A Warning About Doggie Dental Care

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California's Veterinary Medical Board wants you to know that a number of unlicensed people are providing a service called anesthesia-free doggie dental care, which could be harmful to your pet. Gina Bayless, Enforcement Officer, says performing dental cleaning services without supervision by a veterinarian is illegal, and a number of injuries and one death have been reported.

One of the big concerns is that consumers mistakenly believe that their dogs' teeth are getting a thorough cleaning without anesthesia, when they're not. Superficial scraping may whiten the teeth, but a true dental cleaning where tartar and plaque are removed, protects the gums, and cannot be done without sedation. It's also a misconception that you'll save money with anesthesia-free dental care. Unlicensed operators charge up to $95 and typically recommend 3 to 4 cleanings a year. Your vet will charge you $200-$250 on average every 2 to 3 years for a professional and effective cleaning