Numerous false beliefs and misunderstandings exist surrounding dogs. These include popular notions such as dogs’ limited ability to perceive color, the need to establish alpha or pack leadership in order to train them effectively, and the health risks associated with co-sleeping with your furry companion. The Yorkie Times is here to debunk these common myths about dogs and give you the truth so you can better understand your furry friend.
15 Common Dog Myths and Misconceptions
1. Dog Saliva Can Heal Wounds
The belief that dog saliva can heal wounds is a prevalent misconception. Instead of promoting healing, it can actually worsen the condition. There are individuals who deliberately allow their furry companions to lick their cuts, but this practice is not recommended at all. A dog’s mouth is not hygienic as they engage in activities like licking questionable items and eating things from the ground. Germs from dog saliva can enter the open wound leading to grave infections.
2. Shelter Dogs Do Not Make Good Pets
Numerous misconceptions about rescue dogs exist, which can be detrimental and discourage prospective adoptions. Some individuals believe that shelter dogs are undesirable since their past and origin are unknown, or that they are in the shelter for a valid reason. Assuming that a dog’s presence in a shelter suggests negative behavior is incorrect. Not all animals end up in shelters due to wrongdoing; many are there because their owners face unavoidable circumstances. Others abandon their pets when a newborn arrives. Additionally, if a rescue dog displays aggression, it is most likely due to inadequate treatment and a lack of proper socialization or training. If you plan to get a dog, consider giving a rescue animal a chance.
3. Your Dog Should See You as the Alpha
For a long time, dog trainers have been promoting a myth that dog owners need to be dominant and act as alpha dog to control their pet’s behavior. However, recent dog training research has shown that dogs don’t require dominance to behave well. In reality, dogs who receive reward-based training and praise tend to be more balanced and content. The concept of dominance-based dog training originates from research conducted on captive wolves in the 1970s, which suggested that aggressive alpha wolves become pack leaders. As dogs are descendants of wolves, this theory was applied to dog training. However, modern science has since debunked this idea, revealing that wolf and human families are similar in that the parents nurture and care for their offspring.
4. Dogs Can’t See Colors
Just because your furry friend has a limited range of vision compared to humans doesn’t imply that they can only see in black and white. Canine companions can detect shades of gray, blue, and yellow, which helps them to reduce visual interference and navigate with ease during low-light conditions for hunting purposes. Furthermore, keep in mind that dogs’ keen sense of sight is attuned to spotting movements from afar.
5. Dogs Catch Our Colds
It is widely believed that if a person catches a cold, their pet dog will also fall ill. However, it is highly unlikely for dogs to contract cold viruses from humans because the viruses that cause similar symptoms in both species rarely cross over. Therefore, there is no need to worry about giving your furry pal your sniffles. Nevertheless, if your dog is unwell, it is important to keep them isolated from other dogs in the area, as the virus could spread and infect others. It is crucial to wait until your pup has fully recovered before letting them interact with other pets.
6. Dogs Should Only Eat Raw Meat
Wolves, which are the closest relatives of dogs, have a diet that consists of meat when they are in the wild. This information has led many pet owners to believe that raw meat is the best food for their domesticated dogs. However, dogs have evolved in the past centuries from pure carnivores to a more omnivorous diet. This means that relying solely on meat can lead to various health problems. Your dog can potentially miss out on valuable vitamins and nutrients if they only consume meat. While meat is essential for dogs since they are omnivores, they also require high amounts of fat, fruits, and vegetables to maintain optimal health.
7. Dog Mouths Are Cleaner Than a Human’s
Recent studies reveal that the number and variety of bacteria in both human and canine mouths are similar. However, the majority of bacteria found in a dog’s mouth are more compatible with their own species rather than humans, making it less risky to smooch your pup than another person. Nonetheless, it doesn’t suggest that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. Due to their eating behaviours, such as scavenging and ingesting from litter boxes, dogs accumulate bacteria that can make their mouths unclean.
