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‘Pets Need Dental Care, Too’

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‘Pets Need Dental Care, Too’
‘Pets Need Dental Care, Too’ educates pet owners on link between healthy mouths and healthy bodies.

Hill's Pet Nutrition Canada and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) have launched the 2012 Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign (PDHA) to increase awareness of the link between oral and overall health. "It takes combined teamwork from the health care team and the owner to ensure proper pet dental health is achieved," said Susan M. Jones, DVM, director of veterinary affairs at Hill's Pet Nutrition Canada.

"The Pet Dental Health awareness campaign educates and rewards the team and the owner, but the dogs and cats who receive better oral care as a result are the real winners," Jones said.

The campaign's message to pet owners follows a healthy equation for life: Daily brushing plus regular dental checkups plus the right nutrition equals improved oral and overall health of pets. To help reinforce this, the campaign offers a kit to pet owners available through the veterinary health care team. The kit contains a brochure on proper dental care, pet toothbrush kit, brushing quick-reference card and cardboard smile stick for pet photos. Pet owners can also visit to learn more about "the healthy equation for life" and Hill's Prescription Diet Oral Health pet food.

"The CVMA is pleased to partner with Hill's again on this important wellness issue," says Lloyd Keddie, DVM, CVMA president. "Proper dental care is extremely important to the overall well-being of dogs and cats."

Research has shown a strong link between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Bacteria can buildup in a pet's mouth, which can form lesions and spread pathogens to remote tissues and organs in the body. Conversely, a strong link has been seen between good oral health and a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Brushing a pet's teeth properly each day is considered the gold standard and can help reduce plaque buildup. However, for pet owners who are reluctant to use brushing, through a veterinarian's recommendation, Hill's Prescription Diet pet food can be incorporated, which works like a toothbrush to fight oral bacteria.

"Prevention of periodontal disease starts before dental disease has developed. If we're going to prevent it we have to be ahead of the curve," said Fraser Hale, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC, practice owner of Hale Veterinary Clinic. "Since there's really no downside to having a good periodontal program in place, we should apply that to all cats and dogs. It's a win-win for the longevity of the pet."



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