Commonly asked dental related questions and myths busted!
With so many dogs overweight, is it responsible to suggest a high calorie treat?
Pedigree® Dentastix® aren't a high calorie treat – even the
largest size only contains 116 calories. Pedigree® Dentastix®
is a low fat product, too, with only 1.5% fat. To make sure that your dog doesn't
gain weight, reduce the amount of food you give them at mealtimes slightly to compensate
for the Pedigree® Dentastix®. You can work this out using
our feeding tool.
What does 'clinically proven' actually mean?
A number of independent studies have shown that Pedigree® Dentastix®
help reduce plaque and tartar build up – the original recipe was extensively tested
for efficacy in 2002, and results of this study were published in the peer-reviewed
Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
My dog has bad breath. Could teeth and gum problems be causing it?
Bad breath is most often a sign of gum disease due to the build up of plaque & unhealthy
bacteria in the mouth, however, in a small number of cases there can be other causes.
If you notice your dog has developed bad breath it is best to get it checked out
by a vet.
What's the difference between plaque and tartar?
Plaque occurs when the bacteria on the teeth form an off-white, sticky layer that
attracts food particles. If the plaque isn't removed it hardens to form tartar (a
brown, rough deposit on the teeth) within days. The rough surface of tartar makes
an ideal place for more plaque to grow. Tartar can only be removed by scaling a
dog's teeth under general anaesthetic. Keeping your dog's teeth free of tartar makes
it easier to dislodge plaque – helping their teeth and gums stay healthier.
My dog is only a puppy; do I need to look after his teeth yet? Isn't gum disease
only a problem for older dogs?
It's true that gum disease gets worse over time so older dogs tend to find it more
of a problem. But gum disease often starts at a relatively young age in breeds like
Yorkshire Terriers and Miniature Poodles. And in any dog, once gum disease has started
it can progress rapidly. So it is good to establish an oral care routine early in
your dog's training. All dogs should have their teeth and gums looked after at home
and examined twice a year by the vet.
Do dogs get toothache? I've noticed that my dog's behaviour has changed - is this
a sign of a problem?
Yes, dogs can suffer from toothache. Fractured and broken teeth affect the nerves
and can cause pain. Inflamed or infected areas in the mouth are also very sore and
advanced gum disease can be very painful. Often there are no outward signs of mouth
pain at all. If your dog is behaving differently or showing obvious signs of mouth
pain, like refusing to eat or eating on one side only, the problem is probably severe
and you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Wild animals don't have their teeth cleaned, why should my dog?
All dogs can suffer from gum disease, whether wild or domesticated, however it is
a disease that is progressive with age. Domestic dogs today live a lot longer than
those in the wild, so it is more likely for gum disease to be prevalent. Due to
the extra years, it is more likely that the disease will progress to the latter
I've tried cleaning my dog's teeth, but he either bites the toothbrush or – even
worse – me! How can I get around this?
Brushing your dog's teeth can be a little tricky, especially if your dog isn't used
to it. You need to introduce the procedure very gradually, making it part of his
daily routine. See our
for more information.
It's sugar that causes dental problems in dogs – just like in humans
Dogs' mouths aren't as similar to ours as you might expect. Their saliva contains
different bacteria and their diets contain far less sugar than ours so they don't
experience the same tooth decay that we do if we eat too many sugary sweets. Gum
disease is a real issue for dogs, so preventing plaque and tartar is key to keeping
their gums healthy into old age.
All dogs get gum disease eventually – it just happens as they get older
Not all dogs get gum disease, and those who do don't all develop it at the same
age. Small and toy breeds like Miniature Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers have lots
of teeth close together in a small mouth, so they're more likely to be affected.
The best defence for any breed is to establish an in home oral care routine and
to make sure that your dog's teeth are checked twice a year by a vet.
My dog eats a Pedigree® Dentastix® really quickly. Will it
Our research shows that even when dogs take just 40-50 seconds to finish a Pedigree®
Dentastix®, they still chew it between 90 and 130 times. This makes a
big difference to the plaque and tartar on their teeth. So don't worry too much
if your dog is a speedy chewer.