Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I clean my dog’s teeth?
Dogs, like humans build plaque and tartar on their teeth. This can cause gingivitis, bad breath, tooth loss and difficulty eating. Plaque can harbor bacteria that can contribute to other health issues.
How can I tell if my dog’s teeth need cleaning?
Look for yellow/brown build up on the teeth, and areas of inflammation around the gum line. Bad breath is often the first indications of poor dental health.
How often should I clean my dog’s teeth?
The average pet over the age of two should have a professional cleaning done every 6 months to a year. The frequency will depend on your dog’s diet, age, health, breed and home care. Smaller dogs may need them cleaned as often as every 3 months, while larger dogs may only need cleaning once a year.
How can you perform a cleaning while the dog is squirming around and under stress?
Your pet is positioned comfortably at eye level while the technician uses a variety of holds to maintain control, as well as using gentle relaxation techniques to keep your dog feeling safe, calm and comfortable. Your pet is never forced or bullied into submission. Even dogs with challenging personalities are usually cooperative.
Don’t most dogs become frightened and panic?
.We treat your pet much like a dentist will treat a first time dental patient. We use a great deal of patience and slowly introduce each part of the procedure.
Does it hurt the dog?
Absolutely not! We use the same gentle approach as a pediatric dental office uses with children.
Is this techniques effective with high risk dogs?
Yes. Anesthesia free dental cleanings are usually a much better alternative for older pets and for pets who might not be a good candidate for general anesthesia.
How effective is this technique compared to cleaning done under anesthetic?
The results are virtually the same for routine cleanings. Dogs with advanced dental conditions, as well as pets with behavioral issues, will usually have 80 – 95% effectiveness. Dogs with very neglected mouths will need more than one appointment to achieve ideal results.
Is every pet a good candidate?
No. While the vast majority of dogs will have good results, there are some for whom it is not appropriate. Dog’s with very severe gingivitis, fractured teeth, abscesses, stomatitis, tumors, etc. If we discover any of these conditions, you will be referred to your veterinarian. Pets who have severe dental conditions but cannot undergo general anesthesia because of advanced age or health issues may be eligible with your veterinarian’s recommendation. Dangerously aggressive dogs or dogs with some forms of dementia are not good candidates.
What happens if my dog is completely uncooperative, overly fearful or highly aggressive?
Our technicians can usually tell within a few minutes if the dog’s temperament will allow for a successful procedure. In many cases we are able to calm your pet enough to allow us to complete the procedure. If we determine that the dog’s temperament is not going to be conducive to anesthesia free cleaning, we will recommend an alternative method.
Can I watch the procedure?
We are happy to let you watch the cleaning procedure, but most dogs cooperate far better when their owner is not present.
Do you polish the teeth?
Yes. The teeth are carefully polished at the end of the dental cleaning. Polishing removes any residual stains and deposits on the teeth..
What dogs are good candidates for this procedure?
– Many dogs whose owners are concerned about the risks of anesthesia. – Young dogs needing their first cleaning. – Senior dogs. – Dogs with healthy gums and mild to heavy plaque. – High risk breeds such as sight hounds, brachycephalics, etc. – Dogs with medical conditions such as heart murmurs, collapsed tracheas, kidney and liver conditions, diabetes, etc.
Does eating dry dog food clean my dog’s teeth?
No. This is a myth. In general, a dog needs to spend time chewing to maintain clean teeth. Raw meaty bones and bully sticks can help.
My veterinarian say this method does not get the dog’s teeth as clean?
The teeth are cleaned inside and out and re-polished. Your dog’s teeth will be as clean as with a dental while under anesthesia. We cannot take x-rays while your pet is awake, so we cannot see what is going on under the gum line. We will offer you instruction on home cleaning so you can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.