Is Tooth Loss a Sign of Neglect?

 |  Jun 5th 2008  |   0 Contributions

Hello. I am adopting a four- or five-year old Pomeranian who
was rescued from a puppy mill. They had to remove
her back teeth because of the owner not taking
care of her. When I went to visit her she came
right over and sat on my lap. I was wondering what is
the best diet for her to be on since she does not
have back teeth. I just want to make her life a
little better than it is now.

Lancaster Ohio

First, let me congratulate you on rescuing an animal that needed a home. Based on what you have described regarding your dogs behavior, I suspect that she will make a very nice pet.

Before I answer your question about what to feed her, I would like to point out that the loss of your dogs rear teeth does not by itself indicate that she has been neglected. Many factors play a role in the development of dental disease. These include home care, genetics, breed and diet. Pomeranians are very highly predisposed to dental problems, and there are plenty of well-cared-for, well-loved four-year-old Pomeranians living without rear teeth. They generally live comfortable, happy lives.

And there is more good news: most dogs and cats that have lost teeth can eat the same diets as those who have not. I know pets who happily gum down hard food even though they dont have a single tooth in their mouth.

Because dry food is generally better for pets teeth than soft food, I recommend that you try a high-quality dry food for your dog first. If she has difficulty eating it, then you may have to try something softer (such as moistened kibble or a high-quality canned food).

In either case, remember that your new pet is at risk of developing more dental problems in the future. Brush her remaining teeth daily, and have a vet check her mouth once or twice each year.


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