Pet plaque will soon be under attack.

On March 19 and 20, the Hacienda O’Holland Animal Care Foundation will host an inexpensive opportunity for pet owners — the chance to have their dog’s and/or cat’s teeth cleaned for a fraction of the usual cost.

Normally priced around $500, this event — organized by Solvang-based animal enthusiast Hazel Mortensen — will not only cost the owners $100 per cleaning, but 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the foundation.

While $100 may seem excessive for a pet’s teeth cleaning, Mortensen claims the benefits far outweigh the financial burden. Being the owner of a 21-year-old pooch (quite the rarity), Mortensen seems to know quite a bit about keeping a pet’s health pluperfect. “My dog is 21 because he’s had good dental hygiene,” she said.

According to Mortensen, pets’ mouths are much more than just barking and meowing machines. Referencing information relayed to her via a veterinarian, Mortensen confirms that plaque paves the way for a “pus pocket that drips into the body 24/7.” Therefore, neglecting to have dogs’ and cats’ teeth cared for will most likely lead to periodontal disease, as well as an increased risk of heart and/or kidney failure, Mortensen said.

And if such startling diagnoses are not incentive enough, Mortensen says that fixing such health problems is “much more costly” than preventing them.

Unlike typical pet teeth-cleaning procedures, this event will not anesthetize the pets, alleviating one concern many pet owners have about the process. The dental hygienist will, according to Mortensen, simply cradle the dog or cat between her legs, using sterile and individual instruments for each pet.

All dogs (which must be on a short leash) and cats (which must be in a fiberglass carrier) of all ages are welcome, but humans under the age of 18 are not. No proof of the pets’ medical records is necessary, but a pre-procedure walk for all dogs is highly recommended.

“I hope that people will make the most of this,” Mortensen said. “Clean teeth for animals is very important.”

Because there will only be one animal dental hygienist on hand, space is limited to 50 pets for the combined days. RSVP is required. To do so, please call Mortensen at (805) 688-7475. The Foundation is located at 838 Ballard Canyon Road in Solvang.


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