Tooth loss in dogs occurs from age, dental disease, poor nutrition or injury. Dogs use their teeth primarily to tear food apart. To feed your toothless dog, you must remove the need for tearing or chewing. This can be accomplished in a variety of different ways and you might not even need to change the food your dog already loves.
If your dog enjoys her dry kibble and thrives on it, there is no need to change her food. You simply must adjust how you serve it. Add warm water, chicken broth, beef broth or gravy to a bowl of her dry kibble. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. This will moisten the kibble and allow you to mash it up into a soft food she is able to eat. If necessary, place it in a food processor.
After the loss of teeth, many dog owners switch over to moist food. This can be the canned soft pureed variety or small meat pieces with gravy. Depending on your dog, she may be able to gum the small meat pieces. However, it they are too difficult for her to eat, cutting them smaller or placing them into a food processor will change the consistency and make the food easier for her to eat.
If you are unable to find a commercial food variety that she likes or is able to eat, another option is to make your own. Cook up some meat, such as chicken, ground beef or turkey. Add cooked vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots or green beans, as well as some cooked brown or white rice. Combine all of this in the food processor, add a spoonful of vegetable oil and a little water if needed and blend to the desired consistency. Adding baby food also is an option.
Talk with your veterinarian about your dog’s diet. Based on what you are feeding, he may recommend adding vitamin supplements. If you dog still has some teeth, make sure she is having regular dental checkups with the veterinarian. Monitor her weight on a regular basis to make sure she is getting enough food and maintaining a healthy weight. Since she is no longer able to chew treats, consider a small bowl of cottage cheese or scoop up some peanut butter or cream cheese for her to lick and enjoy. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
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