Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by Marco
Pet owners of senior dogs often ask can dogs eat without teeth? If you’re the same – go through our guide for the answers you need.
Thinking about your furry best friend in pain or ill is difficult enough without seeing the physical consequences of the condition. However, pet parents need to be prepared for all eventualities. Canines can experience loss of teeth for various reasons. For example, your pet could lose a tooth (or more) due to age, gum disease, or an injury.
That’s why it’s essential to learn how to properly take care of your furball when such a problem arises. That’s where we can help. Our guide focuses on why dogs can lose teeth and how to look after a toothless dog. Just scroll down to learn more!
Why Do Dogs Lose Their Teeth?
Before discussing how you can help your pet through tooth loss, it’s crucial to understand why it might occur in the first place. So we’ve taken the time to compile four of the most common reasons behind canine tooth loss, and here’s what they are.
1. Puppy Teething
As your little pupper ages, it will experience all types of physical and mental changes. One of those changes is shedding old teeth to make place for the new. So while your puppy develops its milk teeth and three to six weeks of age, you can expect the appearance of adult teeth as soon as it’s two months old.
If your pet is experiencing tooth loss at eight weeks – there’s nothing much to worry about. Puppy teething is a natural process and helps your furbaby prepare for adult life. However, puppies will continue to shed their young teeth until they’re about six months and during this time may require you to hold of difficult to chew foods.
It’s also essential that you look after your pup’s tooth and gum hygiene to ensure tooth loss doesn’t result in infections and affect the growth of new teeth.
2. Periodontal Disease
Your toothless dog may experience the loss of its pearly whites due to periodontal disease. Vets use the term ‘periodontal disease’ to describe the inflammation or infection of tissues surrounding the teeth.
This includes the gums, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. Periodontal disease in dogs will generally develop due to gingivitis and can get bad enough to result in loose teeth or tooth loss. Thankfully, you can ward off the disease by brushing your dog’s teeth daily and using dental treats to ensure oral health.
At times, an injury to the muzzle can result in loose teeth – which may or may not fall off. The tricky part about injury-related tooth loss is that it’s not the easiest thing to detect. Not unless you’re used to checking your pet’s gum and teeth regularly.
However, if you notice your canine wincing as it tries to chew food and shying away from letting you touch its mouth – it’s best to check your pet’s mouth thoroughly for injuries.
4. Bad Oral Hygiene
Your canine’s mouth is a treasure-trove of bacteria. If left alone, the bacteria in its mouth will multiply and cause all sorts of dental troubles. If a dog has no teeth, you can be sure a major cause is bad oral hygiene. Therefore, canine parents must take the time to brush their pets’ teeth daily to avoid plaque and tartar.
Can Dogs Eat Without Teeth?
It may surprise pet parents to hear that canines can lead near-normal lives without their teeth. But this will require a change in your pet’s care and diet routine. That’s why we’ve listed out a few pro tips to help your canine live pain and problem-free. Ready?
If you’re taking care of a toothless canine – don’t worry. Your dog won’t have to forego its favorite brand of kibble just yet. Instead of chucking out the kibble, try breaking it into smaller pieces and soaking it in some warm water before giving it to your pet. This will help you do away with any choking hazards and help your dog eat in peace.
It’s also a great idea to wet puppy kibble in puppy formula or water to help teething pets retain their appetite. Just make sure to mash the soaked kibble so that your puppy doesn’t have to chew too much and can digest the food easily.
Wet Dog Food
Another life-saver for folks asking can dogs eat without teeth is – wet dog food. Think of this as an alternative to kibble. The best part is most dogs love the taste of wet food – thanks to the protein quotient. Additionally, you don’t have to expend time or energy to make wet food suitable for your pet since it’s already pretty soft.
However, if you’re dealing with an entirely toothless dog, it’ll be better to mash up the wet food using a fork to make it easier for your pet to chow down. You can also think about adding some water to the food to make a thick soup-like consistency, which your canine can lick off.
Just because your pet is missing a few choppers doesn’t; mean it has to forego all the pleasures in life. Not while there are freeze-dried treats available that are easy to gum. What’s more, freeze-dried gums are super-flavorful – which means your canine won’t dislike chewing on them from time to time.
Just remember to ensure you pick healthy and size-adequate treats for dogs with no teeth. For instance, don’t buy treats meant for medium to large dogs for your small breed dog because of the dangers of choking hazards. But, apart from that, you’re all good to go.
Canines are renowned for putting on a brave front – even when they’re experiencing pain. Unfortunately, that means it’s not very easy to detect tooth or gum pain. Not unless the pain is too much to hide. But, you can stay on top of your pet care game by making oral hygiene an essential part of your pet’s daily regime.
This will help you keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy while allowing you to monitor any infection or pain your pet is trying to shrug off. And, because precaution is always better than cure, always keep up with your pet’s regular visits to the vet. This will your pet avoid pain and help you avoid asking queries like, can dogs eat food without teeth.