Doesn't anesthesia free sound wonderful? No need to have your dog put out for a teeth cleaning. With anesthesia there is always a health risk that you should know about. So; many are turning to anesthesia free dental cleaning. I scrape and clean my dogs teeth; so last week as I was holding Jessie scraping her teeth I was thinking about how someone else could do this without causing Jessie great stress. Not only was it hard to consider how this could be done but I couldn't even contemplate Luke having his teeth done.
I have serious issues with the whole practice of strangers holding down my dogs. It is not really my issue but one of my dogs; most dogs are not comfortable having a stranger hold them tight. They don't care that it is a vet tech or a dental assistant, they don't know this person and the more they struggle the tighter the strangers grip becomes. This is a hugely stressful occurance and one reason that I insist on doing the holding when my dogs go to the vet. If a guardian is comfortable doing the holding it should always be the first choice.
As far as anesthesia free dental cleaning; I don't get this at all. California law states that dental operations must be performed by a licensed veterinarian or under the strict supervision of one. But as I see these signs everywhere, grooming shops, training facilities, boarding and pet stores who are holding these anesthesia free clinics. There is no regulation of these services; no certification or registration boards to verify the person cleaning your dogs teeth knows what they are doing.
What I want to know is how they control the dog? When I tell people that I clean and scrape my dogs teeth they are astounded? They don't know how my dogs just lay there and let me do it. So if I was unable to get into my dogs mouth without them having a fit, if they were not okay with me going in a scraping; how could a stranger do it without totally freaking out my dog? I don't think they could. I'm thinking that it would be extremely traumatic for them. I would actually like to watch one of these teeth cleaners for a day and see how the dogs react.
So what are you to do? First; like anything else there is a huge spectrum of experience in any service business; there are good cleaners out there. What I would recommend is that if you are asked to leave, don't leave your dog there. In my opinion if you cannot watch what is going on, there is a reason. Next get your dog use to having someone in their mouth, even if you are not going to clean the teeth yourself it will help them in the longrun.
Give your dog a bone; that's right a big raw knuckle bone to chomp on. It is amazing how Mother Nature works. Giving a dog a bone to chew on is exactly how wolves stay away from the dentist.