Holland therapy dog taking the pain out of a trip to the dentist

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 31, 2015

HOLLAND, Mich. -- There are all kinds of working dogs. They're usually guide dogs, police K-9's and special assistance dogs. But how about a dental dog?

Meet Baci, she's is a certified therapy dog taking the pain out of a trip to the dentist.

At Dr. Piero's dental practice in Holland, Baci's main job is greeting the patients at the door.

“That’s her main job is to greet people, make them feel at ease. Kids love her and she really brings a huge asset to the practice" explains Dr. Piero.

Mikaela McWethy a young patient says, "I think it’s fun cause I really like dogs and so it’s good to have her there."

Not only is she a fun addition to the office, she's also the spokes-dog for good dental hygiene.

“She took that on herself" explains Dr. Piero, "We brush her teeth every day and then it became something that she wanted all the time. As soon as she gets done eating, she wants her teeth brushed.”

Besides showing people how to take care of their smiles, Baci is also in charge of keeping the doctor on schedule throughout the day.

“When I seat a patient and I go to tell him the patient is here she will bark at him before I can even get there to tell him, cause she hears the chair and she senses that she needs to get in there" explains Debrah Ryder, Dr. Piero's dental assistant, "And she will herd him like a sheep dog into the room that he needs to go into.”

Dr. Piero was looking for a way to help put patients at ease and calm some of the jitters during a visit, so he added Baci to the mix. She's a certified therapy dog with seven years in the business and she knows exactly when her assistance is needed.    “She’ll sense when there’s anxiety, so she’ll almost come to the chair and sit by the chair and lend a hand" says Dr. Piero, "She’ll put her paw up or just bring her head over so people can touch her and have contact with her to bring their blood pressure down.”

Baci also has a very unique and surprising sense that she brings to the family dentistry practice. “She senses when someone is going to lose a tooth, it’s the most bizarre thing" says Dr. Piero.

For more on Dr. Piero & Baci visit their website:

Dental Dog    Fox Terrier