Canine's canines suffer with a poor diet, too
 

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Canine's canines suffer with a poor diet, too

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Canine's canines suffer with a poor diet, too

 

Canine's canines suffer with a poor diet, too

Millions of dogs across the UK may be experiencing avoidable dental pain because their owners give them the wrong kinds of food and fail to care for their teeth properly, experts have warned.

Research by veterinary charity PDSA suggests that the number of dogs with dental disease has risen in recent years.

In light of this worrying finding, the charity's senior veterinary surgeon has issued some advice for owners to help them look after their pets' oral hygiene and prevent avoidable pet insurance claims.

One tell-tale of dental disease is bad breath

Vets have long been concerned by Brits' lack of attention when it comes to their pets' dental health, but new research has highlighted the scale of the problem.

PDSA analysed data collected on more than 13,000 dogs across the UK in 2007 and 2009, which revealed that the number suffering from dental disease rose by 5% during that time.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) of dogs involved in the study were suffering from dental disease in 2009, which means that nearly 2 million out of the UK's 8.3 million dogs could be affected.

The problem is particularly pervasive in Northern Ireland and Wales, where as many as 30% of dogs seem to be suffering from dental complaints.

In contrast, the proportion of affected dogs fell by 7% in London and by 6% in Scotland, although 23% of dogs in the capital and 15% in Scotland still have poor dental health.

Just as in humans, the two main causes of dental disease in dogs are poor diet and lack of routine dental care, according to PDSA.

Senior veterinary surgeon Sean Wensley said that the assumption that dogs naturally lose their teeth as they age is incorrect.

'In reality, with a good diet and oral hygiene, there is no reason why their teeth shouldn't last a lifetime,' he revealed.

For dogs, a good diet means avoiding sugary treats such as biscuits, cereals, peanut butter and chocolate, as these inappropriate foods can contribute to the formation of dental plaque.

Even if pets eat a healthy diet, regular tooth-brushing is 'the most effective way of preventing dental disease', according to Mr Wensley.

The veterinary surgeon advises a daily brushing routine for young pets so that they get used to the process.

Tell-tale signs of dental disease
• bad breath
• yellow/brown teeth
• red or bleeding gums
• pain or swelling of the jaw or face
• food falling from the mouth when eating
• lack of interest in food
• weight loss
• face rubbing
• excessive salivation and difficulty in swallowing

 Posted on : Thu 17th - Jun - 2010

 

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