What is the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)?
The VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) is an organization that consists of nine veterinary dentists and dental scientists with experience of scientific protocols and study design; there is also a non-voting Director. The Council members are appointed by the President and Board of Directors of the American Veterinary Dental College, which oversees the policies and procedures of the Council.
The Council reviews submissions and recommends whether to award the VOHC Seal to a product. Council members also consider additions or changes to VOHC policies. Council decisions are made in the form of recommendations for ratification by the AVDC Board of Directors.
When joining the Council, new members sign a conflict-of-interest statement and agree to abide by a confidentiality policy (below). Council members other than the Director serve without remuneration.
While not a regulatory agency, the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) will award a product its “Seal of Acceptance” if the information submitted demonstrates the required dental efficacy. All submissions are voluntary, but the VOHC does require assurance by a company that a product awarded the VOHC Seal is safe and meets all applicable regulatory requirements. The VOHC also requires the company to inform them of any problems with the product following issuance of the VOHC Seal.
When VOHC authorizes use of its Approval Seal, it’s only in regard to the product’s dental efficacy. VOHC makes no certification, representation or warranty as to the product’s safety; in fact, a product will sometimes cause an intestinal upset or even injury and, if that happens, the VOHC is not liable.
VOHC recommends that all of the products on its VOHC Accepted list are used as recommended by the manufacturer and that treat products are given when the pet can be observed by the owner. Almost all dogs and cats enjoy the chewing action and taste of palatable treats, and typically spend a few minutes chewing the product rather than bolting it down whole or in large pieces. If your pet does not chew the product thoroughly, discontinue use of the treat.
If warranted, the VOHC will take action if FDA or other appropriate regulatory authority finds fault with a class of products or a specific product that is included in the VOHC Accepted list.