Interpretive Summary: Oral microbiota populations of adult dogs consuming wet or dry foods
By: Patrícia M Oba, Kelly M Sieja, Stephanie C J Keating, Teodora Hristova, Amy J Somrak, Kelly S Swanson
Canned wet foods are often blamed for poor oral health in dogs, but comparison between wet and dry foods is not commonly done. We used 12 healthy adult dogs to determine differences in oral health measures, breath odor, and oral bacteria populations of dogs consuming wet or dry foods. After consuming wet or dry foods for 6 wk, breath odor and salivary pH were measured, teeth were scored for plaque, calculus, and gingivitis, and plaque samples were collected for bacteria analysis. Plaque coverage tended to be higher in dogs consuming wet vs. dry food, but other oral health scores were not different. Dogs consuming dry food had higher salivary pH and lower breath odor than those consuming wet food. Dogs consuming dry food also tended to have higher oral health-associated bacteria and lower bacteria associated with poor oral health than dogs consuming wet food. Such shifts in the oral microbiota may impact periodontal disease risk, but longer dietary intervention studies are required to confirm their role in the disease process. Our results suggest that dogs consuming dry foods have lower breath odor, less tooth plaque buildup, and oral microbiota populations more closely associated with health than dogs consuming wet foods.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.