Dog and cat together.

People are susceptible to believing things they hear or read. Pet ownership and care are among other topics that flourish online and in person. Unfortunately, the prevalence of pet myths can lead pet owners and animal lovers astray. Together, we can dispel 10 fallacies and offer our pets the best care possible.

Pet Myths About Dogs

Myth #1: A Dry Nose Means They’re Sick. Most dog owners recognize that a cold, wet nose is a sign of robust canine health. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a dry, warm nose indicates illness. Watch your dog for other possible symptoms. It might not be a cause for concern at all, but anything that makes an owner pay more attention to their dog is worthwhile. 

Myth #2: Dogs Only See Black and White. Dogs may not be able to see all the bright colors that we do, but the cones in their retina can process gradations of blue, yellow, and green. 

Myth #3: A Wagging Tail Means Happiness. Generally, a wagging tail signals friendliness and curiosity. If you see this behavior in an unfamiliar dog, they could be communicating aggression, anxiety, distress, and even pain.

Myth #4: Let Your Dog Lick Your Wound. This old wive’s tale leads many to having their dog “clean” a cut or scratch. However, there are loads of bacteria inside a dog’s mouth that can find its way directly into your bloodstream. Opt for a sterile cleanser instead.

Myth #5: My Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise in the Backyard. This is one of the most damaging pet myths out there. Dogs need daily vigorous workouts to keep them in optimal health. You may be able to substitute with an occasional game of fetch in the backyard, but your dog also needs a change of scenery to stimulate their mental health. 

Pet Myths About Cats

Myth #6: My Indoor Cat Doesn’t Need Vet Care: Indoor cats are healthier and safer than those allowed to roam the neighborhood, but only from falls, fights, loss, and accidents. They still require and benefit from disease prevention (vaccinations, parasite preventive medications, labwork, dental care, etc.) every year. 

Myth #7: Cats Hate Water. Some cats are frightened of fountains, faucets, sprinklers, and showers. But many cats actually love the soothing flow of water, and some even like to swim like tigers! A sudden fascination with or attraction to water may be linked to an illness. Watch your cat closely for other symptoms, and seek help if they appear unwell. 

Myth #8: Cats Prefer Solitude. Just because they can hang out by themselves without major behavioral side effects doesn’t mean that cats prefer their own company. Indeed, most cats are highly social and get a lot out of daily meaningful interactions with other pets and people alike. 

Myth #9: Cats Always Land On Their Feet. While felines are fully equipped with impressive acrobatic skills, they should never be placed in a situation where they could get hurt. They have an inner ear mechanism that assists in correcting their body positioning, and a highly flexible backbone that helps them twist. Despite these adaptations, cats don’t always land on their feet.

Myth #10: You Can’t Train a Cat. So wrong! Cats are incredible at learning how to do things. From toilet training to walking on-leash, agility training to special tricks, cats have the intelligence and physical capabilities that make training them so much fun!

The Truth About Pet Myths

If you have questions or concerns about any of these pet myths (or some we didn’t mention), feel free to call us at (916) 939-1705.