Dental surgery is no fun for anyone, least of all your dog. Unlike humans, our pets don’t understand the details of what was done to help them. That means your canine companion doesn’t know how to help himself heal properly. All they know is that their mouths hurt. To help your pet get better, there are steps you need to take to help them.
It can be a challenge to help your pup keep their stitches in good condition while they work on feeling better, but having the right soft food can make a huge difference. Not only will it help them heal with the right nutrients, but having the right post-surgery food will help keep them from causing more damage. Hard kibble is too tough on a healing mouth, but what’s the best food for your dog after dental surgery? I’ll walk you through the top five choices so your pup can get well soon.
Food & Dental Surgery
The best diet for dogs after dental surgery is only part of the connection between what your dog eats and how healthy their teeth are. Undoubtedly genetics also plays into oral health. However, tooth brushing, dental treats, and the right food will help prevent the need for dental surgery.
You can help prevent the chance of having to take your pooch in for dental surgery or reduce the chances of having to do it more than once with good dental hygiene. Add some Petlab Co. Dental Formula to your dogs’ water bowl to help reduce plaque and tartar. You don’t even need a toothbrush to help keep their teeth clean with an effective water additive. To find out more about it, click right here.
Always teach your dog to submit to tooth brushing. Keeping their teeth scrubbed like you would for a human child is a great way to prevent unnecessary dental surgery. Like any other form of training, it may take a while for your dog to let you brush their teeth.
Breeds Predisposed to Dental Problems
There are quite a few pooches who are genetically inclined to have dental issues. While many of the brachycephalic dogs have problems with short muzzles and too many teeth, other breeds have their own troubles. Here are some of the most common problems, and which dogs tend to have them.
- Gingival hyperplasia is an overgrowth and thickening of the gums. Breeds who are predisposed to this issue are Bulldogs, Boxers, Collies, Great Danes, and Mastiffs.
- Periodontal disease from overcrowded teeth is common in dogs with tiny muzzles. Since they have the same forty-two teeth as all dogs, their little faces tend toward overcrowding, and that means plaque and bacteria build up more easily. Some breeds with this issue include Brussels Griffons, Chihuahuas, Lhasa Apsos, King Charles Cavalier terriers, Maltese, Pomeranians, Poodles, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire terriers.
- Delayed tooth eruption, or getting teeth later than usual can contribute to tooth impaction and (dentigerous) cyst formation. Havanese, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, and Shih Tzus are all prone to delayed tooth eruption and may need surgery to encourage tooth emergence.
- Persistent deciduous teeth can make it hard to reach some areas for cleaning, which also leads to periodontal disease. Maltese dogs, along with Pomeranians, Poodles and Yorkies are all known for suffering this complication.
- Collies are the breed most likely to have complications from an overbite. Their unique facial structure can lead to dental problems down the line.
- Dachsunds are the most likely to develop periodontal pockets. These spaces where the overcrowded teeth have caused bone loss tend to collect bacteria.
Having a dog from one of these breeds doesn’t guarantee that they will have issues, but it is more likely. If your canine companion comes from a high-risk group prone to dental problems, then you should take special care of your pup’s teeth. Brushing helps, but regular visits to the doggie dentist are vital.
When your dog has to go in for dental surgery, you will receive instructions on preparing them. Among the most critical parts of those instructions is fasting. It may seem ‘mean’ to take your pets’ food and water away the day before surgery. However, it could save their lives.
It may be tempting to give your canine companion a treat before they head into surgery. Don’t do it! Even a little water can lead to severe complications. Anesthesia keeps your pet asleep while they are getting their teeth fixed, but having anything in their stomach can cause aspiration.
That means they can suck food or water into their lungs. Unfortunately, they can choke or even die as a result. It’s not worth ‘taking pity’ on an unhappy pet if it could kill them. Always follow the pre-surgery instructions to the letter.
Doggy Dental Surgery Complications
Feeding your dog correctly after dental surgery is a big part of the healing process. Luckily for your canine companion, their mouth is full of beneficial bacteria that will help them heal naturally. However, you still need to do whatever your vet and surgeon tell you once they’re safely at home.
