Month focuses on effective dental care, healthy pets


Topeka, Kan. - 12/4/07 - With oral disease marking the most frequently diagnosed health problems for pets, National Dental Health Month kicks off in February.

Topeka, Kan. - 12/4/07 - With oral disease marking the most frequent diagnosed health problem for pets, National Dental Pet Health Month kicks off in February.

An estimated 80 percent of dogs and cats age four years and older show signs of oral disease, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). This showcases the need for the 14th annual Pets Need Dental Care, Too program, aimed to encourage veterinary health care teams to talk with clients about scheduling regular dental appointments for their pets and establishing an in-home dental care routine.

"Effective oral care coupled with regular, professional dental care provides the pet with an optimal combination for maintaining a healthy mouth ," says Linda DeBowes, DVM, MS. "This combination not only decreases plaque accumulation, but also providees an opportunity to identify oral problems earlier than they might otherwise be detected."

Cosponsored by AVDS, the American Veterinary Medical Association , "a href="" target="_blank"> Academy of Veterinary Dentistry , American Veterinary Dental College, Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians and "a href="" target="_blank"> Hill's Pet Nutrition , National Dental Health Month also offers the opportunity for veterinary teams that promote pet dental health in their communities to win rewards for their hospitals through the nationwide Pet Dental Awareness Contest. Prizes include monetary awards, subscriptions to the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry and memberships into the American Veterinary Dental Society.

"Veterinary health care team members should help their clients understand that while February is the month designated for the promotion of pet dental health, ensuring proper oral care requires a yearlong commitment," says Janet Donlin, DVM, chief of Veterinary Business Channel at Hill's. "By promoting routine maintenance, they can help clients prevent serious periodontal disease and ensure a healthier life for their pets."

Hill's will also make National Pet Dental Health Month Kits available this month to veterinary hospitals nationwide. Containing a program guide with suggested activities to educate clients, dental care brochures, window clings, temporary tattoos, information on Hill's Prescription Diet t/d brand pet food, which helps control daily plaque and tartar, kits can be requested by visitinig or calling (877) 552-1550,

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