More than one in five dog owners admit they NEVER brush their dogs’ teeth, research shows.
A study of 2,000 owners revealed most pet pooches only get their gnashers cleaned on a monthly basis.
And 23 percent said their dog actively disliked or even hated getting their teeth brushed.
Trying to bite the toothbrush (21 percent), tensing up (20 percent) and running away (16 percent), were the main reactions dogs have to getting their teeth cleaned.
Some of the main tactics deployed to get their canine to cooperate when brushing their teeth was to bribe them with treats (32 percent) or distract them (30 percent).
Meanwhile, 17 per cent clean their dog’s teeth several times-a-week and more than one in four (27 percent) do carry out checks in the same time frame.
Giving their dog dental chews (53 per cent), brushing with dog toothpaste (52 per cent), and using chew toys (36 per cent) are the most common ways people clean their furry friend's teeth.
Dr. Jayne Laycock, resident vet at YuMOVE, which created its Dental Care Sticks to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth, said: “Doggy dental issues are one of the most commonly reported problem at UK vets.
“Issues occur when plaque and tartar build up on dog’s teeth over time, which is caused by excessive levels of bad bacteria in the mouth.
“While our research shows some people do brush their dog’s teeth and use dental products at home, many of those will only do the job of cleaning away the dirt and grime on the surface of the teeth, but it won’t necessarily tackle the root cause of the problem.“
The survey, carried out by OnePoll, shows while some people regularly have their dog’s teeth checked at the vets, 41 percent felt they only needed to take them to the vet about their oral health if it was an obvious problem.
And yet 44 percent say they visit the dentist at least once every six months - regardless of whether they are experiencing dental troubles or just for a routine checkup.
Worryingly, 24 percent felt because they brushed their dog’s teeth regularly, they do not need to take them to the vet to for a check-up.
While 59 percent rated their dog’s dental hygiene as good or very good - with only seven percent thinking it was bad - or very bad.
Bleeding gums (45 percent), bad breath (41 percent) and plaque build-up (38 percent) were the main concerns for those worried.
There are similar comparisons about what people notice when they first look at a dog and look at another person, too.
Faces (43 percent), eyes (36 percent) and teeth (24 percent) were features people noticed when first spotting a dog.
While the face (50 percent), eyes (38 percent) and teeth (29 percent) were characteristics people first noticed when they saw another person.
Laycock said: “It’s interesting to note how the same features we notice on other people are also mirrored in our canine friends. They are like part of the family and we should treat them as such.
"It’s not uncommon for people to get checked over at the dentist on a regular basis, so it shouldn’t be any different for your dog.”
In a bid to get the nation talking about doggy dental health, YuMOVE teamed up with some of the nation’s best-loved TV personalities, including Sara Cox, Nadia Sawalha, Jorgie Porter and Radzi Chinyanganya - who all took to social media with their pets over the weekend.
Each one sported a set of gnarly dentures to draw attention to what dog owners might be missing and to encourage them to take action in supporting their dog’s oral health.
Sara Cox, presenter and dog mom to Dolly and Daisy, said: “I think every dog owner knows it’s important to keep their dog’s teeth and mouth clean but the truth is, few of us really understand how to do that right.
“I was really interested to learn that my dogs should visit the vet for a dental check as often as me and working with veterinary experts has definitely shown me that maintaining a regular oral care routine for my dogs is vital to their overall health and happiness.”
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