Dog Health,  Industry News

Half of dog owners don’t brush their pet’s teeth

The dental health of UK pets could be improved by greater awareness and use of homecare products, new research reveals.

Research carried out by Hartpury University found that home dental care products are currently under-used by dog owners in the UK.

The study of 422 dog owners revealed that only 4% of owners used a toothbrush daily, while 50.9% had never brushed their pet’s teeth, and 92% had never used dog toothpaste.

Of respondents, 25.7% stated that inspecting or looking at all their dogs’ teeth was ‘very difficult’ or ‘fairly difficult’, while 74.3% stated it was ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’. Canine behavioural reasons were listed as the main cause for any difficulties experienced.

Owners were asked what they considered to be important for good dental health in dogs. Special dental dog food and dental chews were selected to be of minor importance by 39.7% and 36.7%, respectively, with 33.7% rating toothbrushing as very important.

Carol Gray, Principal Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing at Hartpury University and one of the research authors, said: “It’s clear that a lack of adequate canine dental homecare among dog owners stems from a lack of awareness of the importance of the routine in order to prevent periodontal disease.”

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