Pet dental insurance

Follow our guide on how to protect your pet’s teeth and keep treatment costs down.

Updated 13 May 2020  | 3 min read

Key points

  • Not all pet policies include dental cover as standard – always read the small print
  • Policies vary widely – make sure you have the level of cover you need
  • Most cover illness or accident and injury
  • Some (but not all) providers offer insurance for cosmetic dental work

Why might my pet need dental cover?

Animals suffer from a variety of mouth problems that require treatment – from cavities and ulcers to receding gums and bad breath.

Take dogs, for example. They love to chew things – and they don’t care what. But that can mean bloody mouths and chipped teeth if they bite on stones or other hard, sharp objects.

If you did need to take your pet to the vet for a mouth injury, it’d good to know your pet insurance policy would help cover the costs.

Does my pet insurance already include dental cover?

Not all pet insurance policies include dental cover as standard and the level of cover can vary.

Having your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned can help reduce the risk of dental disease. However, many pet insurance policies don’t cover the cost of dental cleaning.

Always read your policy documents carefully so you know what you’re getting.

What dental problems can pets have?

Bad dental hygiene not only impacts your pet’s teeth, gums and mouth, it can affect other parts of their bodies too. Common dental problems include:

  • Plaque: If not cleaned, plaque turns to tartar which can lead to conditions such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and abscesses
  • Gum disease: From gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums) to periodontal disease (teeth become loose). Gum disease can lead to serious problems if left untreated
  • Tooth infections: Potential side effects of a tooth infection include eye infection, tooth loss, periodontal disease, and organ failure
  • Chipped or fractured teeth: Chipped or fractured teeth can be very painful. They’re more common in dogs than cats

Signs of dog dental problems

Dental problems in dogs are not always obvious. Here are the main signs your pet needs to see a vet:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen, bleeding or red gums
  • Difficulty eating/only chewing on one side of their mouth
  • Blood on toys or in the water bowl
  • Excessive drooling
  • Brown or yellow teeth
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Becoming fussier with food
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge

If you spot any of these signs or are worried about your pet’s dental health, get advice from a vet.

How to keep your pet’s teeth healthy

If dental hygiene isn’t already part of your routine pet care, start today!

Here are some ways you can help prevent dental problems in your pet:

  • Brush their teeth: Many owners are reluctant to brush their dog’s teeth, but lots of dogs enjoy the attention. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for cats and dogs
  • Dental chews and toys: Some chews and toys can help prevent plaque from hardening
  • Diet: Putting your pet on a ‘dental diet’ could reduce the risk of gum disease. Speak to your vet about the best diet for your pet
  • Regular check-ups: Early detection of dental problems is best to prevent it worsening. Book your pet in for regular check-ups with your vet. Don’t wait until it’s too late