Can Dog Groomers Clean Teeth?

When it comes to having a pet it’s the same as having a baby. It’s probably why many pet lovers call their pets their fur babies. One of the most important things we want to do is make sure we keep their health and hygiene up to date, just like we would ourselves. Your dog’s dental hygiene can have a significant impact on its health. So, the question is “Can dog groomers clean teeth?”

Some of us, especially new pet owners, may wonder what the difference is between my groomer and my veterinarian when it comes to teeth cleaning. Are groomers allowed to clean a dog’s teeth? 

By definition, a groomer is not someone who is medically licensed. They typically care for your pet’s personal needs, such as bathing, brushing, training, and so on. 

A veterinarian takes many years of schooling and training and is licensed to meet all your pet’s medical needs plus any extra self-care and health needs they may have. 

before a teeth cleaning at the vets

To answer the question…

Is my groomer allowed to clean my dog’s teeth? 

When it comes to having your dog’s teeth “CLEANED”, you do not want to let a dog groomer take on this responsibility. As far as a simple brushing of the teeth goes, it is fine, but when it comes down to anything besides a simple brushing, there are many factors at hand that play a crucial role in this procedure being done correctly. 

Cleaning the teeth is done by vets

Remember that the definition of “cleaning your dog’s teeth” is to remove the tartar and plaque above and below the gumline. The dog’s mouth should also be checked for infections and decay that could lead to more significant problems. Pet dental care is truly the role of a veterinarian and does not fall under the scope of grooming.

One of the reasons is the safety of your pet and also the safety of the groomer. When your dog is at the groomer, he is usually fully awake and should have no significant medical problems at the time.  Sticking your hand into its mouth may be kind of risky, to say the least. 

doggy dental care being done by vet-not groomer

Brushing the teeth can be done by groomers

If your dog is friendly enough to allow this kind of contact, it should still only be done for light brushing. The main reason for this is that, as listed above, groomers are not licensed to conduct any kind of medical treatment on pets. 

Irritated gums or gums that already have an infection should be handled by a licensed medical professional with the proper skills and medications.

It’s not to say your groomer can’t brush the teeth. They can. It may even be beneficial if YOU don’t! If you go regularly to the groomers and your dog is only getting its teeth brushed by your groomer then they may be doing a very big service to prevent any health problems further down the line. 

The truth is you should be brushing your dog’s teeth. Little dogs sometimes need it more than nig dogs. Poodles, for example, are notorious for having dental problems. Some dogs will die a very horrible death if their teeth are not taken care of properly. The teeth rot and they stop eating because of how much pain they’re in. Infections spread and can corrupt their organs as well. 

What does a proper cleaning entail from a veterinarian?

Now that you have some insight in to the question “Can dog groomers clean teeth?”, let’s look into how to get your dog’s teeth properly cleaned by his veterinarian and what you may have to look forward to while doing so. The process is quite simple, actually. 

First appointment

The vet will start with a simple examination of your dog’s mouth. If your dog’s teeth need cleaning you will book them for another visit where you’ll actually drop your pet off for a few hours. 

Cleaning day

On cleaning day, you will drop your fur baby off because of the length of time the process takes. The veterinarian will administer some general anesthesia. They may even perform any necessary x-rays that may be needed, although this is not very common. 


Once your dog is under, there is a simple process called scaling that should only be done by professionals. That takes off unnecessary plaque and tartar around the teeth and below the gumline. The anesthesia should already have your dog fast asleep so they are not conscious during this part of the process. 

Most dogs will react to scaling because not only do they not like people fiddling with their mouth but putting a tool in and scraping the teeth will cause them to act out. This is why anesthesia is necessary. 

Polish and rinse

After the scaling is done your dog is good for some polishing and rinsing, leaving its teeth brighter and whiter than when they came in.

There are some instances when your dog may run into bigger dental problems. Serious problems that need to be dealt with include tooth extractions and infections. You’ll know before the cleaning whether the vet will be pulling any teeth out. Your vet will also tell you how infected the gums are as well. 

Under these circumstances, the veterinarian will follow the standard procedure. They will also prescribe any medications that may need to be given post-cleaning to take care of whatever problem exists. 

dog smiling after a good teeth cleaning

Final thoughts…

Hopefully, now YOU can answer the question “Can dog groomers clean teeth?” With all this good info you and your fur babies should be all smiles! 

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