have anything to worry about. This evaluation will see to it that your dog is in their best possible condition when undergoing teeth cleaning. You, as a pet parent, will also be asked a series of significant questions about your furbaby's health and medications (if there are any). 

older dog teeth cleaning risks, dental cleaning for senior dogs

Health is Wealth

Dog teeth cleaning is something that you should not freak out about. If your senior dog is all healthy and passed the pre-anesthetic evaluation, then it is something you really should consider. But if your dog has some underlying conditions that place them at risk to be placed under anesthesia, there are still other ways to help them maintain their dental health. You can: 

  • Brush your dog's teeth every day. Encourage good oral hygiene by brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day. Make sure you use toothbrush and toothpaste made especially for dogs. 
  • Switch to a special dental diet. There are special diets in the market made for your dog's dental health.  

How Pet Parents® Can Help Senior Dog Dental Care

  • Offer high-quality chews. High-quality chews, like Gnawtlers® make a perfect cleaning tool for your senior dog! Allowing your dog to chew on these is a passive way how to clean an old dogs teeth. As your dog chews, these antler chews are able to clean their teeth without the scare of splintering and artificial dyes and fragrances. 

    Gnawtlers® are premium antler chews for dogs and unlike other processed & dyed options, Gnawtlers® have no odor, no mess! Even after hours & hours of chewing, these antler chews will not leave residue or coloring behind. This makes them perfect. What’s even nicer? These antler chews for dogs are jam-packed with nutrients, all while keeping you furbaby's teeth healthy!
  • Provide probiotics. You can provide your dog daily with probiotics. Probiotics work wonders. Probiotic supplements like that of Pet Parents® Probiotic Supplements for dogs help ensure that your furbaby is being provided with top dog value & quality probiotic to help support a healthy digestive tract & immune system, healthy teeth & gums, and fresh-smelling breath. 

    Pet Parents® Supplements are specially crafted to have more active ingredients than other leading supplements. Active ingredients help assist with the immediate problem your pup is having! 

"High-quality chews, like Gnawtlers®, make a perfect cleaning tool for your senior dog! As your dog chews, these antler chews are able to clean their teeth without the scare of splintering."

Keep in mind that what matters most is your dog’s state of health. Be on top of their dental health and assess (with the help of your vet) whether or not dog teeth cleaning is good for them, so you can avoid any problems in the future and live a happier, healthier life.