What Is the Preparation Process for Pet’s Dental Surgery?

Most pet owners give much thought to their furry friend’s nutritional needs and fitness routine but often overlook their dental health. However, maintaining your pet’s oral health should be a priority, just like humans. It’s more than just a cosmetic issue; poor oral health can lead to severe systemic health problems that could worsen if not addressed in time. That’s where professional dental care plays a vital role.

Veterinary Dentistry and Dental Surgery

Pet owners increasingly know the importance of maintaining oral health for their furry companions. Regular professional cleanings and dental checkups prevent dental issues and promote overall well-being. However, in some cases, dental surgery becomes necessary to address more severe oral conditions. 

Veterinary dentistry and dental surgery significantly ensure our pets’ dental health and overall quality of life. These pet dental care procedures can alleviate pain and prevent complications, from tooth extractions to root canal therapy and oral tumor treatments.

Pet Dental Surgery Preparations

Preparing a pet’s dental surgery involves several essential steps to ensure a safe and successful procedure. Proper preparation is vital to minimize risks, address any underlying health concerns, and provide the best possible care for your pet. Here’s a list of the preparation process for a pet’s dental surgery:

1. Veterinary Examination

  • A comprehensive pre-surgery examination is crucial to assess the pet’s overall health and fitness for anesthesia and surgery.
  • The veterinarian will listen to the heart and lungs, check vital signs, and conduct a physical examination to identify health concerns.

2. Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork

  • Pre-anesthetic blood tests help evaluate the pet’s organ function, including liver and kidney health, to ensure they can handle anesthesia.
  • Identifying underlying health issues helps tailor the anesthesia and surgery plan to the pet’s needs.

3. Fasting and Water Restriction

  • Fasting before surgery prevents the risk of vomiting and aspiration during anesthesia.
  • Typically, pets are asked to fast for a specific period before the surgery, usually overnight.
  • In some cases, water intake may be restricted for a few hours before the surgery to further reduce the risk of aspiration.

4. Medication Management

  • Discuss all medications your pet is currently taking with the veterinarian.
  • Some medications may need to be temporarily stopped before surgery, while others may continue as directed.
  • Emergencies like sudden allergic reactions to medication or unexpected bleeding may occur. Being prepared for this is part of the overall surgical planning process. A good veterinary practice will have a well-equipped pet emergency unit ready to handle unexpected events for your pet’s safety.

5. Pre-Surgery Instructions

  • Follow any pre-surgery instructions the veterinarian provides, such as administering pre-surgical medications or oral rinses.
  • Compliance with these instructions ensures a smoother and safer surgery.

6. Communication With the Veterinary Team

  • Inform the veterinary team about recent changes in your pet’s health or behavior leading to the surgery.
  • This information helps the team make necessary anesthesia and surgical plan adjustments.
  • A well-trained veterinary team such as those you’d find at the TLC Animal Clinic will ensure the process is safe.

7. Consent Form

  • Sign a consent form provided by the veterinary clinic, acknowledging your understanding and agreement to the surgery and its associated risks.
  • This ensures you are well-informed about the procedure and are actively involved in your pet’s care.

8. Anesthesia Plan

  • Discuss the anesthesia plan with the veterinarian to understand the type of anesthesia used and any additional monitoring or support measures during the procedure.
  • Address any concerns or questions you may have about anesthesia safety.

9. Pre-Surgery Weight Measurement

  • Accurate weighing of the pet helps determine the correct dosage of anesthesia and medications.
  • Anesthesia dosages are often based on the pet’s weight, ensuring safe administration.

10. Pre-Surgery Bathing and Cleaning

  • In some cases, pets may need to be bathed or have their oral cavity cleaned before surgery to reduce the bacterial load and minimize infection risk.
  • This step enhances surgical hygiene and reduces the risk of complications.

11. Identification and Microchipping

  • Ensure your pet is properly identified with a collar, tags, or a microchip before surgery.
  • Proper identification helps prevent mix-ups or accidental escapes during hospitalization.

12. Comfort and Familiarity

  • When bringing your pet to the veterinary clinic, provide them with a comfortable and familiar carrier or bedding.
  • Familiar items can reduce stress and anxiety during the preparation process.

13. Transportation

  • Arrange safe transportation to the veterinary clinic, ensuring your pet is secure and comfortable.
  • If your pet is anxious about car rides, use calming techniques or pet carriers to make the journey less stressful.

14. Post-Surgery Care Arrangements

  • Discuss post-surgery care arrangements with the veterinary team.
  • Understand the discharge instructions, medications, and required follow-up appointments to ensure proper aftercare for your pet.

Home Dental Care

Beyond surgery and professional cleanings, incorporating dental hygiene into your pet’s daily routine is recommended. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily can drastically minimize the development of dental disease.


Preparation for pet dental surgery is a process that involves several steps to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet. Knowing this process can help you, as a pet owner, feel more confident and well-informed. Remember, food, fun, and proper dental care are key to a healthy pet.

Partner with a trusted clinic that will work with you to ensure your pet receives the necessary care. Whether you have a teething puppy or an older pet needing severe periodontal care, a professional vet can guide you through the process and give your pet the care they need for a happy, healthy life.