Oral Health Matters for Service Dogs

Boomer Wisconsin Service Dog

Anyone who sees a service dog in action can’t help but be amazed by the abilities and skills these dogs demonstrate with their owners. Whether assisting law enforcement, guiding an owner safely across the street or being a valuable part of allowing more independance for someone with a medical condition, these dogs are truly phenomenal.

The valuable partnership service dogs provide their owners, makes the dogs health of the utmost concern. As veterinary dentists, we know well how vital a dog’s oral health is to its overall health, which is why each Veterinary Dentist listed with www.vetdentists.com proudly participates in the Free National Service Dog Oral Health Exam program through the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC).

TJ Police Service Dog Oral Health

TJ gets a high five for passing his oral health exam.

Each year board certified veterinary dentists provide this free oral health exam to service dog groups including seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs,  handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs and for certified therapy dogs (through the Delta Society or similar). Dogs  must be active working dogs that are certified by an organization or are  currently enrolled in a formal training program.

The nature of this exam is for screening and educational purposes, and gives the vet dentist the opportunity to examine the dog’s mouth and talk in detail with owners about the important role dental health plays in their service dog’s ability to be a happy, healthy and successful companion over the long term. The veterinary dentist will discuss importance of home care, annual professional veterinary dental cleanings and the risks of taking a service dog in for anesthesia free dental care. Each patient will receive a report from the vet dentist that they can take and share with their veterinarian and if any problems or concerns arise, they will talk with you about treatment options.

If you or someone you know is a candidate for the program, please encourage them to register online through AVDC’s online registration process. Once you register, you will be able to contact the veterinary dentist nearest to you and schedule your exam. Online registration is open until June 15, 2013. Owners are required to register online before they can make an appointment.

Again, as board certified veterinary dentists, we want to recognize the important work of service dogs and help care for their long term oral health.


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