Second Chance: Love Your Pet’s Teeth On Valentine’s Day

For this Valentine’s special edition to the Second Chance Pet Column I thought about writing about love and flowers and chocolate – but then I became so bored thinking about that squishy stuff, I rolled right off my bed and fell into my litter box. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love love and all that, but I want to write about something with more teeth in it.  

Literally.

Josephine

Yes, aside from February being the most polarizing holiday month of the year –you people either love Valentine’s day or hate it – it also is nationally recognized for other important things. (Gasp! More important than cupid?!?!) How about Walking the Dog Day, February 22; World Spay Day, February 27; and Pet Dental Health Month.

Contrary to popular belief, “doggie breath” is not normal. Dental/gum disease occurs 5X as often in pets as it does in people and affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three. And just like humans, that can be serious.

Infected gums and teeth aren’t just a problem in the mouth: heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected. The tartar in any infected areas of the mouth contain a multitude of bacteria that can “seed” to other parts of the body. With regular dental care, you can prevent some of the more serious side effects for your pet.

As with our human friends, preventative dental care starts early, as in new puppy or kitten early, so talk to your veterinarian about how to initiate a good dental care program, one that includes gum care, at home. Starting when your pets are young can also help to identify retained teeth (which can become a problem if not treated) and bad bite problems.

If your pet is an adult over three  years of age, the American Veterinary Association recommends scheduling a dental check up. Most veterinarians are happy to provide brushing lessons, and many carry brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs and cats. (NOTE: Do not use human toothpaste on your pet!)

And now for a brief Valentine-themed epilogue…

Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places? Clearly the answer is “yes” as we have yet to meet. Don’t spend another Valentine’s Day pining over lost or undiscovered love. Rather, come down to Second Chance Humane Society to meet the love of your life. Adopted love always lasts longer than a box of chocolates and won’t make you feel fat….

My name is Josephine. I am a beautiful 3.5-year-young, black-and-white tuxedo girl who gets along well with other cats. I adore love and sharing it with others. In fact this was initially the beginning of my column that was rejected by my editor: “I love people, I love people that pet me, I love people that play with me, I love people that give me treats, I love people that…” 

Yeah, you get the picture. 

Be my Valentine.

Roo

Our Valentine dog of the week is Roo, a handsome, one- year-young blue heeler mix. Roo’s sweetness will far outshine any box of chocolates or soft teddy bear. He is great with other dogs and gentle with smaller dogs and puppies too.  Roo enjoys playing, exploring and burning off all his energy, so he is requesting an active home.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff with Cabella & Wilbur

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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Kelly Goodin

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