Dogs’ dental problems often ignored by owners
80% of dogs that are over three years old have dental problems. However, 90% of dog owners are unaware of this problem that threatens the wellbeing of their pet. That’s why the UPV, the Professional Union of Veterinarians and Pedigree® join forces once again in order to focus on the importance of good dental hygiene, a correct follow-up and the necessity of visiting the veterinarian once a year. The action starts on the 1st of March and is the kick-off of the Dental Hygiene Month.
Dr. Alexandre Bongartz is a veterinarian and president of the SAVAB (section 2 of the Professional Union of Veterinarians), the French-speaking association of veterinarians specialized in pets. He explains: “Dental problems with dogs are neither rare nor harmless. You can really compare it to the dental issues of human beings. Day after day, we need to take care of the health and hygiene of our teeth by brushing them every day and ideally after every meal. And each year, we need to pay a visit to our dentist for a check-up and scaling of teeth or any other treatment. And the same should go for dogs! An annual check-up is a must, especially for smaller races, in combination with dental hygiene throughout the year: brushing teeth and specific care should be a routine. And still, we see in our practice and in the results from various studies, that this is far from being the case.”
Very few pet owners are aware of the dental problems of their dog (less than 10%). But more than one Belgian in two says bad breath is one of the main problems of their loyal companion. It is interesting to see those two facts are often related. According to Doctor Alexandre Bongartz: “The consequences of a lack in treatment of caries and scale can be much more serious than just bad breath: inflammation of the gums, the loosening and loss of teeth, abscesses and infections of the jaw and sinuses, rhinitis and even damage to vital organs such as the heart or kidneys.”
In order to avoid this type of consequences and to prevent it from happening, it is important to stress the importance of good oral hygiene.
That’s why Pedigree® organizes for the 7th consecutive year the Dental Hygiene Month. March will be dedicated to dental prevention: dog owners are invited to have the teeth of their dog checked at their vet. It is also the ideal moment to attract attention to dental problems and gum problems.
This awareness campaign is organized in collaboration with the UPV (the Professional Union of Veterinarians).
Doctor Alexandre Bongartz, president of the SAVAB, concludes: “In short, if you want to make sure your dog has the right dental hygiene, you need to go to your vet at least once a year. He or she will decide whether scaling or any other treatment is necessary. Once the treatment has been done, you can take care of your dog’s teeth by brushing them daily with an adapted toothbrush, toothpaste without fluorine or regular dental snacks.”
This campaign will get the massive support of TV ads, print adverts and activation material in the point-of-sale and at practices of veterinarians.
For more information on this initiative and on oral care for dogs, please visit www.pedigree.be.