Are they or aren’t they?
Of course you want the best for your dog – but be aware, there are some commonly held dog myths that may prevent you from taking the best care of your pet.
Myth 1: A dry or warm nose is a sign your dog is sick.
This commonly held misconception does not always hold true – your dog’s nose may be cool and wet but it may also be dry occasionally. A dry nose may occur after napping, due to sunburn or an allergy to plastic. Make sure your dog has water available and if his snout becomes cracked applying petroleum jelly may help. If it doesn’t go back to its usual moist self a visit to the vet may be in order. A runny or crusty nose is not good – this too will require a visit to the vet.
Myth 2: Your dog is wagging her tail so she must be happy
While this is often the case, a wagging tail can also signal aggression or fear. Take note of other body language your dog is exhibiting and make sure you have her under control when approaching people or other animals just in case that excited tail wagging is actually a precursor to antisocial behavior.
Myth 3: A human year is equivalent to seven human years
This is an oversimplified way to think about dogs aging. Different dog breeds have different expected life spans – often smaller dogs live for a longer period than larger dogs. One way to think about it is that a one year old dog is equivalent to a human teenager or young adult – they can reproduce and still have a lot of energy. An eight year old dog is more closely related to a middle aged human. Some dogs live until 15 or even 20 years which would be 105 or 140 years old if we followed the multiply by seven rule!
Myth 4: Dogs eat grass when they are sick
It’s not thought that dogs intentionally eat grass to make themselves vomit but eating too much grass can have that effect. Dogs simply enjoy the taste of grass occasionally! As long as the grass is chemical free it should be fine, however, if it becomes a consistent habit or there is excessive vomiting it might pay to call the vet.
Myth 5: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
This common saying indicating stubbornness in humans is actually unfair on older dogs! As long as their hearing, vision and body are up to the task – and they can muster enough energy – an old dog will likely enjoy learning new things and all the attention that comes with it. If your dog does not seem to be retaining tricks he learnt earlier he may have the dog equivalent of senility – in this case, take it easy on him!
Myth 6: Dogs hate cats
While animals may occasionally show aggression towards each other, many households have both dogs and cats who grow up to be the greatest of friends.
Myth 7: Dogs are colorblind
Most of us attribute colorblindness to dogs. But is it really true? The reality is a BIG NO! Dogs aren’t colorblind , instead they can see colors like us. However the difference lies in the fact that they cannot see as many colors like we do, but also their world isn’t BLACK AND WHITE. Their retinas have lesser number of cones (two compared to three in humans) which are color detectors. The world to them is less colorful but isn’t also colorless. An added fact is that they can also see in dim light facilitating nocturnal hunting.
And there you have it! Dog myths busted. Don’t believe everything to read.
(Feature image: The Confused Dog)