Many people treat their pets like they were their children -- taking them to the park, buying them toys and making sure they are incredibly well fed. But what about brushing Fido's teeth?
According to veterinarian Robert Wiggs, brushing a dog's teeth is one of the best things an owner can do for their pet.
Like in humans, brushing a dog's teeth helps prevent tartar and gum disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80 percent of dogs show signs of gum disease by the time they are 3-years-old.
But the bigger benefit is that cleaning a dog's teeth can also prevent other health problems as well. Inflammation from gum disease has been linked to problems with the heart, liver and kidneys.
It seems owners are taking the vet's advice. According to one pet insurance company, claims related to canine oral health increased nearly 200 percent in 2008.
You don't even have to work brushing your dog's teeth into your morning routine -- most dogs only need to have their teeth brushed every other day or once a week.