We, humans, find a great amount of satisfaction and zeal in paying a lot of heed to propaganda and myths that have prevailed around us for decades. Similarly, in the case of dogs, we blindly trust myths twirling the health of our fur friends. You could be a first-time dog owner or seasoned pet keeper, you will always come across people that will offer you some gratuitous advice on dog-keeping. Chances are, it could a bunch of myths that sound like facts. Here you'll find the myths that revolve around dog health.
Dog Myth 1: A warm nose means your dog is sick
You cannot confirm that a dog is sick by touching its nose. Just like humans, their body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, therefore, sometimes their nose is cold and sometimes it is warm. A warm nose doesn’t necessarily suggest that your dog is sick, a healthy dog that has been sitting under the sun might have a warm nose, while a dog suffering from a disease might have a cold nose. A healthy dog will have a normal temperature from 99.5° to 102.5°. It is advisable to measure the temperature using a thermometer if you suspect he is ill.
Dog Myth 2: It’s okay for dogs to lick their open wounds
Dog's saliva is a storehouse of different enzymes and harmful bacteria that can cause more harm than do good. Licking the open wound keeps the area moist and allows the bacteria to multiply. This can cause infection and slow the healing process. Like animals, it is their instantaneous reaction to lick their wound and a lot of people think that it is a natural way to heal the wound. However, it is not. “Dogs' mouths, just like every living being, can have some nasty bacteria that could cause a wound to become infected,” says Dr. Shelby Neely, DVM, a Philadelphia-based veterinarian and the director of operations for the online vet service whiskerDocs.
Dog Myth 3: Dogs only see black and white.
The scientists really mistook the canine eye and the functions of the cones before they could fully understand it. The myth that dogs can only see black and white came from old science. Dogs can see colour, but not the way humans can. Dogs see colours that are on the blue side of the spectrum. This is because of the types of cones in the canine retina and they are believed to see primarily in the blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and other shades of gray.
Dog Myth 4: Dogs eat grass when their stomach is upset or they want to throw up
Nobody knows why dogs eat grass. "Why does my dog eat grass?" this is a common question that dog owners ask and while many owners believe that dogs eat grass because their stomach is upset or they want to throw up, a conclusive answer has not been derived. Studies show that grass eating is normal behaviour in dogs. In fact, less than 25% of dogs vomited after eating grass. The origin of the myth could have initiated when dog owners saw their dogs puke after eating grass and concluded that dogs purposely eat grass to vomit. However, dogs eat grass probably because they like it. Scientists believe that the dog's taste for grass could be traced back to the days when they would eat the content inside the stomach of their prey, which would mostly be grass, plants and leaves.
The grass eating habit is harmless nevertheless and doesn’t affect the dog’s health in any way. As long as the grass is not chemically infused, it will cause no harm to the dog.
Dog Myth 5: Dog’s thick firm coat means that the dog is designed for cold landscapes
A thick, dense fur doesn't guarantee that a dog is innately prepared for cold region habitat. Sure a Siberian husky is less susceptible to cold than a pug, but a thick fur is no guarantee that he will survive the other aspects of colder regions.
In fact, dogs with dense fur are prone to frostbite on their paws, scrotum and tips of their ears.
Dog Myth 6: Dog's age seven years for every human year
Saying that a one-year-old dog is seven in dog years does not really make sense when you consider that dogs can reproduce well before one year of age. That would make 15-year-old dog 105 in dog years, which is not the case. Comparing a dog's age to a human's like an equation is not logical. It could be that someone looked upon the average lifespan of humans and compared it that with dogs only to conclude that dog's age seven years for every human year. Aging in dog depends highly on their breed, size and their overall aging rate and lifespan.
Dog Myth 7: Garlic is a good remedy for fleas and ticks
This is a myth propagated by the internet and many have fallen believe that it is, in fact, a factor a quick home remedy they can use on their dogs. Garlic does nothing to kill or remove the ticks and fleas, in fact, they are known to cause hemolytic anemia in dogs. Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which the body destroys its own blood cells. The treatment is expensive and requires weeks of hospitalization in the hospital. Blood transfusions are required to help you recover from it and the chances of recovery are anywhere from 70 to 30 percent.
Dog ownership is not a cake walk. It is like taking care of an infant who can't communicate with you through words but only gestures. Sometimes these gestures are misunderstood to become myths that everybody follows blindly. Just like you wouldn't feed your child a medicine because somebody said that it works for their child, similarly, you should do your research on what you are feeding your dog. Myths are easy to spread and not as easy to debunk, however sharing these informative myths with your fellow owners and debunking them will help create a safer and secure community for dog owners.