Dogs Do Better than Partners at Christmas

( A new survey has shown that when it comes to spreading Christmas cheer, Kiwis will spend more on their dogs than their partners.

The Pedigree Dentastix survey investigated New Zealanders’ attitudes to the health and care of their pets, along with how much money they invested in taking care of their four-legged family members.

The majority (57%) of respondents said they would buy their dog a Christmas present, with the same percentage (57%) saying they already spend between $50-$100 per month on their dog.

Interestingly, when it came to presents for their partner, nearly two thirds of dog owners say they spent less on their loved one than their pet! Sixty three percent of dog owners said they spent less than $50 per month on presents for their spouse or partner.

But despite their generosity when it came to gift giving, Kiwis were slack when it came to taking care of their dog’s health, according to veterinarian Dr Nick Cave.

The survey showed that four out of five dog owners (80%) brushed their dogs teeth less often than once a month and only 2% brush their dogs teeth daily as recommended by vets. That’s despite 63% of dog owners claiming they know how to brush their dog’s teeth.

When it came to oral check ups, nearly three quarters (73%) of dog owners take their dogs for oral check-ups at the vet less often than every six months.

Dr Cave says it is essential for dog owners to provide their dogs with an effective, regular oral care routine and dental check-ups to prevent dental disease.

“Periodontal disease is the most common disease affecting dogs today and is caused by the build up of bacteria in plaque and calculus, which leads to oral malodour, otherwise known as bad breath.

“Further to this, and more importantly, it is painful for dogs, and leads to gum inflammation, bone infection, abscesses, and ultimately tooth loss. We also need to realise that the constant inflammation causes disease in other organs, and a general feeling of malaise” says Dr Cave.

“Every dog owner should do what they can to prevent this problem and ensure their adult dog has regular dental check-ups, at least once a year, depending on what home care they provide.”

Pedigree Dentastix Marketing Manager Oliver Downs says while it is pleasing to see that Kiwis shower love and attention on their dogs at Christmas time, it is also prudent for them to remember the importance of looking after their canine’s teeth.

“At Pedigree we’re for dogs, meaning we are focused on dog owners adopting an oral care routine to keep their canine in the best possible health,” says Downs.

According to Downs, while tooth brushing is the recognised gold-standard method to reduce the risk of dental disease, associated care such as dental chews and regular check-ups are equally important to promoting good oral health for dogs.

Media Release 14 December 2011.