Concerned about the use of anesthesia during dental scalings? One company has developed a safer simpler way to keep teeth clean and mouths healthy.

Most people dread taking their dogs or cats to the veterinarian for a dental cleaning, since the procedure usually involves anesthesia. Yet dental issues are a health problem in most animals, so it has to be done, right? Not necessarily.

Thanks to Bud Groth and his former business partner David Petersen, there is another way. In 2003, the men founded PetzLife, a company dedicated to natural dental care and other pet products. It started with David, who has a passion for animal health and nutrition. “He learned that over 85% of all illnesses in animals originate in the oral cavity,” says Bud. “He also found that thousands of dogs and cats die or are injured by anesthesia.”

David and Bud first tried some anesthesia-free scaling clinics, but found that wasn’t really the answer either. “There had to be a better way than wrapping dogs and cats in towels and blankets and doing the procedure with the animal visibly stressing out.”

The men returned to the drawing board and did more research. “We happened on the ingredients of grapefruit seed extract, grape seed extract and grain alcohol as a viable alternative to scaling, and it worked.” That’s when PetzLife was born. Available in a gel or spray, the Petzlife line includes a variety of products for removing plaque from a dog or cat’s teeth and controlling the bacteria that can lead to dental disease, without the need for brushing or anesthesia. Flavors include peppermint oil and salmon oil – Bud reports that cats especially like the salmon oil-flavored gel. “The products are all natural,” he adds. “They’re also easy to use and very economical when compared with anethesia scaling. We also now have many anesthesia-free scaling clinics on board using PetzLife before and after the procedure – without wrapping the animal.”

PetzLife offers a variety of additional products such as shampoos and conditioners, aromatherapy mists and an herbal flea and tick repellent. “We also do many promotions with the rescue community by donating product for use in their facilities. Many times a shelter dog or cat is given a bad rap for being overly aggressive, and they’re put down. In some cases, the only reason they are acting this way is because their mouths hurt so badly they don’t want anyone touching them.”

Bud has since purchased David’s share of the business and says he loves going to work each day. “I take phone calls just to get a pulse on what people are asking or saying about our product – over half our business comes from referrals calling to say how a friend or relative has used our product and loved it, and how they do not want to risk anesthesia.” Bud adds that he is very compassionate when it comes to animals, and that we are responsible for their well being. “We are their protection.”