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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Adherence to dental home care in dogs with periodontitis: a post-treatment survey

Svaerd, John; Enlund, Karolina Brunius


BackgroundPeriodontitis is a common disease in dogs, and daily dental home care in the form of tooth brushing is essential for prevention and treatment. Despite this, many studies reveal low adherence to tooth brushing advice. This study aimed to assess compliance with dental home care among dogs with periodontitis and understand the factors influencing brushing routines. A questionnaire survey was emailed to 63 dog owners whose dogs had been diagnosed with periodontitis, received dental cleaning at the University Animal Hospital, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and were given tooth brushing instructions. The survey was supplemented by telephone interviews, resulting in a 57% response rate.ResultsThe study presents dog owners' routines, experiences, attitudes, and motivation regarding tooth brushing. Approximately 42% brushed their dogs' teeth daily while others did so less frequently or not at all. Reported challenges, such as uncooperative dogs and difficulty establishing a routine, may explain infrequent brushing.ConclusionsWhile the study suggests that owners of dogs with periodontitis tend to follow dental care recommendations better than the general dog owner population, it also reveals that preventive care is inadequate for more than half of the dogs. Given the high prevalence of periodontitis, there's a need for resources to address infrequent tooth brushing. Understanding dog owners' needs can help establish daily brushing as a routine, improving canine oral health and overall well-being.


Compliance; Periodontal disease; Tooth brushing; Veterinary dentistry

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2023, Volume: 65, number: 1, article number: 59
Publisher: BMC