Never mind Valentine’s Day. We’re “celebrating” something you’re not likely to exchange Hallmark cards about — National Pet Dental Month! Like Valentine’s Day, it’s an event that encourages you to spend money on your loved ones, in this case, your pets with bad teeth.

Don't brush me.
Photo taken 5 February 2011

Both Bows are supposed to be about the same age, six years old, but there’s a pretty big difference in the condition of their teeth. Above is Bowdu’s “Alien” face, after H.R. Giger’s toothy monster. Sometimes he makes a stink because he doesn’t want to be Furminated, but I assure you that it looks scarier than it actually is.

Yes brush me
Photo taken 10 July 2010

And sometimes he enjoys his brushings, so his eyes roll back in his head even though he’s baring his teeth. At any rate, we get ample opportunity to examine Bowdu’s teeth, and they’re looking pretty good, even with the mild tartar buildup.

Bowpi's going in for a dental
Photos taken 1 November 2010

Bowpi, on the other hand, came to us with terrible teeth and horrid breath. We’ve already seen much improvement since she arrived. In the picture above, the rim of brown on her incisors marks where tartar used to be caked, all the way up to her gums. A regimen of dental chews, hard kibble, raw meaty bones, and anti-plaque additives sprinkled over her food has done wonders over these months (I failed at learning how to brush her teeth), but she still needs more thorough work.

Bowpi's going in for a dental.

She’s been examined by a few techs and veterinarians, who aren’t expecting any extractions though the most severe funkiness on the back right molar (only partially exposed above) might need a closer look. At any rate, none of the professionals who checked her out thought her case was urgent, and recommended waiting until National Pet Dental month (February) so we could take advantage of month-long discounts on the procedure.

With estimates starting at $550 (before discounts) and going as high as $1300, you BET it means a lot if we can knock 20 ~ 25% off the bill!

Bowpi’s appointment is scheduled for tomorrow. My credit card is as ready as it’ll ever be.