This is not a common subject among dog owners. Can dogs get braces? Why, yes they can. Some people might be wondering why a dog would need braces though. This is a complicated answer. There are several reasons why a vet might recommend braces for a dog.
It’s important to understand why dogs would get braces, let alone need them. Some dogs actually have teeth that are crooked when they’re born.
A lot of Bulldog breeds have teeth that are crooked when they’re born. This makes it harder for these dogs to eat their food correctly. Being able to eat their food is very important for all animals. Just like with humans.
Being Able To Eat.
If we think about the food we feed our pets, more often than not, it’s dry food. I’ve talked a lot about the foods we should feed our pets in the past. Food is an essential part of any living beings well-being. Our pets are no different from us being able to eat.
Think about yourself with very crooked teeth. An intense under bite. A dog with an under bite wouldn’t be able to chew their food properly. An under bite means that your teeth stick out farther than your top jaw. Because we can move our jaw forward, it’s more beneficial to have an overbite. That way we can move our lower jaw out to chew properly. With dogs though, they can’t really move their jaws out to chew.
If they have food they’re trying to chew, but their teeth can’t get to it, they can’t eat. They end up swallowing their food whole but this doesn’t digest well. This can cause problems in the long run with getting the nutrients they need. Even feeding wet food to dogs with bad teeth doesn’t always help either. They can try to tongue it around, but it doesn’t always work well.
Even with a raw diet, dogs need to be able to chew the meat. Cutting meat into very small pieces will help, but doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Be sure that whatever diet your dog is on, they can eat.
Proper Nutrition For Pets.
Pets need to get nutrients to be healthy. They need the bone development. Their muscles also rely on the proteins to build more muscle. Same as with us. We need minerals, vitamins other nutrients to keep our bodies healthy, Dogs are the same in that regard.
Not being able to chew their food, they would swallow it whole. Stomachs are designed to digest food with an acid. However, that acid takes time to break foods down into liquids from solids. It’s meant to break down smaller bits of solids, not whole chunks of food. The whole chunks would make their way to the intestines and they would secrete them in their feces. So, essentially, they ate. However, it did nothing for their body because only liquids can be absorbed through the intestines.
As I mentioned, the teeth are there to break the food down for proper digestion.
Raw diet – usually meats, vegetables, some sort of grain. The meat needs to be chewed for proper digestion.
Dry food – definitely needs to be chewed. Can cause choking hazards if not chewed properly. Also, doesn’t absorb in the intestines in whole form.
Wet food – also sometimes has chunks that need to be broken down. Also, the tongue doesn’t always get to the food properly. I’ve seen a lot of dogs bite the food from the bowl.
Braces Could Be Necessary.
In the case of dogs that can’t chew, your vet would recommend braces for your dogs. Some breeds just naturally have very crooked teeth. These are the breeds that the vet would recommend braces for.
I’ve seen quite a few Bulldog breeds with braces. I also have a small Chihuahua that braces would help him to be able to eat his food. Some dogs have had trauma to the mouth, and in these cases the vet would recommend braces.
Any dog that has a hard time chewing, would need braces. Some dogs also lose teeth prematurely, so they would be an ideal candidate for braces as well. If you think that your dog is having a hard time with their food, then a visit to the vet is recommended.
Average Cost of Braces For Dogs.
If you’ve had a vet recommend braces, then you might already know the cost. Some braces for dogs can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000. This also depends on whether they need braces for the whole mouth. Some minor corrections can cost around $4,000. It all depends on what the vet recommends.
There is some good news in the cost. Some pet insurance companies will cover the majority of the cost for braces. That means, in the event the vet recommends it, insurance will help. If you haven’t heard of pet insurance in the past, it is a life saver.
There are a lot of pet insurance companies out there. Some will cover natural issues with breeds. However, do your research and find out before paying for the service. Whatever you need to do to help your pet with braces, try for it. They need to be able to eat, just like we do.
Final Thoughts on Can Dogs Get Braces?
Now that you know that dogs might need braces, be aware of your pets eating habits. I like to observe my pets on a daily basis. Always watching what they’re getting into. How much food they eat or don’t eat. Making sure that they’re getting the proper nutrition to be healthy.
All these factors play an important role in your pets health. If your pet has had a hard time with eating, once they get that fixed, you’ll notice they’re more happy. I know when I’m done feeding my dogs, they get very happy. It’s like toddlers that get their favorite food. Even if you don’t have kids, I’m sure you’ve seen the happy food dance on social media. Parents video their kids when they get something yummy. The child starts dancing around and smiling big.
Dogs love food. We love food. It’s a shame when dogs can’t eat because of bad teeth. Now, if your dog has lost a bunch of teeth due to old age, that’s a different story. Some dogs lose teeth from lack of dental hygiene. It depends on the dog and the breed as well.
Regular visits to your vet will help though. Keep that relationship close.
Do you have a dog that’s needed braces? What was your experience and is your dog healthier because of them? Share your experience!