Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients

Claire Harrison
Monday, October 2, 2017

A daily oral hygiene regimen should be recommended for all dogs and cats. It is important for owners to understand the implications of painful dental disease and its impact on quality of life. Periodontal disease is the most common disease found in dogs and cats, and other dental conditions are frequently found. Veterinary nurses must convey to owners that prevention is better than treating established disease, and professional dental treatment must be carried out under general anaesthesia. Implementing dental home care in the puppy or kitten life stage can delay the onset of periodontal disease and increase acceptance. Beginning a routine soon after treatment can help prevent disease progression, and increase intervals between future treatments. Assessing the claims of an oral hygiene product or regimen is crucial prior to recommendation. Toothbrushing is the gold standard and has numerous clinical studies to support its effectiveness. However, it is not possible in some animals and continued compliance is low. Other options should be considered in these circumstances and many dental products are available on the veterinary and pet market. It is important to remain cautious of any products with extravagant claims. A balanced diet is very important to general health and some dental diets claim to control plaque or calculus levels. Dental treat chews can also benefit oral health. The safety of products should be considered carefully as bones and hard chews or toys cause dental fractures and should be avoided. The Veterinary Oral Health Council ( provides a seal of acceptance for some products proven to control plaque or calculus.

Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients
Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients

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