The white football named Phinney barely moves as pet groomer Tricia Doran puts a dental pick to the dog’s teeth.
She moves her hands expertly around the dog’s mouth, checking for any infection or major dental problems. Then she uses the pick, scaling off some slight tartar buildup along the gum line. Phinney doesn’t flinch but sits still and casts calm glances around the room.
Doran brushes Phinney’s teeth with a gritty, fruit-flavored “prophy paste,” and the whole procedure, which took less than 15 minutes, is done.
“Believe it or not, clipping their toenails is more difficult,” Doran said.
Doran, the owner of Foxy Hound pet grooming in Avon, said she offers pet owners a safer and cheaper method of teeth cleaning for their dogs and cats. The typical procedure at a veterinarian’s office can cost hundreds of dollars and requires putting the animal under anesthesia, something that Doran says is unnecessary and risky. She charges $85 for the service, she said.
“When I first started working here, I saw that all the dogs’ teeth were beautiful,” she said. “But then I was astonished to find out these dogs were going under every six months for teeth cleaning,”
The dangers aren’t in veterinary care, she said, but any sort of anesthesia has inherent risk. Also, the procedure and recovery will take at least a full day, and the blood work and anesthesia are the bulk of teeth cleaning costs, she said.