Senior dogs and cats suffering from dental issues might have issues eating regular food. Pet parents need to pick the best food that’s comfortable to eat and doesn’t hurt their pet’s mouth.
If you've ever met a senior pet, then you know just how special they are. These pets have more life experience than most younger animals and often have a lot to teach us, humans. With that being said, there are some things senior animals need to take care of. Many pet parents don't realize that old animals may be at risk for dental disease and infection due to age-related changes in the mouth. Fortunately, by making some simple diet changes (and maybe even adding some supplements), we can help keep our pets healthy and happy.
Senior Dog Dental Problems
Common dental problems in senior dogs include gum disease and tooth loss. Old dogs' most common dental problem is periodontal disease, inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding teeth. It can result from plaque buildup on your dog's teeth and gums, which leads to infection.
The second most common dental problem for senior dogs is tooth loss due to excessive wear and tear over time. In some cases, this may be related to diet (e.g., dry food vs. wet food). As well as causing bad breath, periodontal disease can make it difficult or painful for your dog to eat food normally. At the same time, tooth loss can lead to similar issues with chewing and digestion that result in weight loss or malnutrition if left untreated long enough.
Symptoms of dental problems in dog breeds include bad breath, reluctance/inability when it comes time for meals again, lack of appetite or noticeable weight loss, decreased activity levels compared to what they were before being diagnosed with these conditions, increased irritability around other dogs/humans, and more.
Senior Cat Dental Problems
Older cats are prone to dental issues, and you need to understand how your cat's teeth are affected by age. Gingivitis is a common problem, as inflammation of the gums is caused by bacteria in your cat's mouth. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and other health problems like heart disease or blood clots. There are several ways you can treat gingivitis. Dental surgery may be necessary if it's caught early enough; however, most veterinarians recommend using special diets or oral hygiene products instead.
If your cat has suffered from dental problems due to age or other reasons, take care of them immediately. While there may not be much you can do about preventing old age-related issues like tooth decay due to genetics (if this happens before they reach adulthood), keeping an eye out for any signs of discomfort should help keep things under control until they're ready for treatment down the line and maybe even longer than that.
Dental Care for Senior Cats and Dogs
Dental care is essential for all pets but significant for older cats and dogs. Their teeth can get worn down by chewing and their diet. And they are more likely to have dental problems because they don't chew as much as they used to.
Dogs and cats with dental issues will not be able to eat correctly, so they might not gain weight because they aren't getting enough nutrition from the food that doesn't break down easily in their mouths. And if you've ever had something stuck in your teeth, you know how painful it can be. Use a dog brush and specially-formulated toothpaste for dogs to keep their teeth clean.
If your pet has a bad toothache, pain medications won't help until the infection clears up first, which may take several days or weeks depending on which tooth(s) are infected. So do what you can during that period to make sure your pet isn't suffering unnecessarily.
Best Food for Older Cats and Dogs with Dental Issues: Soft Food
If you're a pet owner whose beloved dog or cat has been diagnosed with dental disease, you may wonder if any foods can help them. Fortunately, there are. Many pet owners have found success using soft food diets for their pets with tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
Soft food is easier to chew and digest than hard kibble, making it easier on your dog or cat's mouth and digestive system. Some dogs even need to eat softer foods because their teeth are so worn down from years of chewing hard kibble that they no longer have the strength to bite through it. Similarly, older cats often lose their teeth as they age, which means they need something softer than crunchy kibble to get enough nutrients from their food.
Some of the best soft food for older cats and dogs are:
Taste of the Wild canned dog food or cat food
Friskies Wet Cat Food
Merrick Dog Food
Fancy Feast cat food
Best Food for Senior Dogs and Cats with Dental Issues: Chunks in Gravy
In the realm of food, "chunks in gravy" is a category that includes pouches and cans. The chunks are soft and easy to chew and digest. They come in different flavors and can be stored easily. This type of food is excellent for older cats and dogs who need a little help chewing or swallowing solid pieces of kibble.
It's best to choose canned versions over pouches because they have an airtight seal that keeps out moisture, which helps prevent spoilage if you don't finish it all at once (and also doesn't encourage mold growth). However, some dogs will eat the canned version more readily than the pouch version because they like having something to hold in their mouth while they eat it, which may reduce stress levels by allowing them to move their jaws around more freely than if they just had some soft food sitting on the floor next to them.
Best Food for Senior Dogs and Cats with Dental Issues: Kibble
Kibble is the best choice for senior dogs and cats with dental issues. Kibble is easy for cats and dogs to chew, which is especially important for senior pets who have lost teeth or may need help chewing their food. Additionally, kibble's uniform shape makes it easy for cats and dogs with dental issues to digest.
You'll find a wide variety of delicious dry dog foods and grain-free dog food specifically designed to meet the needs of senior canines. Senior dog food blends contain fewer calories than traditional varieties because older animals are less active than younger ones. Some brands also add glucosamine supplements for joint health support, another great benefit for older pups.
If you're looking for a tasty treat, try feeding your pet some wet canned cat or dog food as an alternative treatment. It will satisfy their taste buds without adding unnecessary calories (and won't leave crumbs everywhere).
There Are a Variety of Food Options to Make Older Pets with Dental Issues Feel Better
Soft and easy-to-chew foods can make it easier for your dog or cat to eat. These include canned foods, which are softer than dry kibble, and raw diet frozen blends or cooked meats that you prepare yourself.
Some great low-calorie, low-fat diets can help keep your senior pet's weight within suitable parameters without causing any digestive problems. Some high-quality brands for this type of food include Hill's Prescription Diet, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Advanced Care, and Purina Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Health (aka I/D).
Some diets also focus on keeping protein levels down so that they don't hurt the animal's kidneys too much. But these diets still contain enough protein (and other nutrients), so the animal isn't starving. The most common brands with this kind of formula include Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Canine Formula and Wellness cat food or dog food like Wellness Complete Health Small & Toy Breed Senior Dry Dog Food.
In conclusion, the best food for older cats and dogs with dental issues will vary depending on their health condition and needs. However, there are many options to choose from when determining what kind of food you want to feed your pet with dental issues. We hope this article helped you find some new ideas for how to keep them happy and healthy.