Frequently Asked Questions
How do you hold a dog or cat still enough to clean its teeth?
We sit at eye level with every pet and use a variety of holds that we have developed and perfected to maintain control while keeping your dog or cat comfortable and calm. Your pet is never bullied into submission. We are all experienced pet behaviorists, so we have been trained to work with the behaviors of the breeds to effectively perform our service without any trauma to your pet. Because of our ability to sense and adjust to each pet’s behavior, our customers are constantly amazed at how well their pets cooperate with our K-9 Oral Hygienists.
Do you clean under the gum tissue?
No. Cleaning underneath the gums must be done with sedation and antibiotics because there is likely to be bleeding and it would be very painful for your pet to be conscious. Prior to cleaning your pet’s teeth, we assess the animal to ensure that it is a candidate for cleaning without sedation. We only work on animals that can benefit from cleaning without going under their gums
Won’t my dog or cat panic when you attempt to use an ultrasonic scalar or polisher on their teeth?
Absolutely not. We work one-on-one with your pet to gain their trust and we are very patient with them. The tools are slowly introduced and once your pet knows that they will not be hurt, virtually every dog and cat will allow us to continue with their cleaning.
Are older dogs and cats, or those with health issues candidates for anesthetic-free teeth cleaning?
Yes! As long as there are no serious problems in the animal’s mouth that would inhibit us from doing the cleaning. Sedation-free cleaning is a wonderful alternative for older pets, or ones with heart, kidney, liver or respiratory issues who cannot be subjected to general anesthesia.
Can your K-9 Oral Hygienists perform cleanings on every dog and cat that comes in?
No, there are some dogs and cats who are not candidates for our services. These pets usually have issues in their mouth such as Periodontal Disease, severe gingivitis, fractured teeth or teeth that require extraction. Our Hygienists are aware of our limitations and can easily recognize these issues in your pet.
What happens when you encounter an animal that is overly fearful or aggressive?
We can usually tell within the first few minutes of the consultation whether your pet’s temperament will allow for a cleaning. In almost all cases, we are able to calm fearful pets with our gentle touch and calm energy. If your pet demonstrates highly aggressive behavior, it may not be a candidate for anesthetic-free cleanings.
Do you pull out loose or problem teeth?
No, we do not extract teeth. Often a pet will have loose teeth as a result of an under-bite or over-bite. In these cases, we can still usually clean the pet’s teeth.
How does your work differ from teeth cleaning performed by Veterinarians?
First, we are not Veterinarians, and we do not claim to be Veterinarians, we do not perform dental work and we do not diagnose oral health problems. Dental work is the work of Veterinarians, and dental cleaning done by Veterinarians requires sedation. We do not apply anesthesia, nor do we use any sort of sedative. In addition, in order to clean under the pet’s gum line, a registered Veterinarian must perform the work, and anesthesia is required. Instead, we perform a procedure that is called Oral Hygiene, and it involves cleaning the pet’s teeth above the gum line (for lower teeth). We thoroughly scale each tooth from the gum line to the top of the tooth, and remove all build-up before it has an opportunity to move underneath the gum tissue.
I have heard of other forms of anesthesia-free teeth cleaning for pets. How are your services different from these other providers?
The main difference is that all other providers of anesthesia-free teeth cleaning in Canada use metal tools to scrape the teeth clean. A disadvantage of this metal scraping approach is that it can damage the pet’s teeth, leaving scratches that become great host locations for bacteria growth. Our approach to teeth cleaning does not use metal manual scraping equipment. Instead, we have a unique ultrasonic tool. We are always keeping up with the latest technological advancements to ensure we are providing the best possible services to your pet.
What sort of assistance do you provide customers to educate them or train them on their pet’s oral hygiene?
At no extra charge, we teach customers how to brush their pet’s teeth and we provide training tips so they can ensure good preventative care between visits with our K-9 Oral Hygienists.
How frequently do you recommend the pet return for teeth cleaning?
It depends on the animal’s oral needs, which will vary. Most pets should be cleaned annually, but some require more frequent visits.
Should I expect any changes in my pet after you complete the cleaning?
Yes. You should expect your pet’s breath to be fresh and clean- smelling. Depending on the condition of your pet prior to the cleaning treatment, you may even see substantial improvement in your pet’s health, such as a better energy level and a shinier coat.
How do Veterinarians feel about your teeth cleaning services?
Many Veterinarians have become strong, long-term supporters of K-9 Brite Bark, because they recognize that pets can often maintain excellent oral hygiene with our procedure, and without the risk of anesthetic. Vets also appreciate the fact that we don’t use hazardous scraping tools that can injure animals. Some Vets have also come to realize that we will refer animals to them whenever it is required and that, like them, we put the health and well being of pets first. Vets also know that we stay up-to-date on all the latest technology to ensure the best possible care for pet clients.