How to Choose the Best Foods for Dogs with Bad Teeth
Whether a dog’s teeth have been worn down by misuse, are broken off, missing, loose, or decayed, dogs that suffer from poor dental health will have a hard time eating and enjoying their meals.
In some cases, a switch to the best food for dogs with bad teeth can help remove excess plaque and tartar and restore good oral health. However, unfortunately, if a dog is suffering from advanced gingivitis or periodontal disease, it may be necessary for the dog to undergo a dental at a veterinary clinic.
Dentals can help remove plaque and tartar and improve odors coming from the mouth. However, in some cases, damage to the teeth and gums is irreversible, and at best, can only be managed not improved.
Identifying whether or not a dog has a dental issue that requires more than just a dietary change to see improvements can be challenging. However, there are some symptoms dogs with oral health problems often exhibit. Among the most common indications seen in dogs with dental concerns are:
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Redness of the gums
- Eating or yawning accompanied by vocalizations
- Blood found on toys
- Bumps in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Bloody saliva
- Avoidance of head petting
- Lack of interest in crunchy foods
To help prevent tooth decay and gum problems from occurring in dogs, owners can provide preventative maintenance through a variety of different means. This will help keep plaque and tartar from accumulating, one of the most common issues that leads to more serious dental complications down the road.
Among the things veterinarians recommend to promote good dental health in dogs are:
- An excellent quality diet
- Toys that encourage chewing
- Fruits and vegetables fed as snacks or treats
- Regular tooth brushing with a dog toothpaste
- Once or twice yearly dental checkups at a veterinarian’s office
- Dental cleanings on an as needed basis
The ratio of calcium to phosphorus contained in a food can play a vital role in preserving a dog’s dental health. The optimal amounts to look for is 1.2 parts of calcium to every one part of phosphorus.
Some dog breeds have a natural predisposition towards developing bad teeth. These include toy breeds and Greyhounds. To keep their teeth and gums in good health, it is important to stay on top of tooth brushing and regular dental care.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dogs with Bad Teeth
How much of the best food for bad teeth a dog eats is equally as important as the ingredients found within it. Since many dog breeds will overeat if allowed to free feed, it is best to always carefully measure and monitor all food intake.
To determine how much to feed a dog, it is an excellent idea to use the suggested serving size on the bag as a starting point. This can be adjusted with the dog’s weight, activity level, and appetite serving as helpful guides.
As a basic rule of thumb, adult dogs need a diet with 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. Puppies should be fed an excellent quality puppy food that has 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat with slightly higher amounts also desirable.
Dietary Requirements for Dogs with Bad Teeth
A dietary change can play a great role in helping dogs that suffer as a result of bad teeth. However, there are other things owners can do in addition to a switch in food that can support good oral health.
- Feeding raw, meaty bones to prevent tartar accumulation
- Focusing on foods that are high in antioxidants to support a strong immune system and healthy gums
- Including fatty acid supplements to reduce inflammation in gums
- Feeding a probiotic to ensure good digestion
Dogs experiencing problems as a result of bad teeth need top quality nutrition to help improve their oral health. This begins with a diet that places a lean meat as its primary ingredient. Whole meats are preferred, but meat meals are also an excellent dense source of protein.
Because plant-based proteins such as soy, wheat, and corn are common allergens for many dogs, foods that place a high emphasis on these ingredients should be avoided. They are also difficult for dogs to digest well, making them of lesser nutritional value.
The best foods for dogs with bad teeth are typically free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. These items do not benefit dogs in any way and can lead to the development of skin or stomach sensitivities in some dogs.
No exceptional quality diet would be complete without a healthy serving of good fats. Healthy fats provide the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids dogs need for excellent coat and skin quality. The best sources of healthy fats are animal based and include such items as chicken fat and oily fish.
Highly digestible carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, fruits, and/or vegetables form an important part of a healthy diet for dogs with dental issues.
A diet that includes supplements offers dogs additional health benefits which can boost everything from digestion to skin and coat health and excellent joint function. Among the best supplements to look for include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
There are several natural ingredients owners can give to their dogs on their own or look for in a premium quality diet to help dogs that have issues with bad teeth. These include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut oil
These ingredients will help improve odorous breath as a result of bad teeth.
Things to Look for in the Best Food for Dogs with Bad Teeth
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a dog food for bad teeth:
- Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
- Crafted with a hard, crunchy outer coating that provides scrubbing action for the teeth