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More Pet Myths

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One dog year equals seven people yearMYTH: It was once believed that for every human year a dog aged, you simply multiplied by seven to calculate your dog’s age. Contrary to popular belief, there is no exact formula; aging for dogs is individual to the specific dog and breed. However, as a rough approximation, a one-year-old dog is estimated to be between 10-16 years, a two-year-old dog adds another three to eight years, and each year afterwards equals approximately four or five human years.

Dogs wag their tail when they are happy:
MYTH: A wagging tail is normally associated with a happy dog, and has even been compared to a human smile. However, a wagging tail can indicate a number of emotions ranging from friendliness and excitement to agitation and aggression.

An important communication tool, a dog’s tail needs to be read along with the dog’s body language to determine exactly what the dog is ‘saying’. Is the dog growling while wagging his tail? Are his teeth showing? Or is he is relaxed and perky? Evaluating a dog’s overall body language can help you decipher the emotion behind the wag.

Dogs and cats eat grass because they have an upset stomach:
MYTH: Dogs and cats eat grass for a number of reasons; it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not feeling well. While some people believe dogs and cats eat grass as a digestive aid, they tend to eat grass (and other plants) because they like the taste.

If you find your kitty likes chewing on houseplants, you might consider providing her alternative things to nibble on, such as a small pot of grass or other young plants (avoid toxic plants that can threaten your cat’s health).

Cats rubbing a person is a sign of friendliness:

BOTH: While getting a friendly rub by a cat may be a sign of affection, it also serves another important feline function: scent-marking. Cats have scent glands in many parts of their bodies, and use them to ‘mark their territory’ by leaving their scent on objects they come in contact with.

Scent-marking is an important cat habit. By leaving their scent on everything they touch, they become familiar with the smells around them, thus helping them to establish or claim a particular person or object as ‘their own’.

Cats purr because they are happy:
BOTH: Purring, for the most part, has been known to signal that a cat is happy. Although purring by domestic cats is usually a sign of contentment, purring, in general, is a way for cats to communicate. Used as a self-calming technique, cats have been known to purr when they’re injured, nursing or even dying.

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