A FREE Consultation with a Licensed Veterinarian in your Zip Code - Call us Now!

Pet Dental Health: Fact or Fiction?

Discover the truth about pet dental health! Experts debunk myths and provide practical advice for maintaining your pet's oral hygiene. Learn more now!

In this article, “Pet Dental Health: Fact or Fiction?”, experts from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine provide valuable insights into common misconceptions surrounding pet dental care. They debunk popular myths and clarify important facts, emphasizing the significance of proper oral hygiene for our furry friends. From the importance of addressing “doggy breath” to the risks associated with bones as treats, the experts offer practical advice backed by scientific knowledge. They highlight the importance of routine dental care and home dental care practices, while also shedding light on the role of veterinary dentists. By separating fact from fiction, this article aims to educate pet owners and empower them to make informed decisions regarding their pet’s oral health.

“Doggy breath” is normal

FICTION – Doggy or kitty breath is not normal.

When it comes to your pet’s breath, it’s important to pay attention to any changes in odor. While some pet owners may brush off bad breath as “normal,” it can actually be a sign of serious trouble in your pet’s mouth. Conditions such as periodontal disease, tooth abscess, and cancerous oral tumors can all contribute to foul odors. If you notice a change in your pet’s breath, it’s important to have a veterinarian check it out right away. Early detection and treatment are key to ensuring a speedy recovery.

Eating dry food is better for their teeth

FICTION – It’s true that in the past veterinarians thought that the crunchy texture of dry kibble was better for teeth than wet food.

In the past, there was a common belief among veterinarians that the crunchy texture of dry kibble was better for teeth than wet food. However, we now know that both wet and dry food can contribute to the development of plaque, which is the slimy coating that forms on teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to periodontal disease and other oral health issues. That being said, there are specially formulated dry dog and cat foods that are designed to remove dental plaque. These foods have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and can be a good option for maintaining your pet’s oral health.

Pet Dental Health: Fact or Fiction?

Dogs can eat bones, their ancestors did

FICTION – Bones of any kind are a big no-no.

While it may seem natural to give your dog a bone to chew on, it’s important to know that bones can be extremely risky for their oral health. The odds of a dog breaking a tooth while chewing on bones are very high. Even bones that seem sturdy, such as antlers or cow hooves, can pose a risk to your dog’s teeth. In fact, studies have shown that up to 63 percent of wild dogs have at least one fractured tooth. To avoid potential tooth fractures, it’s best to select dog chews carefully. Look for chews that can be bent or flexed, can be pressed with your thumbnail, or are easily dissolved in water. If a chew fails these tests, it’s best to avoid giving it to your dog.

My pet would stop eating if their mouth hurt

FICTION – Pets tolerate much discomfort during their lives.

Pets are known for their ability to tolerate discomfort, and this includes oral pain. Many pet owners mistakenly believe that their pet will stop eating completely if their mouth hurts. However, this is not always the case. Pets often find ways to adapt to oral pain, such as eating on the side that doesn’t hurt as much, swallowing food whole to avoid chewing, or preferring softer food. As a result, pet parents may not even realize that their pet is experiencing oral pain until the issue has progressed significantly. Regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian can help identify and address any oral health problems before they become more serious.

Pet Dental Health: Fact or Fiction?

Putting my pet under anesthesia for dental care is too risky

FICTION – Professional dental care is an important part of your pet’s overall oral health.

Some pet owners may have concerns about putting their pet under anesthesia for dental care. However, professional dental care is a crucial aspect of maintaining your pet’s oral health. Anesthesia allows veterinarians to thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth, perform necessary treatments, and clean their teeth without causing stress or pain. While there are risks associated with anesthesia, these risks are extremely low and can be mitigated through proper pre-anesthetic testing. Your veterinarian will likely recommend bloodwork, x-rays, and other tests to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the procedure and to create a safe anesthetic plan.

There are dentists just for pets

FACT – Veterinary dentists specialize in advanced dental procedures.

If your pet requires advanced dental procedures, your regular veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary dentist. These specialists have extensive training in advanced dental procedures, including root canals, orthodontics, and advanced imaging for tumors or jaw fractures. While your regular veterinarian can provide routine dental care such as check-ups, cleanings, and extractions, a veterinary dentist is equipped to handle more complex dental issues. If your pet needs specialized dental care, your veterinarian can provide a referral to a veterinary dentist. The American Veterinary Dental College website is also a valuable resource for finding a veterinary dentist.

You should brush your pets’ teeth

FACT – Periodontal disease is common in pets and preventable with daily plaque removal.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions diagnosed in pets, with over 80 percent of dogs and cats affected. This disease occurs when bacteria in plaque cause inflammation and infection in the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of teeth and other serious oral health issues. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is through daily plaque removal. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the preferred method of plaque removal, but there are other options available as well. The Veterinary Oral Health Council website provides recommendations for various products that have been tested and proven to be effective in maintaining oral health.

Pet Dental Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

About Cummings School

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to providing comprehensive veterinary care, education, and research. With a focus on promoting the health and well-being of animals, Cummings School offers a range of services and programs for pets and their owners.


