Feeding a Dog with Missing Teeth or No Teeth

At Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery, we know that when it comes to feeding and taking care of a dog without teeth, planning and preparation are the only way to make sure your canine companion stays happy, healthy, and well-fed. 

There are many reasons why your dog could be missing multiple teeth or all of their teeth. Older dogs often suffer from tooth decay, but dogs of any can may need to have multiple teeth extracted due to periodontal disease

Dogs without teeth can lead a life relatively similar to dogs with teeth, and might even be happier and healthier. Diseased teeth cause pain when chewing, and risk spreading infection to other organs through the bloodstream. While tooth extraction may seem a bit extreme, it could be the best option for your dog in the long run. 

Feeding Your Dog Softened Kibble

A simple solution for feeding a dog without teeth or if they are missing their main chewing teeth is to soften their kibble, by adding liquid to soften the hard, crunchy pieces. Adding hot water, chicken broth, or beef broth to your dog’s favorite kibble and letting it sit for 5 minutes can make the food taste better and much easier to eat.

Serving softened dry food helps ease your dog’s dietary transition, because it tastes exactly the same as the food they’re used to. You can even use a fork to mash up any chunks once you have given the kibble a chance to soften. 

Feeding Your Dog Canned Wet Food

Another great option when it comes to feeding your toothless dog is canned wet food. Many brands make wet food, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding something your dog will eat. Wet foods come in a variety of flavor options, including fish, chicken, and beef. You might need to try a few different brands or flavors to see which one your dog likes best. 

Be sure to check and make sure there are no large chunks in the canned food. If you find any chunks, use a fork to mash them up before serving. The most important thing is to make sure that your dog is getting enough food each day, as they may be less willing to eat for a short while after losing their teeth. Fortunately, almost all dogs eventually start eating normally, even after major oral surgery.

Oral Hygiene For a Dog Without Teeth

Even if there are no teeth remaining, oral hygiene can help prevent infection in the mouth. The easiest way to accomplish this in a pet with no remaining teeth is by squirting a small amount of Chlorhexidine solution in each side of your dog’s mouth twice daily after meals. If there are some teeth remaining, they should be brushed before the chlorhexidine solution is squirted into the mouth.

Veterinary Dentist in Montana

If you are concerned about your dog’s oral health, give us a call today to schedule a visit to Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Bozeman. Dr. Tony Woodward is the only board-certified veterinary dentist in all of Montana. We are open for appointments Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.