In conjunction with February’s National Pet Dental Health Month, Banfield Pet Hospital released results from its survey of pet owners, which found the majority of pet owners are unaware that a pet’s bad breath could be an indication of a greater health problem.
According to the survey, conducted by The Pert Group, bad breath is an early sign of dental disease, which is the most common disease in pets, affecting 78 percent of dogs and 68 percent of cats over 3 years old. More than half (59 percent) of pet owners surveyed did not know that dental disease is the most common disease in cats and dogs.
Although the survey found that more than half (57 percent) of dog owners admitted their pet has bad breath, just 6 percent cited bad smelling breath as a reason to schedule a dental cleaning. Nearly one-third (27 percent) of dog owners surveyed said they have purposely avoided cuddling closely with their dog because of bad breath.
Despite bad breath, 62 percent of dog owners surveyed said they are not planning to take action to alleviate their pet’s bad breath, and 38 percent of dog owners and 29 percent of cat owners surveyed said they have taken their pet to the veterinarian for a professional teeth cleaning.
“It’s a little concerning that more than half of dog owners believe their pet has bad breath but only a small percent would actually seek medical advice from a veterinarian. What pet owners don’t realize is that bad breath is often an indicator of something serious. Many people believe that bad dog breath is normal—it’s actually not,” said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. “Because dental disease is the most common disease affecting dogs and cats over the age of three, it’s critical that pet owners partner with their veterinarian when it comes to their pet’s preventive care, especially their oral health. Simple steps such as twice-yearly visits to the veterinarian and annual professional cleanings are important to keeping pets healthy and happy.”
In an effort to address the issue of pet dental health, Banfield is offering a limited-time coupon for a dental consultation by a veterinarian, which can be downloaded from Banfield’s website during the month of February. Additionally, Banfield’s Facebook fans can enter the “Show Us Your Breath Face Sweepstakes” for a chance to win a one-year Optimum Wellness Plan with dental cleaning from Banfield. Facebook users can enter through March 30 by submitting photos of their facial expressions captured when smelling their pets’ bad breath. In addition to the grand prize, 50 first-prize winners will be selected to receive a Banfield Dental Health Kit.