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On April 8, 2013

Nutrition focus: Pet dental health

Preventative oral care for pets can start in the pet's food bowl, but consumers need to get the facts

According to VPI Pet Insurance, by the age of three years old, eight out of 10 dogs and seven out of 10 cats are already showing signs of oral disease. In 2012 alone, VPI Pet Insurance policyholders spent US$9.8 million on pet dental conditions. Of those claims, periodontal disease accounted for 52% of all dental conditions treated. According to VPI, the average cost for a pet teeth cleaning is US$166, while the average claim amount for treating tooth-related disease is US$227. Teaching pet parents that preventative pet oral care can add years to their pet’s lives and save them money in the future is an imperative message for the petfood and treat industry to spread.

“Periodontal disease is  the most common problem veterinary health care teams see in dogs and cats,” said Susan Jones, D.V.M., director of veterinary affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada. “Unfortunately, oral health issues often lead to more systemic health issues and our pets then end up facing more serious problems that could have been prevented."

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada launched the 2013 Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign to increase awareness of the connection between oral and overall health. Pet owners can visit the website to learn more about their pets' oral health. The campaign offers a kit for pet owners through local veterinarians, which contains a brochure on proper dental care, a pet toothbrush, a human toothbrush and a guide for brushing pets' teeth. Along with the Pet Dental Health Awareness campaign, Hill's

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