Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kiss me. NOT!

Please choose the correct answer:

This is what happens when:

a) Sparky doesn't floss
b) Sparky doesn't brush for two minutes each day
c) Sparky has never had a full anesthetic dental cleaning

The correct answer is c.

Isn't it always?

Teeth are not supposed to be black and green. A dog's breath may smell but it shouldn't remind you of a septic tank explosion. When a dog eats, he shouldn't have to swallow food AND pus.

If you are a dog owner, part of that responsibility is to look after its teeth. Take a look in your pet's mouth (but only if you trust that he won't remove a finger) and trust me when I say that the teeth shouldn't look like slimy green pebbles.

Better yet, keep up with your pet's annual examination and your vet will look at the teeth for you. If he or she recommends a dental cleaning, then schedule it for the sake of your pet's health.

It will cost a couple hundred dollars for a full ANESTHETIC cleaning (a lot more if there are extractions) but it will be worth it. Your pet will live longer and be much, much happier and healthier.

Don't believe in those non-anesthetic teeth cleanings. There is no way that your groomer, neighbor, dog trainer or anyone else is going to do a thorough job with the cleaning. They will not be able to clean the inside of the teeth or underneath the gumline even with the most well behaved of dogs. If you do an anesthesia-free cleaning, then you are not only wasting your money but you are putting your pet's health in jeopardy.

Anesthesia is very safe for pets these days (but also remember you get what you pay for) and a healthy mouth is worth the minimal risk.

And if you don't keep up with the cleanings, then your pet's mouth could end up looking like the picture above.

Hope he doesn't lick your face.

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