Dry food beneficial for pet’s oral health: Study

Kolkata, Nov 22 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) In a recent research conducted by Mars Petcare Poland and the Waltham centre for pet nutrition on more than 17,000 dogs and 6,000 cats visiting over 700 Polish veterinary surgeries, researchers have found that, that Dry Food in the diet of pet has significant benefits on the Oral Health as compared with Home Cooked Food.

The study shows that improvement was seen in the oral health of dogs and cats when fed with Commercial Dry Food as compared to the home cooked food. Benefits were also seen when daily tooth brushing or dental chews introduced as the daily habit.

According to Dr. Kallahalli Umesh, Waltham Scientific Communication Manager, South Asia, Mars India, “The survey was done amongst 17184 dogs and 6371 cats visiting over 700 Polish veterinary surgeries in 2006–7, where all animals underwent conscious examination to access dental deposits and gingival health.

“And, gum disease like gingivitis is very frequently diagnosed in dogs and cats and therefore, while taking necessary steps like, including dry pet food in the diet, tooth brushing, dental snacks and by regular veterinary check-ups, can definitely have considerable benefits to your pet.”

Abstract of the survey:

Many factors influence the oral health status of cats and dogs.

The present study aimed to elucidate the influence of feeding home-prepared (HP) food v. commercial pet food on oral health parameters in these animals and to investigate the effect of home oral hygiene on oral health.

The study surveyed 17 184 dogs and 6371 cats visiting over 700 Polish veterinary surgeries in 2006–7 during a Pet Smile activity organised by the Polish Small Animal Veterinary Association.

All animals underwent conscious examinations to assess dental deposits, size of mandibular lymph nodes and gingival health. An oral health index (OHI) ranging from 0 to 8 was calculated for each animal by combining examination scores, where 0 indicates good oral health and 8 indicates poorest oral health. Information was collected on age, diet and home oral hygiene regimens.

There was a significant effect of diet on the OHI (P < 0·001) whereby feeding the HP diet increased the probability of an oral health problem in both cats and dogs.

There was a significant beneficial effect of feeding only commercial pet food compared with the HP diet when at least part of the diet was composed of dry pet food.

Daily tooth brushing or the offering of daily dental treats were both effective in significantly reducing the OHI in both cats and dogs compared with those receiving sporadic or no home oral hygiene.

Feeding only a dry diet was beneficial for oral health in cats and dogs. Tooth brushing and the offering of dental treats were very effective in maintaining oral health, provided they were practised daily.

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