(WDEF) Too many pet lovers forget that animals require great oral care, too. Every pet builds up plague and gingivitis at different rates. Left untreated, it can cause problems.
Vet Dr. Matthew Lemmons said, "If pets develop painful dental conditions or inflammatory conditions like periodontal disease it can affect their internal organ function. It definitely affects their kidneys and potentially their heart and liver as well."
A professional cleaning mainly involves scraping plague and tartar along the gum line. The procedure also involves anesthesia and x-rays.
Angie Hicks of Angie's List explained, "Having your pet's teeth professionally cleaned can be expensive - it can be anywhere from $200 to $800 depending on the extensive nature of the work that needs to be done."
The best way to avoid a big bill is an ounce of prevention. Regularly brushing your pet's teeth yourself can help avoid the buildup and any additional problems that may lead you to having the professional cleaning done.
Pet Owner Sandi Lehr said, "I've been told to do it (laughs) but I don't do it all the time. He's not too pleased with it, so I just watch as much as I can and see that. And he also has a dental supplement with his food."
Small breed dogs are more prone to periodontal disease. If you notice your pet has excessively bad breath, missing teeth, or red gums, call your vet for an appointment.