Debunking Some Pet Myths

Animals have been a part of human existence from the beginning of civilization. Fluffy and Fido have filled a variety of roles, including friend, guardian, hunting partner, tracker, and therapist. Our furry companions have also inspired several legends throughout history. It’s always interesting to read those different fables and stories. Unfortunately, many superstitions and old stories persist to this day. Some of these myths are really harmful to our four-legged friends! In this essay, a Holly Springs, MS veterinarian addresses some of the most prevalent.

Female Pets Should Have A Litter Before Being Fixed

Let’s begin with one of the most destructive. Unfortunately, many owners assume that letting their pets have a litter before spaying will make them healthier and happier. This is actually false. There are no physical benefits, and encouraging pets to reproduce adds to the growing population of homeless animals.

Myths About Dogs

Let us go on to Man’s Best Friend. Fido has also been the subject of a lot of gossip and speculation throughout the years. 

Here are some of the biggest rumors about him:

If Fido’s Nose Is Dry, He Is Sick

If you could tell a dog was sick based solely on how dry their nose was, well, we’d have a lot fewer diagnostic tests and equipment in our clinic. This myth is incorrect, yet it has a grain of truth, as do many of the other topics we’ll address here.

Fido’s wet nose helps him distinguish scents more quickly. Your dog’s cute nose creates a distinct mucus that is intended to capture smell molecules.

Puppies’ noses might get dry for a variety of causes. Senior dogs frequently have dry noses. This could also mean Fido has simply taken a long nap and hasn’t licked his nose in a while.

However, this could imply dehydration, which is very harmful.

This seems like a wonderful opportunity to highlight the genuine signs of sickness.

Here are some of the key ones:

  • Breathing Issues
  • Changes in Thirst and Appetite
  • Skin/Fur Problems
  • Limping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Withdrawal
  • Grumpiness
  • Staggering

In general, anything out of the ordinary for your four-legged friend may be cause for concern. Please contact us straight away if you notice any of these symptoms or anything else that seems off.

Dogs Enjoy Hugs

This is a misperception, rather than a myth. Some dogs don’t mind being cuddled by their human pals. Fido adores his owners, so embracing him is unlikely to offend him. Hugging a strange dog, however, is a totally different story. Hugs really do not translate well into dog language. They are similar to the body language that dogs employ to assert dominance over one another. Therefore, some pups may see it as a sign of aggression. 

This is actually quite important. If you have children, make sure that they understand this as well!

Only Happy Dogs Wag Their Tails

It’s not difficult to see where the confusion came from on this one. Dogs do wag their tails when they’re happy. In fact, some puppies get so excited that they can actually hurt their tails by smacking them against things. (This is referred to as Happy Tail Syndrome.) 

The misconception here originates from the fact that dogs do not only wag their tails when they are joyful. Puppies that are nervous, distrustful, suspicious, or uncertain will also wag their tails. They just do it much slower. Consider tail speed as a mood indicator. Fast wags suggest that the pooch is enthusiastic. Slower ones? Not so much.

 One Human Year Equals Seven Doggy Years

Dogs do not age at the same rate across their lifetime. Furthermore, large and small canines develop and age differently. So, this ancient proverb isn’t a reliable predictor of Fido’s age. For more information, contact your Holly Springs, MS veterinarian.

Fido Should Eat Like Wolves Do

Many people are interested in feeding their pets natural foods. We understand that, and commend efforts to make sure Fido is getting a high-quality diet. However, it is vital to understand Fido’s dietary needs. Our canine companions are descended from wolves, but they split off onto their own branch of the doggy family tree thousands of years ago. Fido’s diet should consist mostly of meat, but it should also include nutritious fruits and vegetables, grains, eggs, and other foods. For more information on this, consult your Holly Springs, MS veterinarian.

And Meow, Some Cat Myths

Kitties have also accumulated a lot of rumors! Here are some common examples:

Kitties Always Land On Their Feet

Fluffy is extremely agile, and can twist herself in midair. We’ve all seen her impressive kitty acrobatics! But just because our feline friends can perform incredible kitten gymnastics does not mean they are immune to injury. In fact, the damage sustained by cats when they fall from heights is referred to as High Rise Syndrome. Always ensure that your screens and windows close correctly.

Black Cats Are Bad Luck

This one has caused a lot of distress for our feline companions, yet it refuses to die. Black cats aren’t unlucky for us, although they have had some bad luck. These myths trace back to the Dark Ages, when Fluffy was erroneously accused of being involved in witchcraft. Unfortunately, this superstition resulted in a widespread backlash against black cats, some of which continues to this day. Black cats still suffer from that bad PR.  It does not exactly help that black cats are a popular Halloween theme. Because of these myths, there are currently several awareness days dedicated solely to black cats.

Kitties Have Nine Lives

It’s not hard to see where this one came from. Fluffy has a penchant for dragging herself into trouble and narrowly evading danger. Despite the ancient proverb, our feline pals, like us, only have one life. (We’re not sure if Fluffy actually ever read this memo, but that’s another problem.)

Fluffy Sees in the Dark

It’s true that cats have better night vision than humans. However, Fluffy is unable to see in the dark. In fact, you might want to get a nightlight to help your pet find her way around at night!

Only Happy Cats Purr

As anyone who has an affectionate furball may attest, our feline companions tend to start their engines when they are happy. Many cats start purring as soon as they settle in for a cuddle with their owners. However, purring is more than just an indication of Fluffy’s happiness. Kitties also purr when they are sick, scared, or lonely. This may help them relax and comfort themselves.

Fluffy Can Teleport

To be honest, we’re not too sure about this one. Let’s just say we have some concerns about Fluffy’s ability to create wormholes and bend space and time to her will. 

Cats Never Like Water

There is a degree of truth to this. Most of our feline pals do not appreciate getting wet. However, a few furballs do appreciate being near water. Some, such as the Turkish Angora, even enjoy swimming.

Schedule an Appointment at Your Holly Springs, MS Veterinary Clinic.

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Holly Springs, MS animal hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinarian needs. We are here to help!

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