In addition to aspiration, other complications can occur while your pet has dental surgery. Luckily, if you followed the instructions to prepare them, those problems are few and far between. Nevertheless, you should watch out for indications that something went wrong.
Complications During Surgery
Some of these issues are common accidents that can happen during dog dental surgery. Meanwhile, others are more likely to occur due to negligence. Keep in mind that anything can go wrong, and it’s not necessarily the surgeons’ fault. That said, you should look into any unexpected damage. Your doggy dentist should inform you of anything that didn’t go as planned.
- Bone Necrosis- Accidental fracturing of the alveolar plate or heat damage from a cut that is wrong or excessive can cause a dogs’ jaw bone to rot.
- Cutting Nerve or Artery- This frequently happens because it’s so easy to do on lower premolars.
- Damage to Adjacent Teeth- Sometimes, a drill bit or elevator can harm a tooth that wasn’t meant to be part of the surgery.
- Dry Sockets & Non-Healing Wounds- These can happen for numerous reasons, but often they’re a result of not changing bandages as you should or an underlying health condition.
- Excessive Bleeding- Any animal that has a health condition or thin blood can end up bleeding more than they should. Always tell your dog dentist if your pet takes medications or has any known health issues.
- Jaw Fractures- Although it can be necessary to break the jaw in some rare cases, an unexpected break may come from a dentist who violated the protocols for the surgery.
- Oronasal Fistula- Some dogs can have a hole between their mouth and sinus cavity after dental surgery.
Correctly cared for dogs don’t have too many problems healing up, but it can happen. Keep an eye out for signs that your dog is in excessive pain. Moreover, you need to make sure they don’t have any infection in the healing tissues. Talk to your dentist or vet about what is healthy for dogs like yours.
Follow any aftercare instructions, like feeding your dog half servings of food and less water the day after surgery. Make sure they have an excellent place to rest and relax. Your dog may need more sleep for a few days to promote healing. A little bleeding is normal but go to the doctor right away if there’s too much.
The first two to four days after surgery are the most painful. Even when your pet doesn’t seem to be hurting right after dental surgery, the pain killer will wear off. Moreover, it’s in a dogs’ nature to try and hide their pain from ‘the pack’ (family). You may not know how they’re truly feeling, so be gentle and patient with your post-surgical dog.
Your pet will be healing for at least four to eight weeks. If they had stitches or more serious damage, it might take as long as six months to truly heal the wounds. Although dissolvable stitches ‘go away’ after a short while, the reason for having them put in is still there.
Top 5 Best Foods For Dogs After Dental Surgery
Choosing the right soft food for your dog after dental surgery can feel overwhelming. With so many choices out there, how can you make the best choice for your dog? Don’t worry. I’ve narrowed down a list of the top five best foods for a dog who recently had dental surgery to help make things easier. All the brands on this list will go easy on your pets’ teeth and gums. Plus, they provide excellent nutrition.
1. Purina Beyond Grain Free
A dog who had dental surgery recently might not feel their best. With pain in your mouth, it can make anyone feel like they don’t want to chew. Enticing a dog to eat helps them to heal. Although missing one meal won’t hurt, when your canine companion isn’t interested in dinner, a high-quality, tasty option like Purina’s Beyond Grain Free can make them lick those aching chops.
Even picky eaters will enjoy this soft food. The simple recipe, with identifiable ingredients, will give you confidence, and your dog a great meal. Allergy prone dogs will love Purina Beyond Grain Free as well. The carrots, peas, and chicken are identifiable when you serve this to your dog, so there’s no question about what they’re getting to eat.
I like the added vitamins and minerals because they help keep dogs healthy, but all-natural nutrition is even better. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much your dog likes the taste. More importantly, this soft-cooked recipe shouldn’t hurt any stitches or wounds your pet is healing.
Pick Purina by clicking right here.
2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe
Blue Buffalo has been my go-to brand for years. I love their natural ingredients, and the clear way BB provides information on their labels. It’s essential always to feed your dog well. However, after dental surgery, it couldn’t be more vital to give your dog the best food you can find. This brand is easily tied for first place on my list along with Purina Beyond Grain Free.
Dogs need to eat right after dental surgery. However, it can be tough to find the right food to feed a sensitive dog. While I’d recommend this brand to anyone for their dog, it’s great for those with skin conditions. Don’t risk leaving your post-surgery dog itchy and even more miserable.
As a bonus, Blue Buffalo is made in the USA. They adhere to stringent safety guidelines, as all dog food should. Sadly, there are too many brands that let their standards slide. Stick to a known and trusted brand like this, so you know where your dog’s post-surgery food is coming from. After all, you don’t want your healing pooch to get sick from some mystery brand with a questionable reputation.
To find out more about Blue Buffalo, click here.
3. Hill’s Science Diet for Sensitive Stomachs
Dental surgery can upset more than a dogs’ ability to chew. Swallowing small amounts of blood, being on anesthesia, and even fasting before surgery can put your pet’s stomach in a delicate condition. Instead of risking it, you may want to feed your favorite Fido a great brand that is made for sensitive stomachs.
Finicky eaters may turn their noses up at a lot of foods. Particularly after surgery, any dog can get choosy. Fortunately, with superb food like Hills, there’s much less risk of your pet refusing to eat. Feed them half of the recommended serving for their size and normal activity level with a small bowl of water the evening after dental surgery.
By day two, your pup should be eating a full serving at every meal. I haven’t met a dog yet who will turn their nose up at this brand. Plus, Hills has lots of omega-six fatty acids and vitamin E to help your pet with their skin and coat health.
Select this sensitive stomach food for your pet after dental surgery by clicking here.
4. I and Love and You, Naked Essentials
With no fillers, I and Love and You is outstanding dog food. I love that they use no carrageenan, which is a conventional thickener in too many wet dog foods. It’s vital to make sure your post-surgery pooch has balanced meals to help them heal. They can easily get that from ILY.
The variety of flavors gives you plenty of options for your canine companion. When they say “Gobble it Up” or “Cluckin’ Good,” on the name, it’s no joke. This food smells good enough for people to eat, and my dogs have always licked their bowls clean when I gave them ILY flavors.
When you’re looking for a food with flaxseed and sunflower oil for your healing pup, you’ll find it in these Naked essentials flavors. Better still, the company has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and fantastic customer service in my experience.
To check prices and availability, click here.
5. Nutro Cuts in Gravy
One of the downsides to feeding canned dog food is the mess it makes. Additionally, it can be hard to reclose the cans if you have any leftovers. Buying special lids is a hassle. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about that with these convenient little Nutr Cuts individual servings.
The 3.5 ounce trays are super easy to open. Just peel back the foil. Moreover, the smaller serving size is great for the evening after dental surgery. If you have smaller dogs, the portions are perfect. For larger dogs, you can give them more than one as needed, since they come in a multipack.
Although it’s not a patte style like most of the list, the soft chunks of meat and veggies are still easy on a dog with healing gums. Your post-surgical pet should have no trouble eating Nutro Cuts. Plus, the gravy makes it especially appealing for a dog who isn’t feeling their best.
Nab some Nutro Cuts for your favorite Fido when you click right here.
Your poor pooch has enough to deal with just healing their body after dental surgery. Never feed a dog with a mouth injury hard, crunchy food. It can lead to torn stitches and more problems. If you run out of the right soft foods, you can use some kibble in a pinch. However, you need to adjust it.
First, dampen the crunchy food with a little water. A little will do. Next, you can microwave it for a few seconds to help bring out the flavor and increase the appeal. Start with ten seconds at a time in a microwave-safe bowl, and make sure to check the temperature with a finger. Don’t go overboard with the liquid or heat. Your dog doesn’t need hot soup, just warm, soft, healthy nutrition.
When you make the right nutritional choices for your post-surgery dog, they’ll heal up better and faster. Your dog’s mouth should be right as rain in a few weeks.