Pet Health, Senior Dogs

Best dog food for older small dogs with few teeth

small senior dog sitting in chair and eating out of a dog food bowl at the table

Is your older small dog missing a few teeth? Looking for the best dog food for older small dogs with few teeth?

Well, missing teeth and dental issues are extremely prevalent in small dogs and senior dogs and few teeth can lead to limited options in terms of what you feed your older small dog.  It can be difficult to have an older small dog with few teeth but to maintain their nutrition it is important to understand what best to feed them. 


Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your older small dog eats well and stays healthy. Learn how you can meet the dietary needs of your toothless small dog.

Dog food tips for older small dogs

Dogs can experience a decline in their overall dental health as they enter their golden years. When it comes to feeding an older small dog with no teeth, thoughtful preparation and patient care are important. Older small dogs that lose a few of their teeth find it tough to chew hard food. Also, they might experience digestive problems if they eat foods high in fat or fiber (see our article on Best Senior Dog Food Diet).

small senior dog sitting in chair and eating out of a dog food bowl at the tableFeeding tips for older small dogs:

  • Feed Fresh Food
    • Fresh food is soft, easier to eat for dogs with no teeth, and it contains more moisture than dry, processed kibble. Thus, soft fresh food also helps to keep your dog’s body hydrated.
    • Fresh foods have easily-digestible nutrients and healthy fats that help maintain their body health. Home-cooked meat that is lightly cooked provides digestible protein for your dog’s aging body.
    • It’s common for older small dogs to gain weight due to low metabolism and less physical activity. Also, some older small dogs might be prone to losing weight. Fresh food makes it easy to adjust your dog’s daily calorie intake based on how they’re changing over time.


  • Feed Softer Foods
    • Softer foods are also easier to digest
    • Softer foods are easier to manage with any teeth issues
yellow lab looking at a metal dog bowl full of kibble

Following some tips can ensure your small dog can be satisfied even without some teeth

  • Feed foods that meet the health needs of your senior dog.  There is currently no regulated “senior dog food” which seems appropriate since senior dogs have diverse nutritional needs, some are overweight, some are underweight and some have heart issues whereas some do not to name a few.  Find a food that meets the needs of your senior dog’s health.


  • Make sure any dog food you choose offers complete and balanced nutrition for the life stage of your older small dog. Always choose fresh, healthy ingredients that are cooked gently to retain their powerful nutrients.

Wondering if your dog is a senior? Learn more: How to know if your dog is a senior and other senior dog facts

Making Dog Food Easier to Eat for Dogs with Few Teeth

One simple solution is to hydrate and soften the dog food that your older dog already loves. The additional moisture helps make dog food easier to chew and possibly to digest for senior dogs. How soft you make their food depends upon your dog’s dental condition and preference.


black senior dog with gray muzzle looking into camera with sun setting behindOffer fresh, gently cooked food to your senior small dogs. Simply boil meat, and some dog-friendly veggies and add some water to make a broth or stew. Be sure to get rid of any cooked bones before serving. Your older small dog will get the necessary nutrients without putting strain on their teeth. 


Blend food in a blender with collagen boosting bone broth.  This will immediately soften the food and the collagen in bone broth is supportive for aging dogs.  (See our recipe here for Dog Bone Broth)


Make adjustments for the changing needs of your senior dog with few teeth. By making a few basic tweaks, you can ensure that your older small dogs get the nutrition they need.

Senior dog food that our dogs with few teeth loved

  1. Farmers Dog.  This food met all of our criteria for a healthy senior dog food our dogs loved, most importantly it is soft and nutritionally balanced.
  2. Nom Nom All Life Stage Frozen Dog Food.  Available in beef, turkey, pork and chicken this veterinary created clean dog food also was loved by our senior dogs.  Nutritionally complete and balanced this is a great food for small older dogs with few teeth.
  3. Blue Buffalo Senior Chicken Dinner.  This is another clean food that was soft.  Our dogs liked this with a little clean Blue Buffalo kibble mixed in.

Final thoughts

Small breeds are generally more prone to having dental problems. Your small dog getting older is something that can’t be avoided and you might not have much control over those teeth issues. However, you still have control over the quality of the food you give them and the nutrients they get from it. Make their golden years as happy and healthy as possible!


Happy petting!

More Senior Dog Health Information:

5 Senior Dog Care Tips Your Dog Wishes You Knew