I had my teeth cleaned last week, $152, which included the annual x-rays and having the dentist do an exam.
I had my DOG's teeth cleaned today, $168, which included a pre-anesthesia blood test ($36), which is advisable for older dogs. (Our Lab-Rottweiler cross is 9 years old. That's retirement age in dog years, for a big dog like this.
After the sticker shock at paying more for teeth cleaning for a pet than for myself, I realized that anesthesia is pretty serious business, and don't begrudge the veterinarian his fees. Our big guy came out of there pretty groggy, and will require some supervision for the next 12 hours or so.
When I was a kid, we NEVER took our dogs to the vet. Dogs lived until they died of old age. No teeth cleaning or immunizations either, in my memory. I think it was when I was a teenager that rabies shots became a requirement for dogs. If a dog or cat got sick enough that recovery was doubtful, they were simply put down. And back in the 1950's and 1960's, we did it ourselves. No trip to the vet.
Time certainly can change our perceptions. Dogs used to be work dogs, not family members, which is how our pets are treated. In my teen years, dogs slept outside, lucky if they had a shelter other than the barn, which wasn't all that bad, I guess. Nowadays, dogs usually sleep inside at night, at least City dogs do. Some even sleep in beds. Some sleep with their owners.
I still think dogs should sleep on the floor, not in a bed. Time doesn't change ALL perceptions.