Removal or Reduction of Teeth of Dogs as a Method of Reducing Bite-Related Injuries

(Approved by the AVMA Executive Board November 2004; Revised by the AVMA Executive Board April 2010)

The AVMA is opposed to removal or reduction of healthy teeth of dogs as a method of reducing bite-related injuries. This approach to managing aggression does not address the cause of the behavior. The welfare of the patient may be adversely affected because the animal is subjected to dental procedures that are painful, invasive, and do not address the problem. Removal or reduction of teeth for nonmedical reasons may also create oral pathologic conditions.

In addition, dogs may still cause severe injury with any remaining teeth, and removal or reduction of teeth may provide owners with a false sense of security. Injury prevention and the welfare of the dog are best addressed through behavioral assessment and modification by a qualified behaviorist.