As it sticks its head out the window, this cute black dog shows off its healthy teeth.

Pet Dental Insurance: What’s Covered and What’s Not?

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You may think of pet insurance plans as cover for emergency illnesses and injuries. Perhaps you even know providers like PD Insurance have third party liability cover too. Being covered for those events is critical, but what you might not have considered is pet dental insurance to cover dental diseases. Have you wondered whether it’s included in an insurance policy and how much it covers? You’ve arrived at the right article.

It may be well worthwhile paying a higher pet insurance premium for dental care inclusion. According to the Australian Veterinary Association, 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three have some level of dental disease.

At PD, our Deluxe plan covers various dental treatments for your pet up to an annual limit. It might seem excessive, but proper dental treatment can help your dog or cat live a happier (and indeed, longer) life. In fact, it should be a part of your routine pet care – just like vaccinations and worming.

However, not all providers offer pet dental insurance. It’s important to look at the small print when you’re shopping around for a policy.

Let’s look at why it’s important cover…

close up of pet ginger cat's mouth and teeth with dental condition - inflamed red swollen gum on top right corner

What are common mouth and dental problems in pets?

There are a variety of issues that can arise with your Basset Hound’s or Maine Coon‘s sparkly whites. Taking out quality pet dental insurance can provide a financial cushion for treatment, which can become expensive very quickly.

For instance, a dog or cat can easily bite down on something hard, get caught on a branch or end up in a fight, resulting in a broken or lost tooth or worse damage.

On top of that, here are a few dental-related health conditions to be aware of:

Gingivitis 

Gingivitis is a very common gum disease that can cause irritation, redness and swelling around the base of the teeth. If untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease

This is where pets experience infection and inflammation of the periodontium (the tissues surrounding the tooth). Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis.

Abscesses and tooth infection

These infected, pus-filled pockets are found in the mouth or the root of the teeth. They can be caused by infection, bite wounds, and more. For more information on abscesses, read our article on How Do You Treat a Tooth Abscess in Dogs?

Oral tumours

These can occur at any time and will be either benign or malignant.

Retained deciduous (milk) teeth

This is when the baby tooth remains even when the adult tooth has come through.

Feline tooth resorption 

This condition affects over 50% of cats, where the body begins breaking down and absorbing teeth. 

Feline ulcerative stomatitis 

Although quite rate, this is a very severe and painful inflammatory condition that causes ulcers in the cat’s mouth and gums.

Make no mistake, bacteria and toxins from teeth can have a knock-on effect on the entire body. They can enter the bloodstream and cause problems with organs such as the liver, heart and brain.

Dogs with good dental care have bright smiles. Get dental pet insurance to ensure a happy dog.

How to prevent dental disease in dogs

This is actually easier than you may think…

Brush your dog’s teeth regularly

Use a soft bristled toothbrush and pet toothpaste. With regular use, toothpaste for dogs helps reduce plaque and fights bad breath. Are you having trouble cleaning your puppy’s teeth? You can become a pro in no time by reading our article: Dog Teeth Cleaning for Sparkly Whites.

Dental diet

Nutritionally balanced dental diets are designed to meet the day-to-day needs of healthy animals. It’s common for these diets to contain three or more different additives or features that will help prevent dental disease.

Although wet and raw dog foods do have their merits, when trying to rebuild a dog’s dental health most veterinarians will recommend dry dog foods that are dental health-specific. This is largely due to the fact that wet dog food tends to stick to teeth or get tucked between gums.

Tip: Cinnamon is a non-toxic ingredient that eliminates odour-causing bacteria… so why not bake it into your dog’s favourite treat? Cinnamon dog biscuits also have a rough texture that scrapes plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth.

Treats and chews

Nothing makes a dog happier than a good chew, aside from hugs and kisses. Dog chews will not keep your dog’s teeth completely clean and healthy by themselves, but when used as a supplement they can be very beneficial.

How to prevent dental disease in cats

The tips are fairly similar to those above for dogs:

  1. Feed them the right food, one that’s nutritionally balanced with a good mix of dry food thrown in
  2. Clean their teeth regularly, using a soft brush and pet toothpaste
  3. Head to the vet at least once a year to get those pearly whites checked
  4. Resort to professional teeth cleaning if need be
  5. Look at for signs of oral pain in your cat, like pawing at the mouth or a lack of interest in food

Read more in our article about how to take care of cat teeth.

So, if you do take out insurance for your pet’s dental care, what can you expect it to cover? Read more below.

Black and white cat yawns, showing off its sparkly white teeth.

What does the dental portion of a pet insurance policy cover?

If you’re looking for pet dental insurance for your cat or dog, you’ll be happy to hear this can be part of your pet health cover policy in Australia.

Accident-only policies usually won’t offer any dental cover, though it may be available as an add-on in some cases. These policies are usually cheaper, but don’t give you wide coverage. Given the incidence of dental disease in cats and dogs, you may prefer to part with a few extra dollars each month in return for dental cover for your pet.

The nitty gritty

We can’t speak for anyone else, but what we can say is that PD Insurance’s Deluxe dog insurance and cat insurance policy includes cover (up to the defined benefit limit) for:

  • Abscesses
  • Gingivitis
  • Tooth removal where medically required, for:

– Cavities
– Tooth fracture
– Dental disease as a result of infection
– Retained deciduous teeth

Remember, pet dental insurance usually won’t provide cover for cosmetic procedures or routine cleaning. So, it’s a good idea to learn about getting your pet’s dental care right.

Choosing the right insurance policy

If you need pet dental insurance in your policy, carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) so you understand your inclusions and exclusions. That way there won’t be any nasty surprises when you get to the vet.

Dogs and cats can develop dental diseases and problems just like humans. And if you’ve ever had an ulcer or toothache that just doesn’t want to disappear, you’ll know how frustrating and painful it can be.

Unfortunately, dental problems in pets often go unnoticed until they’re fairly severe in nature. An annual dental check-up and regular cleaning can go a long way towards keeping your fur kid’s teeth healthy. But even when you’re proactive, unexpected health issues can arise, which is where pet dental insurance comes into play. And pet insurance in general, of course.

Why not take two minutes for a quick, free quote?

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