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On January 14, 2014

Pet dental health: An important market for the petfood industry

As consumers become more and more aware of their pet’s oral health needs, the petfood industry must be prepared to step in with answers.

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February is National Pet Dental Health Month, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and if giving this subset of pet health its own month doesn't underline its importance to the petfood industry, perhaps this will: the AVMA says that periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs. However you look at it, pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of their pets' teeth and mouths as part of overall animal health, and the petfood industry is taking steps to capitalize on that awareness.

Oral health is, in fact, one of the top three concerns for companion animal owners, according to Sarah-Jane Godfrey of DSM Nutritional Products. Approximately 70% of cats and 80% of dogs develop some form of periodontal disease by the time they're three years old, and pet owners are looking for effective product solutions from the pet industry to help them maintain their furry companion's oral health.

Naturally, this concern and these numbers beg the question, what can be done to improve pet health? There's always daily tooth brushing, and the AVMA and other organizations, as well as individual veterinarians, provide tutorials and encouragement that focus on just that. However, according to a DSM pet owner survey only 16% of dog owners clean their pet's teeth every day, driving the need for…

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