PetMed Animal Health Center

2400 Gateway Dive
Dubuque, IA 52003


Dental Care

We have all heard the term "doggy breath" and we just assume it is a thing that all dogs have! Despite that belief, bad breath in dogs and cats is actually a sign of an unhealthy mouth. The cause of the bad breath is bacteria and over time, the build up of bacteria leads to plaque and tarter buildup on the teeth. If left untreated with the regular dental cleaning, the buildup of that bacteria can lead to many complications with your pets health such as heart, liver, and kidney disease. A doctor will check for these during your pet's yearly exam, but if the following symptoms are noticed at anytime in between, please call to set up and exam to get a dental cleaning scheduled! It is also recommended, unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, that your pet get annual dental cleanings.

Bad Breath

Reddened Gums                                         

Excessive Drooling

Soreness When Eating/Refusal To Eat Dry Food

Loose or Missing Teeth

Visible Tartar


Dropping Off: To start the procedure, we ask that you have your pet here between 7:30 am and 8:00 am the day you have the dental scheduled for. We also ask that you do not give your pet any food or water after midnight the night before the procedure as your pet will be undergoing anesthesia. 

Paperwork/Checking In: When dropping off, please allow yourself 10 extra minutes before you have to be to work, etc. to go over some paperwork as well as a check in with a technician. We will have only one form for you to go over and sign that asks about any additional services needed while your pet is here with is such as microchipping, heartworm check, nails dremmeled and the Pre-Anesthetic Safety Package that we offer. 

Pre-Anesthetic Safety Package: This package includes a chemistry, CBC, & IV fluids throughout the procedure. Because most anesthetics are removed from the body by the liver & kidneys, it is very important to know if these organs are functioning properly before undergoing anesthesia. In doing the bloodwork beforehand, we are able to identify if your pet is well enough to go under anesthesia or if we need to select a safer anesthesia to use. We also recommend the use of intravenous fluids during any/all surgical procedures. This fluid therapy is designed to maintain blood pressure, replace blood loss, ease the administration of life saving drugs if need be, and has been proven to decrease recovery time. Although optional, the Pre-Anesthetic Safety Package is highly recommended because after all, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

Cleaning/Extractions: Once your pet is safely put under anesthesia, an endotracheal tube is placed to prevent aspiration. Your pet's teeth will then be cleaned with a hand scaler and an ultra-sonic scaler. Any extractions that are needed will be done. All of the teeth are then polished to prevent further tartar build up and fluoride is applied. 

Discharging/Pain Control: Your pet will be able to go home the same day generally after 3:00pm. When you come in to pick up, the receptionist will go over payment with you. Once that is taken care of, a veterinary technician will come up and go over medication (if any) and go home instructions. It is common for pain control to be sent home with you if there are extractions, or if the cleaning procedure was extensive. If there were any extractions, your pet will also be sent home with some antibiotics to prevent infection from forming. You will be given a go-home sheet that covers any common questions as well as any notes from the doctor. This is also an excellent time to ask any questions that you may have! 

See pictures below showing how effective dental cleanings are!