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More Pet Myths

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puppy

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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Pet Myths 1

dog looking at camera

dog looking at cameraPet Myths – Page 1

Chocolate is not harmful to dogs:
MYTH: Chocolate is terrible for dogs. The theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal

Dogs sweat by salivating:
MYTH: Dogs actually sweat through the pads of their feet!

Dogs see in only black and white:
MYTH: Dogs see in color, but not the same way that we do. Veterinary ophthalmologists have found that dogs are similar to people with red/green color blindness, meaning they can see bluish and greenish shades but not reddish ones. To a dog, a bright orange ball on a grassy lawn appears as a light greenish ball in greenish grass. This is similar to our vision at twilight.

A cold can be transferred between pet to owner:
MYTH: Most viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other organisms are specific to the species they inhabit. In other words they cannot transfer from animal to human or human to animal and still survive. Here is a list of things your pet can not catch from you:
• Common Cold
• Influenza
• Stomach Flu
• Mononucleosis
• Poorly thrown tennis balls…

However there is something called Zoonosis, which is a disease or health condition that can be transferred from animals to humans. So there are a few things you can catch from your pet but it happens VERY rarely. So you can feel free about snuggling up with your cuddle buddy when you are too sick to be around other people!

Hypo-allergenic pets:
MYTH: Many people take this to mean non-allergenic when it really means LESS allergenic. Allergies are caused by a reaction to the proteins in an animal’s saliva or dander that comes off our pets and not from the fur itself. Some animals drop less dander than others. If you are a pet lover but also an allergy sufferer here are some tips to help you “breathe” a little easier:
• You can get an allergy shot from your doctor, or buy over the counter meds (something with loratadine works wonders).
• Install an air filtration system
• Groom animal frequently
• Wash animal bedding and toileting areas often
• Vacuum, dust, and sweeping daily

My dog is urinating in the house because he is angry with me:
MYTH: If your dog is urinating in the house, it can only be for one of a few possible reasons:
• The dog might be dealing with a medical condition such as a urinary tract infection or seizures.
• The dog might be anxious and in distress about being left alone.
• The owner left him alone longer than the dog can hold his bladder.
• He is not fully house-trained.

Using human food during training will encourage a dog to beg at the dining table:
MYTH: If you give your dog human food while training, it will not necessarily equate to him begging at the table. If you do not want your pet to ask for food while you are eating, teach him a “go to your place” command to show him that he needs to go somewhere else while you’re enjoying a meal and to earn his yummy reward

Tug of war creates aggression in animals:
MYTH: Tug of war can be a great game to play with your dog as long as you do it properly! Dogs should learn that it’s never okay to put their teeth on your skin when grasping for the toy with their mouths. Dogs should learn to “drop” the toy on command when you’re ready to end the game. Using a tug as reinforcement instead of food is common among working dog trainers because dogs enjoy it. When your dog shows a natural inclination for this type of play and reward, making it cooperative and under your control is the name of the game for your talented athlete!

Purebreds are not as healthy as mixed-breeds:
MYTH: This is not necessarily true; while mixed-breed dogs are not susceptible to many of the genetic diseases common in purebred lines, there is no guarantee of genetic health or temperament in either type of dog. Both purebreds and mixed-breeds alike are vulnerable to rabies, distemper, parasite infestation among other non-genetic ailments.

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