While most people would say that we understand dogs a lot better than we understand cats, there are still some myths that surround our canine pals. Today, we are debunking six of the most common myths about our furry best friends:
- Giving your dog garlic can prevent fleas and/or worms.
Garlic does not prevent fleas or worms, and even if it did, it’s not a good idea to feed it to your dog. In large quantities, garlic can actually be harmful to your pup! Talk to us about a safe flea and tick prevention for your dog, and save the garlic for your marinara sauce!
- A warm or dry nose indicates sickness.
You may have heard that having a warm dry nose means your dog is sick, but testing your dog’s nose is a fairly inaccurate way to determine your pup’s health. If you’ve just noticed that your dog’s nose is warm or dry, don’t panic. There are perfectly normal explanations for this, such as waking up from a nap. However, if your dog’s nose is persistently dry or running or becomes crusted over, bring them into us for a visit to rule out any health problems.
- A wagging tail means your dog is happy.
Dogs do wag their tails when they’re happy, but a wagging tail isn’t necessarily an indication of happiness, but rather excitement. It’s important to observe the rest of the dog’s behavior to determine if their excitement is friendly or aggressive.
- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The old saying goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, actually, you can. Training an old dog may be a little more difficult, especially if they have hearing loss or reduced vision. However, as long as it’s within their physical capabilities, even senior dogs can benefit from the mental stimulation of learning new tricks.
- If my dog runs around the yard, they don’t need to go for a walk.
Spending time in your small backyard is no replacement for real exercise. Dogs are naturally pack animals, which means they want to travel with other dogs. When you walk your dog, you simulate this directed, goal-oriented pack behavior in a way that running around the backyard can’t, helping your dog burn off energy in a focused way.
- One human year is the equivalent of 7 dog years.
You’ve probably heard before that the best way to calculate your dog’s age is to multiply their age in human years by seven. If only it were that simple! Not all dog breeds have the same lifespan, so your Yorkshire terrier could live to 17, while your Boxer will probably only survive to 10, meaning they probably age at different speeds. Additionally, dogs mature very quickly at first, but after the first couple years of life, their maturing slows considerably. So a two-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year-old human, but a four-year-old dog is only equal to a 32-year-old human.
There you have it. 6 common myths about dogs that absolutely aren’t true!