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Dental Care
10th December 2013

By Sandra Pearce

A monthly snapshot and analysis of a different sector within the UK pet industry

It is thought that up to 80% of UK pets suffer from some kind of dental disease. Various educational campaigns on dental health for pets is having some impact, albeit slowly. Yet there are a variety of products on the market addressing dental concerns, from accessories such as toothbrushes, gels, pastes and mouthwashes to treats and chews with functional benefits.

Hatchwells was the first company to introduce dental health care for dogs in the form of dental chews, a spokesman says, adding it was the first company to launch pet toothpaste about 30 years ago. He added: “Although many companies have copied us again, we are still by far the number one brand in the specialist trade.”



The company has a range of toothpastes, toothbrushes, finger brushes for pets. Hatchwells launched puppy and kitten versions a few years ago (Dentifresh toothbrush and toothpaste), to encourage new owners to start a regular routine Dr Roger Mugford, from The Company of Animals, said: “Many pet owners do not inspect their dog’s teeth and gums at all, leaving it to their vet or groomer to alert them to the consequences of their neglect.

Expensive veterinary treatment under anaesthesia is then required, yet a small daily investment can prevent these unpleasant problems.”

The Company of Animals has just brought out a range of dental products under the Arm & Hammer name, which contains baking soda as a key ingredient. There are three stages of care: firstly for owners with busy lifestyles there are the easy-to-administer Dental Mints and Dental Rinse; owners with more time can try the Finger Brush and Dental Spray; while the toothbrush and toothpaste ranges are the most beneficial way to banish dental disease.

Caroline Mabon, senior brand manager for dog care and treats at Mars Petcare said: “An in-home dental care routine for adult pets is key and should include daily toothbrushing and functional treats that prevent plaque and tartar build-up, alongside two yearly dental checks with a vet. This will provide the best defence against gum disease for all breeds.” Mars Petcare is working with vets to develop a new, bigger, annual oral care check programme, supported by the BVDA, which will reach at least 500,000 dogs a year.

Pedigree’s DentaStix represents 15.2% of the convenience market, is recommended by vets, and remains the number one oral care chew, says Mars Petcare. It launched Pedigree Dentastix Fresh, with its unique X shape, earlier this year and says it is scientifically proven to help reduce tartar build-up by up to 80% if fed daily.

Over the last few years, more and more people are buying special dental treats which not only freshen a pet’s breath but also help control plaque and tartar build-up, says M&C, which has a range of Breath & Dental Care Treats. Another major innovation recently launched by M&C is Easy Dental Care. Easy Dental Care’s active ingredient is an antiseptic designed to help reduce dental plaque and oral bacteria. A spokesman said: “It’s easy to use and no more brushing required. You simply add to the pet’s water bowl daily.”

Ceva Animal Health has also launched a new range of veterinary-strength LOGIC supplements for pets that promote dental hygiene, available in consumer-friendly packaging, with a merchandising unit to showcase the complete range. There are two complementary dental products in the range, LOGIC Oral Hygiene Gel and LOGIC Orozyme Chews. These products contain an enzyme complex and antibacterial agents which supplement the pet’s natural salivary system. This enzyme formula attacks bacteria in the mouth, fights bad breath and reduces the formation of plaque.



Beaphar has recently brought out the Beaphar Puppy Dental Kit. This contains meat-flavoured toothpaste and a finger toothbrush with nylon bristles, designed to fit little mouths and to facilitate access to hard-to-reach areas. It has also introduced the Beaphar Dental Powder, made from natural, brown seaweed that counteracts bad breath and other common dental problems. It is ground to a fine powder and is added to a pet’s meal daily. Beaphar also offers a mouthwash.