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Updated: Feb 15

February is Pet Dental Month

By three years of age, 80% of dogs and nearly as many cats are suffering from some form of periodontal disease. If left untreated, it will always get worse — never better. If you’re not concerned about it, you should be.

What Is Periodontal disease? Periodontal disease can cause extreme pain for dogs and cats in the form of sore teeth and gums, bone loss and misalignment of teeth. And that’s just the early stages. As the problem worsens, your pet can develop other severe health problems. Bacteria from the teeth and gums can enter into the blood stream and harm the liver, kidneys, and heart. Most of the symptoms will be invisible — hidden below the gum line — until it becomes critical.

Yet only 59% of dog owners and 48% of cat owners surveyed say they are worried about it.

To bark out the word on oral care, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has designated February as Pet Dental Health Month. And to help you keep your pet’s teeth healthy, Marshall Grain offers a range of products that make cleaning your pets teeth virtually painless.

How It Begins

Dental disease starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gum line can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gum line is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Veterinarians grade periodontal disease on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).

Symptoms include:

• bad breath • broken or loose teeth • extra teeth or retained baby teeth • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth • reduced appetite or refusal to eat • pain in or around the mouth • bleeding from the mouth • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Just like people, dogs and cats need annual check ups to watch for these symptoms and treat them as they arise. Your veterinarian can perform the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care.

Colorado State University Dentistry and Oral Surgery head Jennifer Rawlinson examines Caroline Dennington’s French bulldog puppy Bruce, June 11, 2015.

Think about your last trip to the dentist. Were you anxious? Was it painful?

Now imagine how your pet must feel having to make the same trip. If you could spare your furry friend the agony of that experience — and save yourself money, too — wouldn’t you both be much happier?


Just as annual check ups benefit both people, pets, so does routine home oral care. Regularly using an over-the-counter dental products can help prevent the build up of plaque and tartar and head off potential issues before they become life threatening.

Marshall Grain offers a variety of cleaning options for your pet.


According to the AVMA, regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant – patience and training are important.

Nutri-Vet’s Dental Hygiene Kit for dogs contains a toothbrush, finger toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste. It’s chicken flavor helps make it more appealing. 

Most people shy away from brushing a mouth full of uncooperative fangs, so it’s fortunate that brushing is not the only solution.

Gels and Drops


Tropiclean offers several easy-to-administer alternatives to brushing, including gels, water additives, and fresh breath drops, all made to help reduce plaque and tartar, which can save both you and your pet a trip to the vet for an agonizing and expensive cleaning.

Food Supplements

Studies show that ProDen’s PlaqueOff can improve your pets’ dental health in as little as 8 weeks. PlaqueOff is an all natural seaweed, with no alcohol, antibacterials, zinc, xylitol, enzymes, or other harmful additives. Just  sprinkle a small amount of PlaqueOff on your pets’ food each day. A 60-gram bottle treats a large breed or giant dog for 2 to 3 months.

reats and Chews

Smart n’ Tasty Treats Frosty keeps his teeth clean with Smart n’ Tasty dental treats!

Frosty enjoys his Smart ‘n Tasty Feline Dental Treats!

Smart n’ Tasty Dental Treats are the healthy grain free dental solution. Discerning pet owners will love that they’re grain free, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and made in the U.S.A. with all natural US-sourced ingredients like dill, parsley, mint, and chlorophyll.

Cats will enjoy Whimsical fish shaped treats in 6 flavors that are big enough to encourage chewing versus just swallowing for maximum dental health.

Smart n’ Tasty treats are also available for dogs. These truly innovative treats are extruded to allow a softer texture than traditional form molded dental products. The treat surrounds the tooth during chewing for twice the scraping action.

Indigenous Bones

Indigenous Dental Health Bones are made with ascophyllum nodosum, a natural kelp harvested from the clean, cold North Atlantic seas of Canada, Iceland, and Norway. This kelp is a rich source of nutrients and is free from artificial colors and preservatives. Available in several flavors to entice your dog.

Indigenous Dental Health Bones can be broken apart for smaller dogs.

Indigenous Health Bones are a tasty recipe based on potato starch. Indigenous Health Bones come in several flavors, including original fresh breath, potato and lamb, carrot and pumpkin, chicken, and bacon. Made in the USA from grain-free, gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients, the bone shapes can be broken in half for smaller dogs. Indigenous Health Bones are safe for any size dog to chew and are highly digestible. 


Smileezz all natural dog dental chews are designed to promote dental health using a wide shape to clean the entire surface of the tooth and massage the surrounding gum line. The grain free formula includes real parsley, dill and mint to eliminate odor causing bacteria for fresh breath you can really smell. The wide shape, deep ridges, and chewy texture surround the entire tooth for a deep cleaning through abrasive chewing action.

Smileezz rely on shape, size and texture to massage teeth and gums.


GREENIES have been around longer than most other dental chews. They were the first treat to receive the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance for control of plaque and tartar buildup. And they continue to be very popular. 

One dental chew a day helps clean your dog’s teeth by using their natural chewing action to wipe away plaque and tartar buildup from the surface of teeth. GREENIES are safe and easy to digest because they are made from highly soluble ingredients that break down quickly. Available in 5 sizes to offer the most appropriate texture and hardness for dogs with a variety of bite-force capabilities.

GREENIES are available for both dogs and cats.


Fun shaped chews made from rice. WHIMZEES minimizes the ingredients and uses no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, GMOs, gluten, or meat. They’re also high in fiber and low in calories and sugars.

Mouth-Cleansing Toys

By now you’ve probably gotten the idea that chewing is integral to having clean teeth. Nylabone makes a selection of tough chew toys in various sizes and shapes that also serve to help clean your dog’s teeth.

Nubs on the bone shaped chew toy help to massage gums and remove plaque.

To some extent, dental disease is a function of genetics – some dogs and cats will never develop advanced periodontal disease, while others will need regular dental cleanings to stay healthy. Don’t wait until your fur babies get sick. Start them on a regular cleaning regime today.

Think your pets’ teeth are healthy? Take the AVMA quiz.



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