Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dog Longevity Survey: How Important Is Dental Health for Longevity?

Sadly, not everybody who took the survey sees dental health as important for dog longevity. Almost 10% participants in total feel that it is either somewhat important or not important at all.

Do you agree?


Did you ever have a toothache? Longevity aside, poor dental health can have an extremely negative impact on quality of life. How many dogs do you think go through their lives with constant, sometimes excruciating pain from bad teeth or periodontal disease?

For such dogs, longevity might not even be the goal as all they might end up wanting is to have the pain ended.

Check out those snappers, will you?

Here is the problem with dental disease, though, it affects more than just the mouth.


Dental disease can trash your dog's heart, liver, kidneys, and brain and it can contribute to a number of inflammatory diseases, including cancer.

A friend of mine who is a real-life dentist already wrote a fantastic article on the subject, so instead of repeating the information, I'll point you right to it here.

If you want to do anything to extend your dog's lifespan and give them a good, long life, take care of their teeth.


The statistics are frightening. 87% of dogs over three years of age suffer from periodontal disease! For your dog's health, it's like living in the middle of a minefield.

We take our dogs' dental health seriously. We've been brushing their teeth daily for years now. What we found was that brushing alone keeps the mouth in good shape for a year or two but eventually, a veterinary cleaning was necessary.

What really works for Cookie is the combination of daily brushing and raw meaty bones.


Related articles:
Know Your Dog's Enemies: When Bad Breath Can Kill.

Dog Longevity Survey Part I
Dog Longevity Survey Part II
Dog Longevity Survey Part I Results
No TV Tonight
The Cancer Antidote that Lies Within

29 comments

  1. I've learned over the past few years that dental health is extremely important for my cats' health. Poor dental health can lead to chronic, life threatening conditions. Not to mention it can be painful!

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    1. Yes, most definitely. The problem goes way beyond bad breath.

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  2. I brush Mr. N's teeth but he has had two dental cleanings as well. It's an uphill battle with small dogs!

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    1. Right on. Yes, with small dogs it is an uphill battle. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't keep trying.

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  3. Oh, yes! Dental health is such an important topic! Chloe loves having her teeth brushed, but we had to start slowly so she we enjoy the entire process. Now she loves having her teeth brushed. Thanks for sharing the results of this survey and sharing the importance of brushing! Doodle kisses!

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    1. She loves having her teeth brushed? Wow, what a girl. Our guys all put up with it, but that's just that - them putting up with it.

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  4. Wow. That really is sad. I try to brush Dexter and Nutter's teeth daily. I also add natural things like chlorophyll, coconut oil and seaweed in their food. Nobody likes stinky breath or dental disease.

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    1. 10% isn't really that bad; I wonder, though, how many of the people who do believe it's important actually do something about it. I know only very few people who brush their dogs' treats.

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  5. Dental health is very important, and thank goodness the vet is happy with Layla's teeth. I use tropiclean in her water plus the gel in her mouth and it works wonders :)

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    1. I'm happy that you were able to keep Layla's teeth in good shape.

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  6. That's sad. Brushing is so important. I try to brush both my dog and cat's teeth daily. I also include chlorophyll, coconut oil and seaweed in their diet.

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    1. We brush daily too. I give some wheat grass for the greens, though not really with dental health in mind when I do that. Raw meaty bones also go a long way with Cookie; combined with brushing.

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  7. Dental health is important for both your pets and yourself too. Dental problems can also be indicative of other issues in the body. I know it's definitely not easy to brush your pets teeth but it's definitely important for good health.

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    1. We've been lucky. All our guys tolerate(d) brushing well. Now, I do mean tolerated but that's all we ask for.

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  8. I agree that dental health is super important. I get a bit conflicted though bc I also hate putting them under for cleanings. Our dogs are raw fed and get lots of great chews to help prevent/brush away tartar buildup, so their teeth look pretty awesome, but our older pup probably needs a deep cleaning. I just dread it. May start training him to let me brush them too. Thanks for the important reminder.

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    1. We try to avoid anesthesia when we can too. The guidelines call for annual cleaning but we don't believe in fixing what ain't broke.

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  9. I am very careful with my dogs teeth as I know that their dental health has a significant impact on their overall health.

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  10. Two of our cats have dental issues, in spite of a largely kibble diet. We will need to get them sorted out. It does matter!

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    1. Kibble does not help with teeth; likely on the contrary due to high carb content. The only kibble that might help are those specifically formulated for the purpose, such as t/d

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  11. I brush Bernie and Lizzie's teeth weekly, which I know isn't enough. I need to work in some scrubbing either before or after their nightly coat brushing. Of course, tonight, they'll be getting their bully and steer sticks during pack movie night.

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    1. Weekly is indeed not enough. If they put up with it weekly, I'm sure you can convince them to put up with it daily.

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  12. Dental health is really important for animals and people. It is really hard for me to ignore dental pain, I imagine it would be the same for dogs.

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    1. Yes, there can be a lot of pain involved and it doesn't hurt dogs any less than it does hurt us. And the fallout of poor dental health goes far beyond bad breath and pain.

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  13. I never realized the importance of dental health until a few years ago when I was in a dental health campaign. So far, I've been very lucky with my cats over the past 40 years.

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    1. Glad you've been lucky. I don't know how much dental problems cats have but for dogs, periodontal disease is one of the nowaday's epidemics.

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  14. Dental health does matter! April got her teeth cleaned a few months ago. J.R and Marty are due. They get dental treats and the dogs get chew bones that help with the plaque, but don't remove all of it. Cleanings are needed, too

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    1. It's hard to come up with fire-proof dental regime. Though I have to say that for Cookie, combination of teeth brushing and raw meaty bones has been working well so far.

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  15. I know that dental health is super important, but I need to be better at acting on it. We recently found out that Ralph has a fractured tooth. NOT fun for him and NOT cheap for us.
    -Jessica from Beagles & Bargains

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