Pet specialty dental chew and treat maker, the Greenies Brand, recently conducted a new study on pet oral health to uncover common myths about pet owners' beliefs.
Among pet owners' most commonly held beliefs, the study found that almost half of pet owners believe that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than a human’s and that any type of chewing is good for a dog’s teeth. The study also found that about 40 percent think it is normal for their pets to have stinky breath. About one-third of pet owners believe that a dog’s saliva can help cure human wounds.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding a pet’s oral health,” said Dr. Jan Bellows, incoming president of the American Veterinary Dental College. “Dogs’ mouths are certainly not cleaner than a human’s. Dogs often carry a variety of germs and bacteria in their mouths that stem from buildup of plaque and tartar that can potentially make humans sick through contact with saliva. Many pet owners also believe that any type of chewing is good for their dogs, but tooth fractures are a common occurrence in pets because teeth can only withstand a certain amount of pressure from hard objects before they break. Pets chewing on inflexible items like bones, ice cubes or nylon toys are often in danger of tooth breakage. And while smelly breath in pets is common, pet owners who believe this is normal may be missing the signs of poor oral health or potential dental disease.”