I am not exactly sure why or how myths exist, but they do! Particularly for dogs.
While most myths are harmless, the myths that surround dog health and behavior can be dangerous if believed to their fullest.
Here Are 5 Myths That I’ve Encountered:
1. Dogs Only Wag Their Tails When They Are Happy
Although most dogs do wag their tails as a sign of happiness, many dogs wag their tail when they are unsure or uncomfortable. If you ever have to approach a dog you don’t know, don’t simply assume they are happy because their tail is wagging. Be sure to use their other body language and posture to access their level of comfort around you.
2. If Your Dog’s Nose Is Cold, It Means They Are Healthy
According to dog expert, Jenna Stregowski, RVT, the myth originated during a time when Canine Distemper was very common. A side effect of Canine Distemper is a hard and dry nose. Therefore, it was assumed that a healthy dog had a cold, wet nose. More appropriate indicators of your pet’s health include; eating and drinking well, not having any issues urinating or defecating, no vomiting or diarrhea, and good energy level. The truth is, you know your dog. If it seems like they might not be feeling well, take them to your veterinarian.
3. Dogs Are Color Blind
The truth is, dogs can see in color. They just don’t see color the same way that we do. While their eyes have fewer mechanisms to detect color, they have a greater ability to detect light. Specifically, dogs’ eyes can distinguish blue from yellow, but not red from green, due to the types of color receptors (cones) they have in their eyes. Whereas, we can detect more color, but cannot see as well in dim or dark lighting.
4. My Dog Will Be Okay If He Only Eats a Few Tablescraps
This is not true at all. Firstly, some of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Secondly, many foods can cause your dog to suffer from pancreatitis or other digestive illnesses. Not to mention the sheer lack of nutrition provided by many of the foods we consume today (that includes lack of nutrition for both you and your dog). The most important thing for pet parents to remember is that food is not love! There are tons of other ways to show your dogs that you love them, specifically by feeding them the right food and nutrition.
How do you know which food is the best food? I recommend spending some time researching with your veterinarian.
5. Playing in the Yard is Enough Exercise For My Dog
If you live on a few acres and your dog spends hours running around with other dogs, having fun and discovering new smells, this may be true. However, the majority of pet parents have a standard yard and roaming just won’t cut it for most dog’s energy requirements. A walk in the neighborhood not only provides them with exercise (and you by the way!) it also provides them with mental stimulation and strengthens your bond. Additionally, even if you have an extensive yard, your dog will still want you to play with them! Exercising and playing with your dog not only improves your health, but it also improves their mental and physical well-being.
So there you have it! I have had many conversations with pet parents over the years debunking these myths and many more. However, these were the topics that kept reoccurring.
Have you ever encountered these myths in conversation? If so, did you know they were myths at the time?
Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.