Pets need better dental care, according to a study conducted by Brakke Consulting Inc. and Ipsos Agriculture and Animal Health. In the study, which included national surveys of both veterinarians and pet owners, veterinarians indicated that the majority of the pets they see have dental problems. But the vast majority of pet owners consider their pets’ dental status as “normal” and less than 30% recognized any potential problems.
Pet owners’ primary defense against teeth and gum problems in their pets are dental treats and chews. The majority (80% of dog owners and 50% of cat owners) purchased dental chews or treats in the past year. A small minority have purchased other products such as rinses, sealers and pet food with dental claims. Veterinarians said they have been trying to put more emphasis on pet dental care, and half of those said dental revenue has been up in the past two years compared to the previous period.
This might help bridge the gap, as communication may be a significant part of the problem, according to the research. WHile more than 90% of veterinarians said they "always" check the oral health status of their patients, only 25% said they actually provide a written report to their clients. Less than half of pet owners recall discussing their pets' oral health during the most recent examination.