A survey of Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders representing 500,000 pets found that these pet owners spent more than $11.2 million on dental conditions and procedures in 2013. Probably no surprise to veterinarians, as oral health problems constituted the fourth-most-common claim submitted last year. However, it may benefit pet owners and their pets to know that it makes better economic sense to get regular dental cleanings than to have to pay for treating dental-related disease.
VPI says the average claim for pet teeth cleaning in 2013 was $170. In contrast, the average claim amount for treating dental-related disease was $221. Periodontal disease accounted for the most dental claims received last year by VPI—more than 25,000. Tooth infections, inclusive of cavities and abscesses, accounted for the second most common dental-related claims, totaling more than 10,600.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of 3. And policyholder stats show the amount spent on pet dental conditions has steadily risen from $7.2 million in 2009 to $11.2 million last year.