6 Signs of Pet Dental Disease

Common Conditions Can Be Prevented

Old English Sheepdog

How well do you know your pet's dental health? Routine dental care is just as important to pets as it is to humans.

Fact: 8 out of 10 dogs and 7 out of 10 cats show signs of dental disease by age three. That may seem young, but remember pets age rapidly. Dental decay, tooth abscesses and gingivitis are real problems for pets — and costly.

Nationwide pet insurance policyholders filed $13.8 million in dental-related claims in 2015 — 51% of the claims filed in 2014 were for periodontal disease. The average claim amount for treating tooth-related disease was $214.

Does Your Pet Have Dental Disease?

So, what are some indicators that your cat or dog may have dental disease? The American Veterinary Dental College, the clinical specialist organization for veterinary dentists, lists the following on their Web site:

Cat up close
  • Bad breath
  • Loose or discolored teeth (brown or yellow) or teeth covered in tartar
  • Your pet is not comfortable with you touching within the mouth area
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight       

Prevent Dental Disease

You can help prevent the onset of dental disease by doing three simple things:

  1. Talk to your veterinarian about an at-home dental regimine
  2. Take your pet in for a dental exam at least once a year
  3. Schedule regular dental cleanings

Nationwide's medical plans offer reimbursements for dental conditions; Nationwide's new Whole Pet also includes routine cleanings. For more information on pet insurance coverage, click here.