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Pet Dental Health Campaign Urges Pet Owners Not to Brush off Dental Homecare

TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Because pets deserve a great quality of life, Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., maker of Hill's(R) Prescription Diet(R) and Hill's(R) Science Diet(R) brand pet foods is cosponsoring the 15th annual Pets Need Dental Care, Too(TM) campaign. This campaign provides veterinary health care teams with materials to discuss with pet-owners the importance of scheduling regular, professional oral health exams and establishing an at-home dental care routine to maintain their pet's good oral health.


Tiger, an 8-year-old domestic shorthair cat, seemed to be in good health except for the plaque, calculus and gingivitis his veterinarian found during his annual physical exam. Tiger's owner mentioned his breath also had a bad odor, and his veterinarian recommended daily brushing; however, the pet owner felt she could not comply with brushing because of Tiger's resistance. Tiger's veterinarian pointed out that if his present condition was not managed with veterinary treatment and a daily at-home regimen, he could become uncomfortable, lose teeth, and possibly develop serious systemic complications.(1)

Emerging science is showing that the mouth is a window into the health of the human body and can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. For example, systemic diseases--those that affect the entire body--may first become apparent as an aspect of periodontal disease.(2) The same is true in cats and dogs, so ignoring the condition of a pet's mouth can lead to serious dental and possibly systemic disease.

"Regular preventive dental care includes oral home care by the pet owner and routine professional dental care. If a preventive program is practiced, the pet will be healthier and the owner will avoid costly diagnostics and treatment of serious dental disease," said Linda J. DeBowes, D.V.M., MS, DAVDC, Shoreline Veterinary Dental Clinic, Seattle, Wash.

Although daily tooth brushing is advised for dogs and cats, the reality is that only two percent of dog owners follow through. In addition, 66 percent of dogs with stage one periodontal disease often go untreated because veterinary health care teams do not recommend early treatment options such as professional dental cleaning and dental x-rays.(3)

"It's a great idea for pet owners to plan an annual visit to their veterinarian to detect any potential health problems," said Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, veterinary technician specialist at Hill's. "Preventing and treating periodontal disease through routine veterinary visits and home care protocols are essential aids to ensuring a pet's high quality of life."

The 2009 Pet Dental Health Campaign is made possible by a partnership between American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Dental Society, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, American Veterinary Dental College, Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, Veterinary Oral Health Council(R) and Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc.

For more information on proper pet dental care, contact your veterinarian and visit

  1. Oral health & compliance. NAVC Clinician's Brief. December 2004. P25.
  2. Healthy mouth, healthy body. Journal American Dental Association, April 2006;137:563.
  3. The Path to High Quality Care: Practical Tips for Improving Compliance. American Animal Hospital Association, 2003.

SOURCE Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc.
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