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Veterinarian Technician February 2009 (Vol 30, No 2)

New educational dental website launched

by Lynette Cole, DVM, MS, DACVD, K. Smith, J. McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Joseph Kowalski, DVM, PhD, DACVM, Andrew Hillier, BVSc, DACVD

    To celebrate February as "National Pet Dental Health Month," P&G, maker of IAMS and Eukanuba brands of pet foods, and VPI Pet Insurance have collaborated to launch the Healthy Teeth for Pets campaign.

    Part of the campaign is a website — healthyteethforpets.com — that educates pet owners about the importance of pet dental care. The website features instructional videos about how to brush a pet's teeth and identifies dental problems.

    The website is an important educational tool. A recent American Animal Hospital Association study shows that approximately two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care that is recommended as essential by veterinarians. In addition, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop gum disease by the time they are 3 years of age.

    The campaign recommends that by following the "3Ds" — daily brushing, dentistry and diet — pet owners can make an impact on their pet's oral health and overall health:

    • Daily brushing — Make it a routine to brush the pet's teeth every day, which will remove plaque and slow the development of tartar.
    • Dentistry — Consult a veterinarian and have dental check-ups annually or semi-annually.
    • Diet — Diet is important to maintaining good oral health. Some dry canine diets can help block tartar formation.

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