Old dogs' teeth. Is it normal?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


I love small- dogs..
Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 7:06am PST 
So Lantis was over our place over the weekend and my sister commented that Lantis was unusual because he still had all his teeth.

Anyway, that got me thinking, is it NORMAL for old dogs to lose teeth, or is it due to improper care?

Ever since he was little we'd scale and brush his teeth. They were never extremely clean even then, but we always tried.

As he got older we found out better options such as a premium, un-carb-loaded food (Orijen) and Petzlife, so I would treat Lantis' teeth with it. Then we moved to prey model raw and his teeth have not been this clean since he was a 9 week old puppy.

So to me, him having all his teeth in good working order was a given.

Is it? Is losing teeth a regular sign of aging, or is it just that lots of dogs don't get the proper dental care they need?
Peter Parker

King Peter- Parker
Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 8:08am PST 
Hi Lantiswave
I've seen several senior pups with all their teeth intact at work. We have a short haired doxie that is 16 years old that has ALL her teeth. Of course the owner gets dentals regularly and feeds homecooked or raw (can't remember which one).
I have also seen pups younger than Peter with horrible teeth, we had a 3 year old Yorkie come in from the pound that literally had half his teeth rotting out. It was sad. frown

So happy Lantis has all his chompers!!hughughug

ohh...are you- talking to ME!!
Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 8:09am PST 
Hey Lantis, Melanie is almost 14 and she still has all of her teeth. Granted they are not as clean as they should be but they are all there. I think it is common in smaller dogs to loose many teeth as they age, I know quite a few older dogs who have all of their teeth.

This is only from what I have experienced but I do not know many larger older dogs that are missing teeth. Also Joey is 7 and his teeth are perfect, the vet tells me so every time he sees him


Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 11:03am PST 
"Normal" as in it happens to most dogs, yes. "Normal" as in it should happen as a natural part of aging? No. Not the way it happens with the average dog, anyway.

Rotting teeth, and diseased gums that aren't capable of holding onto the teeth is a direct result of improper diet and the total lack of stimulation the average diet of processed foods can provide. Genetics also play a big role, and poor breeding practices really compound the problem in many lines of purebred dogs. It's not seen as a problem that should be addressed in one's breeding program, though, because gum disease and tooth loss is seen as "normal".

Dr. Tom Lonsdale discusses at length the state of pet dental health in his book, "Raw Meaty Bones". Really interesting is his take on what is supposed to happen to the teeth and gums naturally among carnivorous species, and the role tooth decay plays in the life of individual animals, as well as the health and dynamics of an entire pack in the case of social carnivores that hunt together. Worth a read even if you're not particularly interested in raw feeding.

I nap, therefore- I am.
Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 11:08am PST 
Jack still has all his pearlies and he's 12. He eats primarily a good kibble (Welllness CORE) but 3-4 times a week he gets raw chicken wings and I think that has helped to keep his teeth in good shape. I believe smaller dogs tend to lose their teeth quite often as they age so I'm very pleased that Jack has all his dancing