For a printable PDF of the entire document, click here.

The 2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats outline a comprehensive approach to support companion animal practices in improving the oral health and often, the quality of life of their canine and feline patients. The guidelines are an update of the 2013 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. A photographically illustrated, 12-step protocol describes the essential steps in an oral health assessment, dental cleaning, and periodontal therapy. Recommendations are given for general anesthesia, pain management, facilities, and equipment necessary for safe and effective delivery of care. To promote the wellbeing of dogs and cats through decreasing the adverse effects and pain of periodontal disease, these guidelines emphasize the critical role of client education and effective, preventive oral healthcare.

AAHA Dental Guidelines Task Force

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP (Canine/Feline)
All Pets Dental, Weston, Florida

Mary L. Berg, BS, LATG, RVT, VTS (Dentistry)
Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education, Lawrence, Kansas

Sonnya Dennis, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline)
Stratham-Newfields Veterinary Hospital, Newfields, New Hampshire

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVAA
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Heidi B. Lobprise, DVM, DAVDC
Main Street Veterinary Dental Hospital, Flower Mount, Texas

Christopher J. Snyder, DVM, DAVDCꞎ
Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Amy E.S. Stone, DVM, PhD
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

Andrea G. Van de Wetering, DVM, FAVD
Advanced Pet Dentistry, LLC, Corvallis, Oregon

C. Snyder was the chair of the Dental Care Guidelines Task Force

Contributing Reviewers

R. Michael Peak, DVM, DAVDC
The Pet Dentist, Tampa, Florida

Jeanne R. Perrone, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
VT Dental Training, Plant City, Florida

Kevin S. Stepaniuk, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC
Veterinary Dentistry Education and Consulting Services, LLC, Ridgefield, Washington

Correspondence: [email protected]

NAD (nonanesthetic dentistry); PD (periodontal disease staging); VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council); VTS (Dentistry) (Veterinary Technician Specialist[s] in Dentistry)