A new study from Ipsos Reid is shedding light on the misconceptions about periodontal disease pain experienced by dogs and cats. The study, commissioned by Royal Canin, found 54% of Canadian pet owners lack full comprehension of pet pain associated with periodontal disease symptoms, and most believe the symptoms of periodontal disease are more painful in humans than in dogs and cats.

Ipsos Reid polled pet owners from across Canada about a range of questions related to periodontal disease and how symptoms affect pets. Two-thirds (65%) of respondents believe that root exposure is painful in cats and dogs, but when it comes to humans, nearly nine in ten (89%) believe the same symptom of periodontal disease is painful. Likewise, swollen or bleeding gums – other symptoms of periodontal disease – are identified by 63% of Canadians as painful for cats or dogs, but substantially more (82%) consider these same symptoms painful for humans.

Even after learning of the pain pets experience, only 46% felt they completely understood how painful it is and that it is just as painful a disease for pets as it is for humans.