Many of us go for a dental cleaning twice a year for our teeth and gums. Although you might not think about it, your dog has the same dental hygiene needs. Preparing your dog for dental surgery or a general cleaning helps the process go much smoother.

This guide will explore how to care for your dog after a visit to the dentist and answer questions like, “How long does it take for a dog to recover from dental surgery?” and “Do dogs feel better after teeth removal?”

What Happens During a Routine Dog Dental Session 

Before preparing your dog for dental surgery, it’s important to understand what happens during a typical dog dental session. Instead of seeing a specialized dentist, your dog can usually see their regular vet for dental cleanings and surgeries. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough dental and oral examination, looking for dental issues, such as: 

  • Teeth plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Discolored, broken, or loose teeth
  • Swelling or bleeding around the gums or mouth

During the examination, veterinarians will also clean your dog’s teeth and check if your dog requires any specific procedures. If your dog does need a specific dental procedure, you may need to schedule a future appointment. 

Preparing Your Dog for Dental Surgery

If your dog requires dental or oral surgery, it’s vital to follow these steps: 

Schedule a Physical for Your Dog 

Likely, when a veterinarian examines your dog’s teeth, they will also recommend a physical. Your veterinarian will check your pet’s heart for problems like murmurs. The physical helps determine if your dog is healthy enough for dental surgery. 

Have Bloodwork Done

A blood test will check your dog’s liver and kidneys to determine what sedation technique the veterinarian should use. Older dogs susceptible to liver or kidney disease should receive minimal anesthesia since they can be more sensitive to the sedative.

Administer Antibiotics

Often, your veterinarian will recommend your dog receive antibiotics if they’re dealing with problems like gingivitis or dental infections. Your dog should receive these antibiotics a few days before the surgery. 

Fast Your Dog the Night Before 

When your dog needs dental surgery, you should keep food and water away from them for at least 12 hours. However, sometimes veterinarians will recommend 24 hours. Make sure to confirm what length of time your dog needs, as this can be incredibly important for the anesthesiologist to know for your dog’s safety. 

How Can I Comfort My Dog Before Dental Surgery?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell your dog that it’ll be okay after dental surgery. However, you can make your dog more comfortable before surgery. Start by ensuring your dog is well-acquainted with the veterinarian and clinic so that going to the vet isn’t purely a negative experience.

You can also stay close to your pet before and after the surgery to comfort them with your presence. Try to stay calm and convey a soothing, gentle demeanor to show your dog with your body language, voice, and lots of petting that everything is okay.

How Long Are Dogs in Pain After Dental Surgery?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question can depend on various factors, including the type of surgery and your dog’s own resistance to pain. 

Procedures like a dental cleaning generally won’t cause any pain, thanks to numbing agents the veterinarian will apply to your dog’s gums. More involved dental surgery procedures, like a tooth extraction, however, can cause pain for your dog for two to three days. More serious procedures can cause pain for five days or more.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Recover From Dental Surgery?

The recovery period may depend on the surgery and your dog’s own biology. For most procedures, a dog can often resume normal activities after a day or two. 

Do Dogs Feel Better After Teeth Removal?

Sometimes, a veterinarian may recommend teeth removal if your dog’s teeth have severe decay. While removing teeth can sound scary, for problems like infections, teeth extraction becomes necessary to preserve your dog’s health.

Again, your dog is likely to experience pain the first couple of days after the extraction surgery. However, after this period is up, they’ll likely feel much better. 

What Can I Give My Dog to Calm Him Down After Surgery?

Our pets simply can’t understand why we brought them to the veterinarian and made them deal with a procedure. As such, your pet is likely to be upset following surgery. You can gently soothe and calm your dog down by making them comfortable in a familiar place and staying with them.

It’s best to follow the veterinarian’s instructions, but solutions can range from calming chews to buying them a new toy. 

Can I Leave My Dog Alone After Dental Surgery?

Our dogs are often used to staying alone when we need to go to work or handle chores.

For the first couple of days, it’s best to keep your dog company or make sure another person can. After three to five days, you can start leaving your dog alone for roughly four hours or less. Afterward, you can usually resume normal activities. 

Of course, whether or not you should leave your dog alone will depend on the surgery and your dog’s own behavior. Ensure you receive your veterinarian’s professional opinion and let them know details of your dog’s behavior, such as if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. 

Do I Need to Change My Dog’s Diet Following Surgery? 

If you feed your dog dry food, you should switch to soft food for at least a week. When presented with hard food, your dog will likely bite down hard even if their mouth is still sore without realizing it’s going to hurt them.

Are Treats Okay After Dental Surgery? 

Avoid hard treats and opt for soft foods like peanut butter, dog ice cream, and cream cheese. However, don’t overdo these foods. Also, while a veterinarian may recommend dental chews, you usually should wait a week. 

Call Penny Paws Animal Clinic

Preparing your dog for dental surgery is crucial, but it can also feel stressful. At Penny Paws Animal Clinic, we make the entire process easier. Contact Penny Paws Animal Clinic today to discover how we can help!