Dog Dental Health: Why it Matters and What Can Help

Dog Dental Health: Why it Matters and What Can Help

NEW STUDIES

Two new studies were recently published about dog dental health. One of the studies focused on the state of dental health across pets in the US.  The other looked at the impact that insect protein can have on your dog’s dental health.  We thought it was a pretty interesting moment and are happy to be able to provide you with more information about why dental health matters for your dog and what you can do about it!

THE STATE OF PET DENTAL HEALTH

Banfield Pet Hospital analyzed data from more than 3 million pets to gain insights on the state of pet dental health across the U.S. This study found that a significant majority of U.S. dogs and cats have oral health issues.  In fact, in 2023, 73% of dogs and 64% of cats seen at Banfield were diagnosed with dental-related issues. AND extra small dogs were 5x more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than big dogs!

Poor oral health is a real problem. It can be associated with pain, excessive drooling, bleeding, and reluctance to eat or drink. The more serious form of dental issues is called periodontal disease. Periodontal Disease may also be linked to other chronic and systemic health problems in the rest of the body, including heart and kidney disease. Research based on Banfield data found:

  • Cats with advanced stages of periodontal disease were 1.5x more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.
  • Dogs with advanced periodontal disease were 2.3x more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 6.3x more likely to develop endocarditis (infection of a heart valve).

INSECT PROTEIN IMPROVES ORAL HEALTH

We’ve written before about our observations of improved oral health for dog’s eating an insect protein diet, specifically our Good Grub dog food. Our colleagues in the Netherlands are working to unlock the full potential of antimicrobial peptides and fatty acids present in insect protein, specifically Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) meal. In the latest study, they evaluated the role of BSFL based pet food in modulating the oral health of dogs.  What they found is that insect protein improves the oral health of dogs; reducing harmful bacteria in dental plaque, improving saliva microbiota and bad breath.


BSFL SUPPRESSES GROWTH OF VSC

Volatile Sulphur Compound (VSC) is a bacteria associated with periodontal disease – it is toxic to the tissue in the dogs’ mouth. Significant VSC reduction from beginning of period to end of period for BSFL (opposite results for control/chicken). WHY? The combination of lauric acid, chitin and antimicrobial peptides in the BSFL changes the neutrality of the bacteria membrane à this causes a disruption and kills the bad bacteria.



BSFL INCREASES BENEFICIAL BACTERIA IN SALIVA MICROBIOTA

BSFL led to a significant increase in the relative abundance of Moraxella sp. in the dogs’ saliva. There is substantial literature evidence indicating the association of this bacterial species with the absence of gingivitis and periodontitis in dogs.



BSFL IMPROVES BREATH ODOR

Dogs oral malodor score was evaluated by four blinded judges at 2 cm distance from each dog’s mouth. Assessment was made using a five point intensity scale. BSFL had barely noticeable odor.



HOW TO USE THIS NEW INFORMATION

We now know that dental health is a pervasive issue for dogs in the US, and that it can lead to other more serious health issues for your dog.  In order to prevent these issues for your dog you should start dental care practices when your dog is young in order to familiarize them with the process.  Brushing your dog's teeth is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental issues AND what we’ve learned from the latest study is that adding insect protein (in particular BSFL) can improve their overall oral health. 


We’ve got you covered with great insect protein products for your dog.  Our Good Grub food forms a solid foundation, and our new Dental Chews are a great alternative to brushing.