This World Oral Health Day, new Battersea stats shine the spotlight on pets’ dental problems

20 MARCH 2018

It’s World Oral Health Day today (March 20) and new statistics - released by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - reveal that the charity’s expert veterinary team are performing dental procedures on more than 170 animals every month.
The statistics show that in 2017 – in addition to thousands of routine scales and polishes - Battersea’s vets extracted hundreds of teeth from over 800 animals.
That’s why Battersea and Mars Petcare have teamed up to inform pet owners across the country of how they can help keep their dog or cat in optimum dental health.
While dentists recommend that humans visit their dentist for a check-up twice a year, many animals that come through Battersea’s famous gates sadly sport far from a healthy set of teeth and gums.
Many of the dental problems treated in the charity’s state-of-the-art Veterinary Hospital could have prevented with good oral hygiene – so Battersea and Mars Petcare have put together some tips help ensure your pet’s teeth and gums stay healthy.
Battersea and Mars Petcare’s top five tips for keeping pets’ teeth healthy
  1. Ensure your pet’s teeth are checked regularly by your vet. See your vet immediately if your pet is bleeding from the teeth or gums or seems to be experiencing pain in their mouth.
  2. Brush your pet’s teeth if you can – introduce them slowly to the toothbrush and make sure you never use human toothpaste as fluoride is poisonous to dogs.
  3. If you have an older dog, ask your vet to clean his teeth properly and then you can start brushing them yourself every day – it’s never too late.
  4. Only give toys designed for dogs. Bones, stones, sticks, tennis balls and hard nylon chews all commonly damage teeth and gums. Chews and rubber dog toys create less wear on your dog’s teeth - so try and encourage them to chew on these rather than on hard objects
  5. Having a daily oral care routine is important for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Feed a good dental chew every day, proven to reduce tartar.
Shaun Opperman, Veterinary Director at Battersea, advises: “Regular dental check-ups at your own private vet is the best way to help keep your animal’s teeth healthy. If there are any concerns about a pet’s dental health, always consult your own vet. It can be difficult to spot gum disease, so use Mars’ “3 Bs” guide and look out for bad breath, bleeding gums and changes in behaviour.”
For more information and images please contact or 020 7627 9291.
Notes to editors
  • Case study: 11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Angel came into Battersea in January as a stray, with horrendous teeth. She was in terrible pain, with a sore and infected mouth, and Battersea’s expert Veterinary team had to remove three of her teeth to make her comfortable. Luckily, Angel recovered from her ordeal – and she’s gone on to find a happy home in Oxford. You can find pictures of Angel here.
  • Mars Petcare and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have been partners since 2008. Its well-loved brands PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS® supply all the dog and cat food helping to feed all Battersea's animals – as well as food packs to give to new owners when they adopt an animal.
  • About Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • In 2016 the Home cared for over 7,000 dogs and cats. Battersea cares for an average of 270 dogs and 200 cats across its three centres at any one time.
  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit
About Mars Petcare
Mars Petcare has a portfolio of some of the UK’s best-loved petcare brands, such as Pedigree®, Whiskas® Cesar®, Sheba®, Royal Canin® and James Wellbeloved®.
We have been manufacturing pet care products in the UK for 80 years and currently have over 1,000 employees (whom we call Associates) across our UK sites in Melton Mowbray, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Birstall, Yorkshire and Castle Carey, Somerset. Our vision is to ‘Make a Better World for Pets™’. This is based on our belief that pets make our lives better, which is why they’re at the beating heart of our business. Introducing them into our offices plays an important role in helping bring this vision to life.
Pedigree and Whiskas are made using ingredients that are safe for pets to eat and the recipes are carefully tailored to deliver all of the essential nutrients that a dog or cat needs, in just the right amounts for the life-stage of the pet.
To find out more about Mars petcare and their products, visit, and
About Mars, Incorporated 
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day. 
For more information about Mars, please visit Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.