Ask the Expert Series: Dr. Myers, Forever Pet Dental
Ask the Expert is a new monthly blog series where we partner with experts in the pet industry to find out the best ways to care for your pet. Got an expert you'd like us to interview? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Nitty-Gritty of Dental Cleaning
Our pets depend on us to maintain their dental health. Having a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums is indispensable to the overall health of your pet's body.
Whether you brush your pup's teeth every day, every week, or every once-in-a-while, a deep dental clean at least once a year is essential for maintenance and can help identify potential dental problems before they happen.
We wanted to highlight one of our favorite clinics for animal dental care, Forever Pet Dental!
Forever Pet Dental’s mission is to make dental care accessible and affordable to everyone in the community.
We interviewed Dr. Jacqueline Myers, the founder of Forever Pet Dental, to get inside scoop on why she started the clinic, what she would love pet owners to know, and what questions we should be asking our vets when it comes to our pet’s teeth.
Her answers are italicized below, all emphasis is ours.
Q: Can you tell us about your practice?
Forever Pet Dental was started in 2013 by Dr. Jacqueline Myers in response to a need she found in her clients and patients for a more affordable dental cleaning option.
Preventative dental cleanings for dogs and cats, on an annual basis, help to reduce the risk of dental disease, check for painful issues (like fractured teeth), and reduce the need for future dental extractions
Q: Why did you choose to specialize in dental healthcare?
I chose to focus on pet dental care because my patients needed it! I was performing so many dental extractions every week on older pets who had gone without dental care, and my younger patients weren't coming in for dental cleanings preventatively because it was too expensive for their owners.
Forever Pet Dental was created to help make dental care available to dogs and cats to prevent dental disease and pain in pets.
Q: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about pet dental health?
That because your farm dog growing up never had a dental cleaning, your 4-pound chihuahua shouldn't need one. Not all pets are created equal and smaller breed dogs are much more predisposed to dental disease. It is also realistic to suppose that at some point, that farm dog had a painful broken tooth that was never dealt with.
Another one would be that bones are good for dog teeth. We see many dogs of all sizes with broken teeth from chewing on hard objects like rocks, sticks, bones, and antlers. Avoid these items!
Q: What are the most impactful options? More specifically, if someone had to choose one thing to care for their pet’s teeth, what would the best choice be?
Pet dental care definitely includes multiple items to provide a thorough treatment plan (regular dental cleanings, tooth brushing at home, pet dental treats, pet dental diets), but I have found the single-most helpful item to be an annual dental cleaning with anesthesia. This helps us identify problem teeth, and helps us keep healthy teeth healthy!
Q: What are your favorite products to recommend?
I recommend dental products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). They have a website online with a list of products that they have independently tested and proven to be effective. This way you know you're getting your money's worth. The gold standard of dental care products is pretty simple for me though...a toothbrush. Nothing is more effective in home care than brushing your dog or cat's teeth daily, it just also happens to be the most time intensive option and I get that it's not always possible for my clients.
Your local pet store (like Pets on Broadway!) can also be a great resource for finding a variety of dental care options to try out for your pet and see what is effective and manageable for you both!
Q: What do people not know about dental cleanings and procedures?
That all dental cleanings aren't created equal. We have carefully created our dental cleaning package to be thorough in not just the dental cleaning, but also the evaluation (oral examination by the doctor, dental x-rays of all the teeth).
Many times dental cleanings don't involve a veterinarian's evaluation or dental x-rays but that isn't clear to the client. Ask questions! Make sure you're getting your money's worth!
Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about pet dental health?
There are always options and we're here to help. Even if you think your pet needs dental extractions and you can't afford it, have a dental cleaning done, find out what's going on. There is no pressure from us to do everything all at once.
Start with a dental cleaning, get informed, and then we can make a plan together that fits what is best for you and your pet. We're here to help!
Dental Health Tool Kits
Forever Pet Dental has two locations and their dental health packages are a flat-fee of $229 which includes x-rays, deep cleaning with anesthesia, and a consultation about your pet’s oral health upon pick-up. Additional services are offered.
Check out their website http://foreverpetdental.com/ to learn more about the services they offer! They currently have two locations, one in Beaverton, and the original location in Vancouver!
As Dr. Myers mentioned, a toothbrush is your greatest tool and it does not have to be the only tool for your pet’s dental health! Dental chews, enzymatic gels and toothpaste, dental wipes, and healthy treats are super helpful in the never-ending quest for fresh breath for our pets.
Get your dental health tool kit together and make tooth brushing time a fun bonding time with your pup or kitty!
Remember, it is never too late to start taking care of your pet’s dental health! Dental cleanings are essential and there are plenty of things you can do at home to help keep their smiles bright!