Does dog insurance include dental cover?

Your dog could require dental treatment for a number of reasons. Read our guide to find out why dental cover can be crucial and what exactly to look for in your pet insurance policy.

Your dog could require dental treatment for a number of reasons. Read our guide to find out why dental cover can be crucial and what exactly to look for in your pet insurance policy.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 25 MAY 2021

Why do you need dental cover for your dog?

Your dog’s teeth need a lot of looking after. You probably know they love to chew things – and not just food.
All manner of items end up in a dog’s mouth and this takes its toll on their teeth.

And just like their owners, dogs can suffer from cavities, ulcers and tartar build-up.
Infections that start in your dog’s mouth can spread to other organs, for example the kidneys and heart, causing complications. Blood poisoning and even death could eventually result from gum and tooth disease.
For all these reasons, it’s vital to take good care of your dog’s teeth, but this isn’t always cheap.

How much do dog dental treatments cost?

Vets fees can vary hugely from one practice to the next, depending on where you live. The size, age, and general health of your dog will also affect the cost of dental treatments.

For example, a tooth extraction where the tooth is damaged or there’s an abscess could start at a minimum of £150 and can be far higher depending on where you live. And remember, there may also be dental X-rays and a consultation fee on top of that. 

Policies that include dental cover are likely to be more expensive than those that don’t, but it could be a price worth paying. The costs of dentistry following accident, injury or illness could amount to hundreds of pounds.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t tend to sit quietly during treatment. This means that even a simple procedure like teeth cleaning may well require an anaesthetic to avoid distress to the animal and protect the vet from being bitten. 

This, along with common treatments, like antibiotics and painkillers, can easily push up the costs.

Does my dog insurance policy cover dental work?

Most dog insurance policies don’t include dental work as standard – you’ll usually have to pay extra to include it. But even if you’ve got dental cover for your dog, it’s most unlikely to cover your pet for routine dental work like a regular scale and polish. The insurance will typically cover you for accidents, for example your dog or cat breaking a tooth, and for things like cavities, abscesses and lesions.

There are four different types of dog insurance policy available. If dental cover is included, it will typically be on the same terms as the rest of the policy, so:

  • Accident only. Only covers procedures required because of an accident
  • Time limited. New conditions are covered for a set period of time (usually 12 months) or up to the policy limit, depending on which is reached first. After that, you’ll need to cover the costs
  • Maximum benefit. New conditions are covered, up to a set amount for each condition
  • Lifetime. Your dog is insured for life, with the set cover limit renewed every year

What doesn’t my dog’s dental insurance cover?

Even pet insurance that includes dental cover won’t cover everything. 

Among the procedures likely to be excluded are:

  • Routine cleaning of your dog’s teeth
  • Cosmetic dental treatment
  • Treatment for pre-existing conditions, general tooth decay or anything else that the insurance provider believes you could have prevented by taking better care of your dog’s teeth.

And if you’ve chosen an accident only policy, claiming for the treatment of illnesses and chronic conditions will be off-limits too. 

Make sure you check the policy wording carefully before you buy, so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.

Taking care of your dog’s teeth

There are a few things you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy.

  • Take your dog for regular check-ups. This is important because your insurance provider may only accept a claim for dental treatment if your dog has had a routine dental examination within the last 12 months. It also means you’ll catch a potential problem in its early stages before too much damage is done
  • Brush your dog’s teeth every day using dog-friendly toothpaste – and plenty of patience while they’re getting used to the experience.
  • Give them dental chews and toys specifically designed to prevent the build-up of plaque.
  • Feed them teeth-friendly foods. Your vet can give you guidance on what’s best.

Signs of dog dental problems

If your dog develops any of the following symptoms, it might be a sign of dental problems and a visit to the vet is highly recommended:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty eating or loss of appetite
  • Discoloured, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Brown or yellow teeth
  • Missing or loose teeth
  • Plaque or tartar build-up
  • Rubbing or pawing at the mouth

How do I compare dog pet insurance quotes with dental cover?

Our comparison service lets you see many specific features of pet insurance policies, so you can find the right cover for you and your furry friend. But you’ll have to check the provider’s policy for details of their dental cover. You can do that when you click through to the provider’s page

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