February is Pet Dental Health Month

Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, marks February as Pet Dental Health Month by reminding pet owners about the importance of regular dental care. In 2016, Nationwide members spent more than $16.1 million on pet dental conditions and procedures, the fourth most common type of pet insurance claim submitted to the company last year. The 80,000 pet insurance claims submitted last year reveals a 16 percent increase from the previous year.

 

Preventive oral care is not only necessary for pets, it’s also a financially sound choice for pet owners. In 2016, the average claim amount for pet teeth cleaning and polishing was $178. In contrast, the average claim amount for treating dental-related disease was $214. Periodontal disease accounted for the most dental pet insurance claims received by Nationwide last year— more than 29,000. Tooth infections accounted for the second most common dental-related claim, totaling more than 21,100.

 

Poor dental care can be linked to severe health issues and shorter lifespans in dogs and cats. The bacteria associated with tartar buildup and periodontal disease can contribute to heart, liver and kidney problems.

 

 “Our pets need dental care and checkups just like we do,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “Regular veterinary examinations are critical for pets’ oral health because they include dental evaluations. Your veterinarian may also recommend brushing your pets’ teeth between veterinary visits to prevent a buildup of tartar along the gum line, which causes inflammation or pain when the gums or mouth are touched, and can making eating painful.”

 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), an organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three. Nationwide encourages pet parents to have their pets’ oral health evaluated bi-annually by a veterinarian.

According to the AVMA, signs of dental disease in dogs and cats include:

  • Red swollen gums or brownish-yellow tartar on teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth
  • Reluctance to eat – for example, picking food up and then spitting it out

To help offset medical costs associated with dental conditions in pets, Nationwide’s most popular pet insurance plan, Whole Pet with Wellness, is the only all inclusive pet insurance plan in the U.S. that offers coverage for wellness services, including dental cleanings.

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 585,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

 

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.