LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Many people treat their pets like they do their kids. We take them to the park and buy them toys, but what about their teeth? The American Animal Hospital Association says brushing your dog's teeth could extend his life by up to five years. Just like in people, it helps prevent tartar and gum disease. In addition, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs show signs of gum disease by the age of three. Just like in humans, gum disease can lead to inflammation.
Dr. Robert Wiggs, DVM, says, "And it [gum disease] continues to increase as time goes on, so if you start early and control it, then we don't end up with all the other serious problems later on". Dr. Wiggs, who specializes in pet dentistry, says those problems can lead to trouble with the heart, liver, and kidneys. Dr. Wiggs adds, though, that the difference in dogs and people is that people should brush their teeth twice a day while dogs only need their teeth brushed once a week.