Tips for Feeding Toothless Dogs

by Sydney Hess

tips for feeding toothless dogs

There's no need to switch diets if your pup is missing teeth. Learn how to feed a toothless dog the food they love with these tips.

Periodontal disease in dogs is one of the most common conditions that vets see. Studies show that 80-90% of dogs over the age of three display some signs of dental disease. Brushing your dog's teeth certainly helps keep tartar at bay, but unfortunately, many pup parents will still eventually face the bad news that their pup needs a dental cleaning with tooth extractions. 

Senior dogs and dogs with missing teeth may need adjustments to their current diet, but luckily there are ways to keep them eating their favorite foods while ensuring they can comfortably eat. 

What kind of dog food is best for toothless dogs?

When it comes to feeding a toothless dog, the obvious choices seem to be wet, dethawed fresh, or raw food. These diets take on a much softer form compared to traditional dry food and toothless dogs may find it easier to eat. Familiarize yourself with the drawbacks of switching to a softer dog food diet before testing it on your toothless dog.

Pay attention to the nutrition labels on wet and canned dog foods, as those diets are known to contain more fat than dry food. Canned food is also known to contribute to periodontal disease. 

The ingredients and nutrition levels in fresh or raw food may be better compared to canned food. The risk with these diets is calculating your dog’s serving size correctly and making sure the food doesn’t spoil. 

How to Feed a Toothless Dog 

Parents of super picky pups can find it stressful trying to research and decide on a new food. While canned, fresh, and raw food may work for some dogs, changing foods can get expensive and many would prefer to stay on the food that they know. Here are a few tips on how to feed a toothless dog (or near-toothless dog) with dry food they already love.

Soak the dry food 

Soaking dry food is a great way to transform the texture into something easy to chew while keeping your pup on the food that they love, and the food that is in your budget. Dry food can be soaked with plain warm water, but you can also spice it up by using dog-safe bone broth or goat milk. Picky eaters who like variety in their diet will love this option! Soak their food for about 10-20 minutes, and by then it should be soft enough to easily chew or mash up with a fork. 

Blend the food 

This might be the more suitable option for pups who have very few to no teeth at all. If your pup needs a completely smooth meal, throw your dog's daily portion into a blender with warm water, broth, or goat milk and blend to your desired consistency. This method is most effective if the food has been soaked prior to blending. It might seem like a hassle to do this method on a daily basis, so to save time you can blend several days' worth of food. Just portion their servings and refrigerate for ready-to-serve meals. Dogs with all their teeth may even enjoy being fed this way–especially if their pureed food is stuffed into a Kong or spread on a lick mat. 

Repurpose the crumbs 

Like a bag of chips, dry dog food often has crumbs at the bottom of the bag. Instead of throwing the crumbs out, mix them up with pumpkin puree, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc., and serve as “crumb balls”! Crumb balls are easy to prepare in a pinch and will make sure you get all the bang for your buck. 

Try Sundays for Dogs Beef Recipe 

If you are already feeding Sundays for Dogs or are looking for your dog's new favorite food, Sundays for Dogs Beef Recipe has the softest texture of our three protein options. It is the easiest to rehydrate and/or make “crumb balls” with, making it a great option for toothless dogs.

As a reminder, all dry food that has been rehydrated will no longer be shelf-stable. Be sure to refrigerate any prepared hydrated meals or any meals that are left unfinished. 

Try Healthy, Easy Sundays