Cummings School welcomes pet owners, veterinarians, and students to be a part of its community. Whether you’re seeking veterinary care or looking to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, Cummings School is here to support and guide you.

Strategic Vision 2030

Cummings School has a strategic vision for the future, with a goal to become a global leader in veterinary medicine and education. Through innovative research, advanced clinical training, and community outreach, Cummings School aims to make a lasting impact on the field of veterinary medicine.


Cummings School is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and meets the highest standards in veterinary education and care. This accreditation ensures that students receive a quality education and that animals receive the best possible care.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Cummings School is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all. The school values diversity and believes that it enhances learning, research, and patient care.

Working at Cummings School

Cummings School offers a vibrant and collaborative work environment for faculty and staff. With a focus on teamwork and professional development, Cummings School provides opportunities for growth and advancement.

Weather Update

Cummings School keeps track of weather conditions to ensure the safety of its staff, students, and patients. Regular updates are provided to keep everyone informed and prepared.

Leadership & Faculty

Cummings School is led by a team of experienced and dedicated faculty members. These leaders bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the school, guiding its mission and vision.

Dean’s Bio

The Dean of Cummings School, a highly respected and accomplished professional in the field of veterinary medicine, leads the school in its mission to provide exceptional education, research, and clinical services.

Faculty Emeriti

Cummings School recognizes the contributions of its retired faculty members who have made significant contributions to the field of veterinary medicine. These emeriti faculty members continue to inspire and mentor future generations of veterinarians.

Faculty Leadership

Cummings School’s faculty members are leaders in their respective fields, conducting groundbreaking research and providing expert care to animals. Their leadership and expertise contribute to Cummings School’s reputation as a top-tier institution.

Admissions and Financial Aid


Cummings School offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program for individuals interested in becoming veterinarians. The admissions process includes a comprehensive review of applicants’ academic records, experience, and personal qualities.


The application process for the DVM program at Cummings School involves submitting an application, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and other supporting documents. Applicants are also required to complete an interview as part of the selection process.

DVM Admissions

Cummings School welcomes individuals who are passionate about veterinary medicine and have a strong academic background. The DVM program prepares students for a wide range of careers in veterinary medicine.

Graduate Admissions

Cummings School offers various graduate programs for individuals interested in pursuing advanced studies in veterinary medicine. The admissions process for these programs includes submitting an application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other required documents.

Visits & Tours

Cummings School encourages prospective students to visit the campus and learn more about its programs and facilities. Campus tours and information sessions are available to provide an overview of the school and answer any questions.

Virtual Tour

For those unable to visit in person, Cummings School offers a virtual tour that allows prospective students to explore the campus, facilities, and resources remotely. This virtual tour offers a comprehensive view of Cummings School’s offerings and amenities.

Financial Aid

Cummings School offers financial aid options to help students finance their education. Scholarships, grants, and loans are available to eligible students based on financial need and academic merit.


The financial aid program at Cummings School is designed to make veterinary education more accessible for students. The financial aid office provides guidance and assistance throughout the application process.

Apply for Aid

To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional forms required by Cummings School. The financial aid office reviews applications and determines eligibility for various aid programs.

Policies, Forms, & Resources

Cummings School provides comprehensive information on financial aid policies, forms, and resources on its website. Students can find guidance on loan repayment, scholarship opportunities, and budgeting tools.


The financial aid office at Cummings School offers answers to frequently asked questions regarding the application process, eligibility criteria, and types of aid available. These FAQs provide valuable information for students seeking financial assistance.

Tuition & Fees

Detailed information on tuition and fees for the DVM and graduate programs at Cummings School is available on the website. This information helps students plan their finances and make informed decisions about their education.

Types of Aid

Cummings School offers various types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Students are encouraged to explore all available options to determine the best financial aid package for their individual needs.

Contact Information

Contact Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

For inquiries or more information about Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, individuals can contact the school directly. The contact information is as follows:

  • Address: Jean Mayer Administration Building, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536
  • Telephone: [Phone Number]
  • Email: [Email Address]


Cummings School maintains an active presence on Twitter, providing updates, news, and engaging content related to veterinary medicine. Following Cummings School on Twitter is a great way to stay up to date with the latest developments.


Individuals can connect with Cummings School on Facebook to get the latest news, updates, and events happening at the school. The Facebook page allows individuals to engage with the Cummings School community and stay informed.


Cummings School shares captivating photos and videos on Instagram, highlighting the school’s activities and achievements. Following Cummings School on Instagram provides a visual glimpse into the world of veterinary medicine.


Cummings School’s YouTube channel features informative videos, interviews, and educational content related to veterinary medicine. Subscribing to their channel allows individuals to access a wealth of valuable resources.


Cummings School maintains a professional presence on Linkedin, connecting with professionals and sharing industry-related content. Following Cummings School on Linkedin provides networking opportunities and access to career-related updates.

In conclusion, understanding the facts and fiction surrounding pet dental health is crucial for ensuring the well-being of our furry friends. By debunking common myths and embracing proven practices, such as regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene, and professional dental care, pet owners can help maintain their pet’s oral health and overall quality of life. With the resources and expertise available at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, pet owners can access the knowledge and support needed to provide the best possible dental care for their beloved pets.

Share the Post: