Thank you for the condolences .... I will never be the same.
Anyways ... if I should go pre-made raw ... I would gradually switch over just like kibble ... correct?
Also ... since she is so small ... is there a home made raw without bones way to do this ... or is the better pre-made because it would be fortified with vitamins? Or do you need supplements either way?
Sorry so many questions.
Honestly in most cases I think its safer to switch to raw cold turkey, as some would claim it confuses the digestive system to alternate feeding kibble and raw, but honestly, both of my dogs have done just fine on a part kibble/raw diet, My shiba has been on this diet for 6 years without any noticeable issues. Thumper, he's a little different, the only thing I notice with the partial diet is his stools; they are never consistent unless he's on solid raw. I experimented a while back with 1 week solid raw diet and stools were perfect. As soon as he got kibble into his system again, stools were runny, soft, green occasionally - every dog is different. So you COULD try transitioning that way, if you prefer, but I dont believe it is at all neccessary.
When my dogs are fed kibble, they are fed typically less than half of what the recommendations on the bag suggest, and I always have a 12 hr period between feeding kibble and raw, recommend at the minimum 7 hrs.
My 6 year old Shiba has been eating the same premade commercial ground raw diet his whole life and I am proud to say he's not been to a vet other than for vaccinations and neuter, and he's never had any major health concerns. I like to think that its because the ground diet is whole animal carcass including the efficient amounts of muscle meat, bone and organs - which is extremely important when feeding raw, so thats why I suggested that. Its easy, convenient and its nutritionally complete. However, your little girl, regardless of missing some teeth, may be able to crunch up little chicken bones and what not sooner or later, once she regains some strength in her jaw/teeth, etc, being able to chew on some bones would no doubt help out her dental situation and prevent any further dental complications.
Now, I am feeding a variety of raw; although my Shiba is living proof that the premade commercial raw diet has worked wonderfully for him, I DID notice that his teeth were beginning to look.. not so good. It wasn't until I started doing further research that I learned that dogs really NEED to chew/eat bones not only for nutritional reasons, but to keep their teeth in good health too. He was getting the nutrients from the ground bone in the commercial diet, but he wasn't getting the dental benefits, as there really is no chewing involved. I conducted a little experiment a little while back, first I eliminated kibble cold turkey off the menu and put my dogs on a solid raw diet for just over a week to see if I would notice any changes or differences when kibble is out of the equation. So, what I did was source out a bunch of cheap cuts of meat, bone and boneless from grocery stores, etc and I alternated their raw meals. Because the commercial premade raw had sufficient amounts of bone, I tried to balance out the meals accordingly so that they weren't getting TOO much bone, because obviously too much or too less of anything isn't good, but I did the best I could. On the weekday mornings they got the commercial premade because its easy and convenient to feed when i'm rushing to get ready for work, one evening they would get a fairly boney meal, like cornish game hen/chicken/turkey/duck parts (wings, necks, thighs, drumsticks, backs, etc). The next evening they would get a more 'boneless' dinner, like chunks of boneless pork, beef, peice of whole frozen large sardines, chicken gizzards, chicken/beef liver/heart, raw egg, etc..I wasn't too worried about the protein varieties with this stuff, since they were eating whole ground elk, beef, lamb, bison, duck, chicken and rabbit carcass regularily as part of the commercial diet..
Anyway, after that week or so I immediately noticed improvements with Cash's teeth, Thumpers were always fairly pearly white being a puppy, Cash had lots of build up in his teeth but what a significant difference I noticed there just being able to chew up more bone.. wether that was a combination of no kibble and chewing bone.. I dont know, but I was happy either way, his teeth were becomming naturally cleaner, and his breath was much better as well. In that week as well, I noticed really good stools, especially Thumper, his stools were always whacky, and as soon as the kibble is out of the question that was more consistent and normal for him (could have also been the increased bone ingestion firming it up). and I also noticed both dogs itching less, they were never bad for dry/itchy skin, but up here the winters are very dry, but when kibble was off the menu, significant decrease in itching, Thumpers bald spot on his nose grew in immediately, and another small, minor thing I noticed as well is eye goobers that they both occasionally got were gone.
So, although I think my dogs did just fine with kibble included in their diet, I definitely noticed they do even BETTER without it. So that is why I'm gradually getting off kibble for good, it only took a little over a week for me to realize the difference without it and its hard to even continue feeding the kibble I do have, since its all good quality stuff, but its also expensive so I am trying to use it up.
Hopefully others will chime in here about feeding raw - bone and boneless varieties with your situation with a dog missing teeth, but for now I suggested the premade commercialg round raw becuase it would certainly do the trick temporarily until she can start gnawing on some bones.
Regardless, good luck with whatever route you go and I hope you find whatever works good for you new little girl