Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Fact or Fiction? Exposing The Truth Behind Popular Pet Myths
Have you ever found yourself wondering about the truth behind life’s urban legends and “general knowledge”, such as the 5-second rule or that eating carrots will improve eyesight, only to come to the conclusion that the answers to life’s quandaries can be downright fishy? Even with the vast amount information available to us with the click of a button, the real truth can be difficult to pin down.
As a concerned or curious pet owner, you probably know that popular pet myths are also plentiful. We,too, see and hear about pet myths accepted as truth (or similarly questioned) fairly often; and, in response, aim to uncover the truth behind a few pet myths below…
Pet Myths 101
- A Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Human’s – As leaders in pet dental care, we can’t begin to understand how this myth evolved. The truth is, your dog’s (and cat’s) mouth is full of bacteria, and it’s truly essential to support overall dental health by brushing and regular exams. So in short, no; your pet’s mouth is pretty much as “dirty” as your own.
- One Dog Year Equals Seven Human Years – We are happy to discuss your pet’s breed and general lifespan, as this myth is a bit shaky. Some smaller animals do fit into this equation, but the ratio decreases with larger animals that tend to have shorter lifespans,
- A Dry, Warm Nose Means Your Dog Is Sick – A wet, cold nose is typically seen as an indicator of health, but the opposite doesn’t always point to sickness or infection. Look for other signs, such as lethargy or fever over 101 degrees, and call us for immediate care if you suspect your pet’s body temperature is not what it should be.
- All People Food Is Bad For Pets – We all want to ensure Fluffy or Fido is getting the right nutrition from good food, but sometimes that can include items from the fridge or pantry. Healthy fruits or vegetables, such as cantaloupe, carrots, and apples, add a great deal to a pet’s vitality.
- Cats Love Milk – Poor kitties are lactose intolerant! Offering a cat a dish of milk or cream can result in painful episodes of diarrhea or vomiting, or both.
- Dogs That Eat Grass Are Sick – This myth is confusing because many breeds, such as Labs and retrievers, seem to like the taste of grass and it’s common for them to graze on a green patch. However, dogs sometimes chew on grass to help mitigate gastritis symptoms or other digestive upset. If it all stays down, you might just have a dog that likes to chomp on grass!
- A Wagging Tail Means Happiness – Sure, wagging can mean you’ve got a happy hound, but it can also indicate that your pet is agitated, angry, aggressive, or anxious. Whatever triggers a wagging tail, we recommend assessing your pet’s corresponding body language to help understand overall behavior and responses to changing stimuli.
- A Purring Kitty Is Happy a Happy Kitty – Purring remains somewhat of a mystery to experts, but it is most likely a direct reaction to blissful, stressful, or even uncomfortable stimuli. Cats often purr when injured, ill, or stressed, in addition to being cuddled.
- You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks – This pet myth is just absolutely wrong – and insulting! Older pets can most certainly learn new tricks and, with proper motivation and owner support, your aging or senior cat or dog may just shock you with his or her precision, consistency, and enthusiasm.
- Dogs Are Colorblind – Research shows that canines actually can see colors, but it’s the way the colors are perceived that varies from our own vision. Dogs tend to see better than humans in lower light and can detect motion much quicker than we can.
Pet Myths Demystified
The trouble with popular pet myths is that a worried pet owner can be led astray by fallacies, and possibly compromise a pet’s health. While many adults have grown out of the “question everything” mentality, when it comes to popular pet myths, leave no stone uncovered. If you’re having trouble separating fact from fiction, our staff is always here to help at Rocklin Ranch.