Post Dental Instructions for Pets

dog smile

Here are the instructions for your pet after a dental service:

  • Your pet may be a little sleepy for a few days after the anesthesia (just as a human would be). Limiting strenuous activity is important during this time. If he or she seems extremely lethargic or is not eating, please contact us.
  • Your pet had an endotracheal tube to protect the airway. Sometimes this tube causes irritation and may cause a slight cough for a few days. As long as your pet is otherwise feeling well this cough is likely normal.   
  • Soft food is recommended for a few days after the dental because your pet’s mouth may be sensitive.  After that, the regular diet may be given. This is particularly important if there were any extractions. 
  • On the day of the dental, please limit your pet’s evening meal to half of their normal portion. Do not worry if this meal is not eaten–anesthesia can sometimes make animals nauseous.
  • There may be a small amount of blood in your pet’s water bowl for a few days after the dental. This is normal–please call if there is any excessive bleeding.
  • Your veterinarian may be sending your pet home with antibiotics and/or pain medication depending on what specific procedures were performed. It is very important to finish the entire antibiotic course.
  • If your pet had any tooth extractions, we will want to see them back in 7-10 days to evaluate the gums and incision sites to ensure proper healing.
  • Regular tooth brushing is the best way to help reduce the accumulation of the oral bacteria that creates plaque and tartar build up and ultimately causes dental disease. Remember to introduce toothbrushing to your pet slowly, especially if you haven’t introduced toothbrushing to them at an early age. The key is to be slow, consistent, and increase toothbrushing sessions by small increments. At first you may only be able to swipe a couple of teeth before your dog or cat becomes intolerant, but after time they will be open to it and may even enjoying the toothbrushing sensation. Also remember to use pet-specific toothpaste, as human toothpaste contains ingredients which can be toxic if swallowed.