About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teeth Cleaning...Do or Don't

Cleaning teeth on a dog is a hot topic in the grooming world.
Should a groomer offer teeth cleaning?
Should groomers leave it to the VETS?
I have pondered this for a long time.

A couple of years ago, I did offer teeth brushing as an extra to the groom for $5.
I did have some customers ask for it, but to be honest, I was not really pushing it.
Over time, I no longer offered this service.
It was not because I thought groomers should not brush teeth.
It was because I felt that brushing a dogs teeth once every 4, 6 or 8 weeks did nothing to help the dog.

I am big time believer in helping the dog and the owner whenever possible.
I express Anal Glans as part of the grooming.
I do not force the issue with the dog, and have no problem sending them to a vet if I can not easily express them.
I also believe in plucking the ears.
This is also done only if the dog allows it.
My customers are told up front that I DO NOT force anything on their pet.
I will say that one of my biggest pet peeves is the number of Vets that hand out ear medicine to a dog owner and then don't bother to pluck and clean out the ears, or show the owner the correct way to apply the medicine.
I also can't tell you how many customers bring their dogs to me stating that their Vet told them to ask ME to make sure that I pluck the ears and express the Anals.

Sorry got off track...
There go those issues I have again.
I do have a tendency to go off on tangents sometimes.

Back to the teeth.
I have no desire to step on a vets toes.
I have sent soooo many customers to their Vets the last few years telling them that they need to have their dogs teeth cleaned, only to have the owner come back to me saying that they could not afford $400 to $600 or more to have their dogs teeth cleaned.

At the Groom Expo in Hershey, I saw a booth were they were selling a dog and cat oral hygiene care system just for groomers.
I have to say that the pictures were impressive, but I am a very skeptical person.
I listened to the sales pitch  and decided to buy some to test on my dogs.
Well, most of my dogs teeth are in pretty good shape.
I wanted to really test it out on a dog with a fair amount of tarter on their teeth.

A few weeks after Hershey, a friend of mine came in to have their Terrier groomed.
While talking, he mentioned that he had asked his Vet about getting Mr. Peeves teeth cleaned.
He was quoted $400 and up depending on what the Vet found.
Now, my friend absolutely loves this little Terrier that he rescued, but he has two kids that he is putting through college, and was having a very hard time justifying paying that much to have teeth cleaned. 
So, I took this as the perfect opportunity to ask if he minded if I  tried the oral care system out on Mr. Peeves.
He told me to go right ahead.
The system comes with an Oral Irrigator, but I had read some reviews saying that the groomers who used it had problems with the irrigator, so I did things a little differently.

This is Mr. Peeves teeth before the bath and groom.

This is what I did:
Step 1: Spray PlaqClnz on teeth. One squirt on each side, around the canine teeth. I also gave one squirt on each side on the back teeth. A total of 4 squirts. 
Hint: Do step 1 at least 20-30 minutes before you put the dog in the tub.
Step 2: Before I bathed  Mr. Peeves, I set my sprayer, I use a garden hose sprayer, to the center setting.
My sprayer also has a button that I can adjust the pressure of the water.
I turned the water pressure down a little less then half way.
I then put the spray right up on the teeth, holding the dogs head down so that the water will run back out of his mouth.
I have found that this is almost the same as using the Oral Irrigator.
Step3: I then used a finger brush to brush the teeth a little.
PlaqClnz does not say to brush, but I thought it might help.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of plaque and tarter that came off the teeth.

This was before the bath.

This was after.


I was very happy with the results on this dog.
His teeth are not totally clean, but there is a major difference.
PlaqClnz in no way replaces a Vet dental cleaning.
I feel it is an option for pet owners who want to clean their dogs teeth, but are financially unable to.
I have found that PlaqClnz does not work this well on every dog.
If there is a lot of tarter build up, PlaqClnz only cleans a little tarter off.
I have also noticed, that if the Treatment is given again for 2 or 3 following groomings, the teeth become cleaner each time. 

I also feel that PlaqClnz should not be used on dogs with inflamed gums and tarter that has pushed the gum up, exposing the root.
PlaqClnz could help a lot of my senior dogs who are getting too old to be put under by the Vet for a dental cleaning.

PlaqClnz recommends charging @$20 for the Treament, $20 for the follow up Gel that you can send home with the owner.

I have not decided what to charge for this service yet.
I want to make it affordable enough that they will make it a routine to have their dogs teeth cleaned with each grooming.

I never claimed to be a salesman.
Happy Grooming,MFF


  1. I've been looking into this product. I see this is an older post. Do you still use it? Thanks, Marg

    1. Hi Marg,
      This product turned out to be a 50/50 success. It worked great on some dogs and not so great on others. It was worth it on the dogs that it did work on. I don't feel like I wasted my money. :)
      Lisa, MFF