Can Dog’s Without Teeth Still Eat?

woman petting dog while it eats out of bowl by fireplace

Can Dog’s Without Teeth Still Eat?

YES, THEY CAN! While tooth loss in dogs may seem like a significant obstacle, there are various ways to ensure they can still eat comfortably and happily. Let’s delve into some strategies and tips to help your toothless furry friend enjoy mealtime to the fullest.


6 Tips for Caring for a Dog with No Teeth

1. Understanding Tooth Loss in Dogs

Tooth loss in dogs can occur due to various reasons, including severe generalized periodontal disease, Canine Chronic Ulcerative Stomatitis (CCUS), or genetic factors. Regardless of the cause, tooth loss can pose challenges for dogs during meals at first. Once they understand they are toothless, they go back to eating their normal diet (INCLUDING KIBBLE)!


2. Diets for Toothless Dogs

Fortunately, almost all diets available are a good choice for toothless dogs. These diets come in various forms, including soft canned food, moistened kibble, and even regular hard kibble! Dog moms and dog dads often ask, “How can my dog chew food without teeth?” Well, dogs don’t chew their food the way people do because they have a shearing dentition. Their teeth were designed to catch prey and shear meat into small pieces. Once the piece of food is small enough a dog will simply swallow the food. Because all major dog food diets understand the dentition of dogs, their food is either soft or cut into pieces that are easy to swallow. 


3. Softening Dry Food

After any teeth are extracted, it is recommended to feed a softened diet for 2 weeks. If your toothless dog still enjoyed dry kibble before the procedure, you could soften it by soaking it in warm water or sodium-free broth for 10-15 minutes before serving. This helps make the food easier to chew and digest. Additionally, you can mix the softened kibble with canned food or wet food to enhance its palatability and moisture content. These diets can even be pureed or blended if needed. 


4. Feeding Techniques

When feeding a toothless dog, consider using shallow bowls or plates to make it easier for them to access their food. Additionally, feeding smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can prevent overexertion and aid digestion. Encouraging slower eating by spreading the food out or using puzzle feeders can also be beneficial. If your dog is still apprehensive about eating after an extraction procedure, forming the soft food or softened kibble into a “meatball” is a great option. Some dogs just love to be hand-fed. 


5. Supplemental Treats and Chews

While traditional chew treats may not be suitable for toothless dogs, there are alternatives available. Soft treats, dental chews that dissolve easily, or frozen treats can provide enrichment and dental benefits without the need for chewing. Always ensure that any treats or chews given to your dog are soft enough to imprint your fingernail or easily bendable. 


6. Regular Veterinary Care

Regular dental check-ups are essential for all dogs, especially those with dental issues. Your veterinarian can monitor your dog’s oral health, provide professional dental cleanings as needed, and offer guidance on managing tooth loss or periodontal disease. They can also recommend appropriate dietary options and supplements to support your dog’s overall well-being.


Dog Dentist in Colorado Springs

While tooth loss in dogs may seem detrimental, they can still enjoy nutritious and delicious meals. By choosing the right nutritious diet, your dog’s preferred diet texture, and feeding techniques, you can help your toothless companion maintain optimal happiness. Always consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your dog’s specific needs. With proper care and attention, your toothless dog can continue to thrive and savor every bite! 

If you have any concerns about your dog’s oral health or would like to schedule a cleaning, call Animal Dental Care & Oral Surgery today.



Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/26/2024). Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels