I'm looking at adopting a dog. A shelter had removed most or all of the teeth from the dog's lower jaw (there may be a couple of teeth left). Some teeth may be missing from the upper jaw as well.

What kinds of problems might this cause for the dog? What accommodations should I plan on providing the dog?

The dog is a six year old Pomeranian.

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    I had fixed the "A shelter had had most or all" to "A shelter had REMOVED most or all" . Feel free to edit if it is not what you meant to say, just seemed to make sense to me from the rest of your question :) Aug 14 '18 at 1:01

I can speak from my own experience in having a toothless elderly cat.

They adapt. My cat eats dry food still, as he did before. He has no problems.

My vet advised me that if I do see him encountering problems, I could change him to a wet-food diet, or soak his dry food in water, to soften it, before feeding him. I would recommend speaking to a vet about this, as the breed may have specific dietary requirements, foods available from supermarkets may not be sufficient, and you may need to get a specialised diet from the vet.

Another issue they may encounter would be in defending themself against attackers. But, this being a Pomeranian, I doubt that not having teeth would add much to the existing size disadvantage they already have against other dogs.

In short, I don't see the missing teeth being an obstruction to adopting this animal. They can live a full, healthy, and happy life with you.


A toothless dog is the best kind of dog!

I would not be dissuaded from adopting a near toothless dog, all it means is that you have a lot less teeth to brush!

It is a common occurrence for this breed to have dental work done as they age, most people are still unaware that dogs, cats and even lizards need to have their teeth brushed daily (lizards can go once to twice a week for brushing) or provide oral chews (preferably with the VOHC seal).

Does a dog with no teeth need a special diet?

Of course a diet recommendation depends on each individual dog however to generalize a toothless dog can still eat hard kibble without any issues, many will swallow the kibbles whole or "chew" with their gums.

Future Dental Work

Chances are, by the sounds of it, the dog has periodontal disease. It is an irreversible process that can require more teeth to be extracted in the future. This is something you can and should budget for considering a dental was just done at the shelter.

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