Whether you own a dog or not, everyone has heard at least a few of the myths regarding dogs and the care of them. No one really knows where most of these originated from, but most are just old wives’ tales that aren’t really based in science or fact at all. Worse, sometimes these myths can actually be dangerous to a dog’s health, so it’s important to know the actual truth behind them.
#1While your dog might not be wandering into the great outdoors all that often, other bugs – mosquitoes in particular – can fly into your home; and mosquitoes are known to be one of the biggest carriers of heartworm. Heartworm is a huge risk to all dogs, and all dog owners need to ensure that they’re doing whatever they can to prevent it. A few dollars a month is nothing compared to the lengthy and pricey treatment process you and your dog will face should they become infected with heartworm.
“My dog doesn’t need heartworm medication because he’s an indoor dog.”
#2That ritual could be doing more damage than you think. Consider that one ounce of cheese to a small dog could be like one human eating a chocolate bar, and then scarfing down half of another one. Also, once your dog thinks that they are allowed to eat your food, they could be sniffing their way through garbage which could lead to them finding more dangerous items, such as chicken bones that can splinter and cause great damage.
“My dog always gets the last bite off my plate. It’s our ritual.”
#3If you see your dog eating grass, it can be difficult to determine why they’re doing so. Many pet care professionals believe that animals, including dogs, will eat large amounts of grass if their stomach is upset, or if they’re trying to get rid of something toxic. Typically if that’s the case, the dog will try to eat a lot of grass as quickly as possible, while looking lethargic and perhaps somewhat unwell. On the other hand, dogs just like to eat grass so they could be doing so simply to occupy time or have a snack. Too much grass will result in an upset stomach though, and of course you always need to be especially careful if the dog is treated with something that could be toxic to your dog.
“I think my dog is sick. I saw her eating grass outside.”
#4There are no excuses about cracking a window, leaving a water bowl in the car, or that it’s fairly cool outside. It is extremely dangerous to leave your dog in your car, unattended and with no access to fresh air or proper temperature control – period. And in many areas, it’s even against the law. If your dog is coming on car trips with you, you’d better be prepared to take them with you every single time you get out of the car.
“My dog loves sitting in the car as I run errands. He’s okay in the car; I only leave him for a minute.”
#5This is simply untrue, and believing it could be dangerous to your own health. If your dog licks your face you’re opening it up to another animal’s waste, garbage, dirty rain water, and dirt in grass and on concrete. Dogs lick and sniff just about everything they see, and most of those things are dirty. If you let them lick your face afterwards, some of those things can end up on your face, in your eyes, and in your mouth. Don’t do it.
“Yes, I let my dog lick my face. A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.”
While believing certain dog myths won’t be of any danger to you or your dog’s health, others can be real hazards and need the truth about them exposed. If you aren’t sure whether a particular tip or method is the proper way to care for a dog, ask your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the truth about what’s fact and what’s fiction, and you and your dog will be much better for it.
Kate Elliott has been a freelance content writer for the past 8 years, and has written creatively her entire life. In addition to her online work, she has written a fiction novel, as well as had poetry published in the “Songs of the Heart” collection. A lover of animals since she was young, she’s also always had a dog by her side. Currently her best friend is a 13-year-old German Shepherd named Chewy.