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Smile! February is pets' dental health month
"Doggie breath” could be a sign of
life-threatening disease

Act now before it's too late!

February is national pet dental health month
How many teeth do dogs have and what are the benefits of keeping their gums and teeth clean? |  So why do domesticated dogs suffer from dental disease? |  The answer
Other relevent dental health links


February is national pet dental health month

Don't turn away from Fido's bad breath! That horrible odour is telling you he has a serious dental health problem with the potential to damage not only his teeth and gums but his internal organs as well.

To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February.

Click on the links below to learn more about how you can improve the dental and overall general health of your dog.

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How many teeth do dogs have and what are the benefits of keeping their gums and teeth clean?

Keeping your dog's teeth and gums healthy will go a long way to preventing bad breath, periodontal disease and an extremely uncomfortable and painful mouth for your best Buddy.

An adult dog is blessed with 42 teeth (the Chow Chow is the exception with 44 teeth) and all have a highly specialised tasks to perform, such as:

  • fangs or canine teeth, sometimes referred to by humans as eye teeth - these are for grasping and killing prey
  • premolars and molars; these run along the sides of both jaws and are used for ripping and tearing meat from their prey and crushing up their bones
  • Incisor teeth, these teeth are found at the front of both jaws, and their primary purpose is for grooming.

In the wild, this process works extremely well, and canine relatives of our domestic dogs such as wolves and dingos don't suffer from dental disease.

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So why do domesticated dogs suffer from dental disease?

Recent studies indicate only 2% of dog owners bother to clean their pets' teeth on a daily basis

As a result, dogs are walking around with grades two, three and four periodontal disease.

It is almost the norm, for dog owners to accept the fact that their dogs have smelly breaths and horrible yellowish brown looking teeth, and they don't give a second thought to their pets' pain and suffering

Why is it then, that when I was a kid living in the country, my Mum fed our cats and dogs on fresh raw meat, and our pets had beautiful white teeth and no dental disease? And now we have millions of family pets walking around plagued with the ravages of dental disease.

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The answer

The answer lies directly with the power of the International dog food companies and their huge marketing budgets which have produced a generation of dogs:

  • eating processed canned and dry food, which contains preservatives and ingredients from foreign countries such as China
  • of which 80% have or will have some degree of dental disease by the time they reach three years of age
  • needing veterinary dental care, to the extent that dog dental care is the #1 most common health problem seen by vets today. It is also known as the fastest growing segment of veterinarian clinics and surgeries in the western world and contributes hugely to vet's bottom line and profits

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Other relevent dental health links

If you have a dog with bad breath or dental disease, we have all the answers for you in our segment on Teeth.

How to clean your dog's teeth and keep their gums and teeth healthy and strong

Bad breath

Periodontal or gum disease

Frequently asked questions

Only natural dental products

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This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for

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