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Cranberries offer health benefits for your pets

May 29, 2023

Cranberries are now a key ingredient in the fight against oral disease in dogs and cats. Thanks to research done by Animora, a Quebec City-based business, cranberry dental gel is now a favourite recommended by several vets for pet oral health.

Dental hygiene is important in dogs and cats for preventing a variety of tooth and gum diseases and problems such as bad breath and plaque. For preventive care, a combination of several things can be beneficial, including offering dental treats and food, brushing their teeth and using a bacteria-prevention product like dental gel.

“You might think the dental gel is cranberry flavoured,” says Andrée-Ann Adam, president and co-founder of Animora, “but it’s actually the active ingredient. We use cranberries in our product because of its oral health benefits and not for its taste.”

Pets are crazy about it

Many pets that used to run at the sight of a toothbrush are now clamouring for their dental gel as though it were a treat. It has completely changed their routine, to their owners' delight. The innovation in dental gel is based on the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the active molecules in Quebec cranberries.

Cranberries are not used to prevent dental plaque in humans because the pH of our mouths differs from that of an animal’s.

Passion, research and perseverance pay off

Animora is a family-owned business founded in 2018 by Andrée-Ann Adam and Jean-Philippe Côté, a couple with a passion for animals.

In just five years, the company has carved a niche for itself in pet oral health. Animora is recommended at over 1,000 points of sale across Canada, including over 100 veterinary clinics. “We have also filed a provisional patent application that should be approved soon, and we have nearly 10 products in the research and development phase,” says co-founder Jean-Philippe Côté.

The two entrepreneurs have a number of university degrees to their credit in different fields, including microbiology, biochemistry and pharmacy. “We’re motivated by our passion for animals,” says Jean-Philippe. “We both wanted to apply our scientific knowledge to animal health. Our cat had dental problems and bad breath and we really wanted to help him. And we did!”A 100% Canadian product

With 22 grants between the two researchers totalling more than $260,000, Animora’s co-owners have successfully caught the attention of the scientific community and developed a concept for a profitable business. “We’re very proud that we only use Canadian suppliers to make our dental gel. Even the plastic tube is made and printed in Quebec using recycled plastic,” says Andrée-Ann Adam. “That’s our independent business model. We didn’t want to rely on foreign suppliers for ingredients or packaging.”

Pet-related spending

Pets soared in popularity during the pandemic. Even long-time pet owners spent more on their furry friends. As a result, pet-related spending rose 15% in 2020. Now that we’ve gone back to our pre-pandemic habits, growth in pet-related sales has slowed but still remains strong.

Household spending on pets and pet food grew by 12% in 2022, increasing at a significantly faster pace than spending on food for human consumption since 2017. The five-year sales growth rate is 11%, compared with 5% for food products. These figures may not be representative of total household spending because non-grocery store sales from places like Amazon, Costco and pet shops are not included.

“Since there are now more pets in people’s homes, demand for pet health products has also grown,” says Laura Morissette, relationship manager at FCC. “This is the first time FCC has supported the production of a pet health product. The cranberries used in the dental gel are the agriculture connection we needed to embark on this adventure with Animora.”

Say goodbye to your pup or kitty’s bad breath and hello to a healthy smile with Animora. Animora’s cranberry dental gel is registered with Health Canada and is available at most pet shops and many vet clinics.

Table 1: Household pet spending

Table 1 shows household pet spending in grocery stores only since 2020

Source: Nielsen IQ (grocery stores only)

Figure 1: Index of household consumption on pets and pet food compared to food and food services

Figure 1 shows the household consumption on pets and pet food compared to food and food services since 2015

Source: Statistics Canada

Pet health facts

  • Periodontal disease is the most common infectious disease among pets.

  • From the age of two, nearly 80% of dogs and 70% of cats are affected.

  • If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause numerous system-wide illnesses, such as cardiovascular issues, reproductive difficulties, liver disease and diabetes