The Importance of Dental Care for Your Pet's Longevity and Happiness

The Importance of Dental Care for Your Pet's Longevity and Happiness

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of dental care for your furry friends. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a variety of health problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and even systemic infections that can affect your pet's vital organs.

We spoke to an innovator in the field of pet dental health, Lindsey Campbell, the Co-founder of TEEF for Life. Her company produces Protektin™, a vegan, clinically proven, and vet-approved prebiotic that improves the oral microbiome of dogs and cats to ensure tip-top oral hygiene.

TEEF For (A Longer and Healthier) Life! 

“We started in the human space, with a dental product, '' she told us about the formation of the company with her co-founder Dr. Emily Stein: “She kind of cracked a code, really, on how to manipulate bacteria in favor of humans and animal health.” Dr. Stein created the human formulation of their product for her grandmother but also was able to help her newly adopted dog, Tinzley. 

Lindsey uses Protektin™ for her own dog, Stella, “She is a Pomeranian-Huskey mix, and Pomeranians have notoriously bad dental health; she has been on [Protektin42™] since she’s been two years old, she is eight now, and every time we go to the vet they say she doesn’t need a dental. I’m very happy about that!” 

Watch clips of our interview with Lindsey, to hear more about TEEF for Life and actionable tips for protecting your pet’s dental health, on our Instagram account! 

How Can We Support Our Pet's Dental Health?

With the advancement in pet health technology, pet parents have many options to choose from when it comes to pet dental health, but how do we know which ones are up to the task of maintaining good dental health for our furry friends? “It depends a lot on ingredients,” Lindsey said, “if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it in your pet’s mouth!” Some ingredients to look out for in particular are bleach derivatives, antibiotics, and antiseptics coming in contact with our pet’s mouths, we want to protect the “good bacteria"! 

“A lot of people don’t know this but carbohydrates are the devil when it comes to dental health,” Lindsey said. This is true, especially for dogs, carbohydrates feed the “bad bacteria” in our dogs’ mouths that increase overall acidity and can lead to an increase in the likelihood of periodontal infections and disease.

The “good”, or beneficial bacteria can thrive in a protein-rich environment, “they will start to grow and overtake the [amount of] bad bacteria, so [by changing your pet’s diet to high protein] plus the daily administration of TEEF, you will shift who is living in the oral microbiome for the benefit of the pet.” Lindsey said. Prebiotics (like Protektin™) can help feed the good bacteria, while probiotics can directly provide live strains of the “good bacteria”.  

Dental Health = Kidney Health

We also spoke about the myriad of illnesses that can be caused when our pet’s dental health is not up to par, including kidney issues, cardiovascular issues, and even dementia. “It’s the most underestimated driver of overall health that exists,” according to Lindsey, “About 75% of dogs with dental disease will end up with kidney disease before they should [end up with kidney disease], it can be much earlier onset if they have dental disease.” 

Thankfully, using preventative pet care products like Kidney-Chek, and Protektin can work together to secure many more healthy and happy years with your pets. 

To get 10% off on your purchase of any of TEEF’s products click here

Before we ended our interview, we asked Lindsey to shout out some of her favorite pet dental and overall health products that she trusts that may help us take care of our pet’s health:

AnimalBiome, which does gut and oral microbiome analysis: “You get a multiple-page overview of what bacteria levels are high and what you can do about it.” says Lindsey. 

Use code "KC-2024" to get 20% off all Animal Biome products if you order before March 1st, 2024!

Good quality nutrition from any source may get pricey, so she recommends, mixing them into your pet's overall diet, “ a diverse diet will make a difference!” 

You can try Jiminy’s, they make cricket-based chews that are high in fiber and lower in carbs.

Use code "KIDNEY10" to get 10% off all Jiminys products!

Simple Steps For Promoting Healthy Teeth For Your Pet

  • Add preventative testing to your pet care arsenal: Getting ahead of illness means taking action even before symptoms even show up. Help you and your pet avoid pain and grief, and add more happy years to your pet's life by getting affordable and regular preventative health screens with tools like Kidney-Chek.
  • Schedule regular veterinary dental check-ups: During these appointments, your veterinarian will examine your pet's teeth and gums, looking for any signs of disease or decay. They may also recommend professional teeth cleaning or other treatments to keep your pet's mouth healthy and pain-free.
  • Brush your pet's teeth regularly: This is one of the most effective ways to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and pet-specific toothpaste to gently clean your pet's teeth regularly.
  • Provide dental chews or treats and water additives: Feeding your pet dental chews or treats can help remove plaque and tartar buildup from their teeth. Water additives, like Protektin,  are prebiotics promoting “good bacteria” in the pet's mouth. 
  • Feed your pet a healthy, balanced diet: A protein-rich diet, with minimal carbohydrates, is essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease by providing the necessary building blocks for strong teeth and gums.
  • Consider professional teeth cleaning: In some cases, professional teeth cleaning may be necessary to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup. Your veterinarian can recommend when this is necessary for your pet.

Ultimately, the key to maintaining your pet's dental health is to make it a priority in your routine. By scheduling regular veterinary check-ups, establishing a regular dental hygiene routine at home, and staying up-to-date on the latest pet dental health trends and products, you can help ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy for years to come. So this National Pet Dental Health Month, commit to taking better care of your pet's teeth and gums – they'll thank you for it with wagging tails and happy purrs.

Kidney damage is not reversible, so the best thing you can do for your pet is preventative screening! Add more happy and healthy years to your pet’s life by using Kidney-Chek, a saliva urea test that pet parents can use between vet visits to screen their cat and dog’s kidney health from home in just 2 minutes! Check if your pet is at high risk for kidney disease here!

Stay up to date on Kidney Health for cats and dogs on our Blog, Instagram, and Facebook

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