8. Dog’s Always Yelp When in Pain
Canines possess a genetic disposition to conceal any indications of physical discomfort. In their natural habitat, a creature that is wounded or weakened is susceptible to becoming the target of an assault. Thus, it is advantageous to exhibit a demeanor that nothing is problematic, even if it is not the case. In the case of domesticated dogs, they still exercise this habit of masking their agony, for fear of compromising their social status within their circle. Dogs do not necessarily yelp when they are injured. It is crucial to observe any alterations in their conduct, as these could indicate that they are experiencing distress.
9. Dogs Shouldn’t Sleep with You
In the past, animal experts discouraged dog owners from sharing their beds with their pets, asserting that it could result in unfavorable behavior in the animal and potentially cause serious health problems for people. However, current research indicates that these concerns may be exaggerated or mistaken. Mayo Clinic Proceedings recently published a study indicating that sleeping with your canine companion may actually enhance your sleep, provided that both you and your dog are healthy and your dog is not burrowed beneath the blankets. As long as your dog is free of fleas, ticks, parasites, and diseases, and has received all necessary vaccinations, snuggling with your furry friend every night is perfectly safe.
10. All Human Foods are Bad for Dogs
Dogs should not eat all human foods. It is important to avoid feeding them obvious treats such as chocolate or onions. However, snacks like apples, bananas, and dairy products are acceptable. Remember to provide these human foods in limited amounts and not as a substitute for a balanced meal for your dog.
11. Dogs Know When They Are Guilty
Have you ever returned home to discover that your pet has gnawed on your shoes or left a mess on the sofa? The expression on their face does not indicate guilt. Dogs are capable of experiencing fear, happiness, and sadness. however, research reveals that dogs lack the psychological maturity to experience secondary emotions such as guilt and shame. Pet owners often presume that their dog senses wrongdoing, but in reality, they exhibit appeasement conduct. Dogs who appear guilty are merely reacting to their owner’s irritation or letdown, and it is their way of decreasing anxiety in response to feeling threatened.
12. Tail Wagging Equals Happiness
One of the most misunderstood behaviors of dogs is the belief that they wag their tails only when they are happy and friendly. In reality, dogs have complex body language and may wag their tails in response to fear, anxiety, or aggression as well. To determine the reason for your dog’s tail wagging, it is crucial to observe the overall tension or relaxation in their body, not just their tail.
13. You Can’t Teach an Old Dog
There is a common belief that elderly canines are incapable of acquiring new knowledge. However, any dog, regardless of its age, has the ability to master new skills and undergo training just like a young, energetic pup. Oftentimes, older dogs may require additional time to comprehend new concepts, thus necessitating you to exhibit a bit more patience to teach an old dog new tricks.
14. Dogs Eat Grass When They Are Sick
There are various assumptions and fables surrounding this and other peculiar animal actions. You might have heard that dogs who consume grass have stomach issues and do so to prompt vomiting, or that it indicates a lack of nutrients. However, research has indicated these to be falsehoods. Dogs who eat a balanced diet and are in good shape will typically devour grass while exhibiting no vomiting. Scientists think that this grass-consuming conduct is natural and typical. Additionally, multiple studies have confirmed that various other wild canid species consume grass regularly. One such example is wolves, who consume plant matter frequently.
15. Dry Dog Noses Means They Are Sick
The dampness or warmth of a dog’s nose does not necessarily provide reliable information about its health. A dog in good health can have a dry or warm nose, while a sick dog can still have a wet and cold nose. Other factors like not eating, hiding, or strange behavior can give better indications of your dog’s health. The most accurate way to determine if your dog has a fever is by using a thermometer. If your dog’s nose feels warm or dry, be vigilant for any potential illnesses but do not panic right away.
We hope these helpful facts can clear some misconceptions related to dogs. The Yorkie Times is here to cover and provide content for Yorkies and other canine relatives.
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