Soft Treats for Dogs with No Teeth
There are all sorts of reasons why dogs lose their teeth. If you’ve never had to care for a toothless dog, you may be wondering how to handle his feeding and treating, especially if all he’s ever known are hard kibbles and biscuits. Lucky for your pup, there are plenty of treats for dogs with no teeth—because no teeth shouldn’t equal no treats!
Why Do Dogs Lose Their Teeth?
Tooth loss in dogs, like tooth loss in people, can happen for many reasons. Obviously, puppies will lose their needle-like milk teeth to make room for their adult chompers. Sometimes an adult dog might have a tooth knocked loose if they get a little too rowdy with their playmates at the dog park. But if you notice major tooth loss or other dental issues like red, bloody gums or bad breath, it could be a sign that your dog is experiencing dental problems.
Periodontal disease is one of the biggest reasons why dogs lose teeth as they age. If your dog doesn’t have regular tooth brushings or cleanings, bacteria from plaque will start to take a toll on his teeth, gums and other oral tissues. The early stages of disease could just include gum problems like redness and inflammation, but over time pockets will begin to form between the teeth and gums. Eventually, those gaps will cause the tooth root to separate from the gum and begin to rot. If left untreated, the affected teeth will have to be pulled, if they don’t fall out on their own. The same thing would happen to us humans if we didn’t brush our teeth or visit the dentist on a recommended schedule.
If you suspect that your dog is developing any form of periodontal disease, it’s important that you take him to the vet for help. Severe cases of gum disease weaken your dog’s jaws and can even put him at higher risk for other health problems like heart and liver disease. Tooth abscesses, along with being super uncomfortable, can also lead to more issues than just tooth loss—they can cause everything from eye infections to organ damage. Alerting your vet to these problems will help you slow and repair the damage or nip it in the bud if you notice it early enough.
How to Prevent Dog Tooth Disease and Loss
Tooth loss due to periodontal disease can be a painful and unpleasant experience for your dog—but it’s also preventable if you take the right steps to keep his oral health in check. Make regular tooth brushing part of his routine. If not every day, give his teeth and gums a good scrub at least a few times a week. If your dog isn’t a fan of brushing, you can always provide him with dental treats and chew toys that will help prevent plaque from hardening on his teeth. It’ll also give his jaws some exercise!
Aside from at-home care, it’s critical to take your dog in for regular check-ups with your vet. They’ll take a close look at your dog’s teeth and can even perform dental x-rays for a more thorough examination. Regular oral exams will help your vet catch and correct any problems early on to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy and intact even as he begins to age. Your vet can also recommend any supplemental vitamins that may help maintain or improve your dog’s oral health.
But what if your dog has already lost most of or all his teeth? It’s still important to brush inside his mouth regularly, since food can get stuck in his gums and lead to infections. Gentle brushing can also help stimulate blood flow in the gums to help them stay as healthy as possible. Your vet will also continue to closely examine your dog’s teeth and alert you to any problems so they can be fixed before they escalate.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Developing Dental Problems
Worried that your dog might be experiencing some oral ouchies? There are several signs and symptoms you can look for to determine whether a trip to the vet may be warranted. They can include, but are not limited to:
- Red and/or bleeding gums
- Loose teeth or teeth falling out
- Blood near water/food bowls or on toys
- Bloody, ropey saliva
- Bad breath
- Unusual lumps or bumps in mouth
- Reluctance to eat hard foods
- Vocalizing while eating and yawning
- Favoring one side of the mouth while eating
- Head shyness (flinching away when you reach to pet or touch their head)
Weight loss can also be a sign that your dog could be experiencing dental issues, as the pain or discomfort may be discouraging him from eating his hard kibble. Losing weight can also occur even after tooth loss or removal for the same reason. To make sure that your toothless dog is still getting the nutrition he needs to maintain a healthy weight, you’ll have to consider some mealtime alternatives.
Food Options for Dogs with No Teeth
If you have a toothless dog, or a dog missing most of his teeth, you will probably need to switch him over to a softer food. Traditional hard kibble may be too difficult for him to chew properly with only his gums, which can be both painful and dangerous. Try the following options to help keep your dog well-fed and happy.
