Bad breath might be a sign of dangerous bacteria in your dog’s mouth. Bacterial growth is seen in dogs as early as 6 months old, and by age 3 about 60 million dogs are estimated to have gum disease. Harmful “bugs” are a common cause of painful oral health problems and are associated with serious health challenges such as heart, kidney and liver disease.

Now there is an early warning dental test available called K9 Smiles from Minnesota-based PetDNA Labs. It is a simple oral swab test that is recommended yearly to keep your dog happy and healthy, and is covered by most pet insurance when part of a vet’s plan of care. This inexpensive test can be purchased from your vet or simply visit the PetDNA website to order yours today!

Three forms of bacteria, with different levels of risk, are linked to your dog’s oral and systemic health. Knowing that threats are emerging will allow you to use home dental products proactively and seek professional care for cleanings and examinations.

Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) recently teamed up with PetDNA Labs on a community partnership to use the K9 Smiles test to screen their population. Several hundred dogs have already used the test as part of their evaluation and to ensure they receive proper dental care.

A similar test has been in use for humans through thousands of dental and physician offices for over 8 years from OralDNA Labs, a sister division of PetDNA Labs. Early warning of dangerous bacterial growth allows better decisions on home care, professional office visits, and many other choices that impact oral health. Get your pet tested today to see what’s hiding in their mouth!