Wet or Canned Dog Food
The most obvious meal choice for toothless dogs is wet dog food from a can or pouch. These foods tend to be more aromatic than hard kibble, which could be even more appetizing to your toothless pooch. Like dry food, wet food comes in a variety of flavors and formulas to meet the needs of dogs at a variety of life stages. A pate texture would be ideal, but if your dog likes a chunkier formula, you can mash up the large pieces with a fork or add water to create a thinner texture. This will help prevent your dog from choking or experiencing digestive issues from not chewing his food well enough.
Semi-Moist Dog Food
Semi-moist, or soft dry, dog food is a happy medium between wet and dry food. It could be a great option for dogs who love hard kibble, since the pieces tend to be similar to kibble but with a more forgiving texture. Just be sure to read the packaging or ask your vet for brand recommendations.
Dehydrated or Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Toothless dogs that are used to a raw or high protein diet will likely take well to freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food. These formulas have a finely ground texture out of the bag. In most cases, you simply need to add water to achieve a smooth pate texture similar to regular wet food. Your dog should be able to lap up this food with ease!
Moistened Dry Dog Food
If your dog turns up his nose at every soft recipe you put in front of him, you can simply try moistening his beloved dry kibble. Just soak the kibble in water for a few minutes to get it nice and soft.
Tips for Switching Your Dog’s Food
It’s always a great idea to ask your vet for formula recommendations and how to make the transition to new food as easy as possible. A good rule of thumb is to make the adjustment slowly over the course of two weeks, depending on how your dog reacts to the change.
To begin, add a small amount of the new food to his regular formula and bump up the amount slightly after a day or two. After incrementally increasing the new formula over two weeks, your dog will be ready to chow down solely on his new formula. Just keep your eyes peeled for signs of stomach upset like vomiting, diarrhea or excessive gassiness. If these occur, slow your progress until they subside or talk to your vet about next steps.
Best Treats for Toothless Dogs
To your dog, treating is just as important as regular mealtime. But toothless dogs tend to have trouble with the hard, crunchy treats they know and love. Lucky for your best buddy and toothless dogs everywhere, there are plenty of soft and savory alternatives to save the day.
Soft Dog Treats
Much like dog food, the softer your dog’s treats are, the better he’ll be able to gobble them down without his chompers for assistance. The best dog treats for dogs with no teeth will have a soft or chewy texture that your toothless pooch can easily gum down. The great thing about chewy dog treats, like Pup-Peroni® treats, is that they also tend to have a stronger aroma that dogs just can’t resist. Any of our soft dog treats are sure to make your dog drool the moment you open the bag.
Whether you choose hard or soft treats for your toothless dog, you should always try to break them into smaller, more manageable pieces before handing them over. Keep in mind that smaller pieces of hard treats can still be tough on your dog’s gums, though. Soft treats will most likely be easier and more comfortable to handle. Try breaking up sticks of Pup-Peroni® Original Beef Flavor Treats—their mouthwatering beefy flavor is irresistible no matter how small the pieces are!
Miniature Dog Treats
Even if you have a big dog, mini-sized dog treats will be much easier for him to enjoy without teeth. And if you choose mini treats that have a soft texture, you can break them into even smaller pieces for small or toy breeds. Pup-Peroni® Minis Original Beef Flavor dog treats have the same big beefy flavor as their larger counterparts for toothless dogs of any size to enjoy.
Your dog probably already knows plenty of tricks, but training treats can be the perfect alternative to his usual munchies. Because they’re made for teaching, these treats are small and easy to manage in a quick bite or two. Plus, their small size makes it hard to overload your dog’s daily calorie limit. Pup-Peroni® Training Treats Made With Real Beef are just the thing for getting your dog’s tail wagging. These bite-size rewards have a tender, chewy texture and big, beefy flavor that your dog will always be eager to enjoy.
Get All the Best Soft Dog Treats from Pup-Peroni® Brand
Giving your best buddy an easy way to enjoy the mouthwateringly meaty flavors he loves is a surefire way to earn best friend status. With flavors ranging from Prime Rib Flavor to Original Bacon Flavor, your dog will love chewing on the tender tastiness of Pup-Peroni® treats. Check out all the soft dog treats we have in store for your toothless dog to enjoy