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Dog Tales: Fact or Myth?

We often believe certain myths about our pets —even when they aren’t actually true. Be it because of old wives’ tales or misunderstanding, people are often wrong about doggie facts and myths.

Some of these myths are so old and perpetuated that they are taken for granted, and the lines of fact and myth become blurred and indistinguishable.

Keep reading for a look into some of the common myths and facts about our dogs. You might be highly surprised by what you find out.


PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dog Kisses Can Make You Sick

yes

 

Just like humans, dogs’ mouths are full of germs and bacteria. It is quite possible for you to get sick from your dogs’ kisses. Even dogs that are never exposed to old or spoiled food scraps carry bacteria from licking themselves after taking care of their outdoor business.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

You Can Make Your Dog Sick

yes

 

It isn’t common, but it does happen. For example, the H1N1 virus (swine flu) has reportedly been the cause of death in some pets after contracting it from their owners. Another little-known fact is that MRSA can be spread back and forth between pets and their owners.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dogs Can Smell Drops in Blood Sugar Levels

yes

 

Believe or not, dogs can detect hypoglycemia. The dogs typically alert the person by means of barking or whining or licking. The success rate for service dogs trained for this particular ability is 90%, making these dogs a valuable tool for those who suffer from hypoglycemia.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dogs Are Capable of Learning 250 Words

yes

 

The average dog can learn and understand approximately 150 words, but some breeds can learn as many as 250 words, which is similar to a 2-year-old’s vocabulary. The smartest dogs: border collies, poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers and Doberman pinchers.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dogs Wag Their Tails Beginning at Birth 

 

yes

Most dogs don’t wag their tails until after at least 3 weeks and sometimes as many as 7 weeks. Tail wagging seems to be a learned event to placate energetic siblings. Tail wagging begins as a signal of peace to others and is almost never done when the dog is alone. 

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dogs Don’t See Colors

 

yes

Dog are not limited to black and white sight according to researchers. Dogs can see better in low light than humans can, and can detect a lot more shades of gray. Additionally, dogs can see blues and violets. Colors dogs are believed not to be able to distinguish are red, yellow, orange and green.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Bones are Good for Dogs

 

yes

While bones promote healthy chewing, they oftentimes splinter and can choke your dog. There are safer products available to help satisfy your dogs’ chewing needs.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

A Dog is Sick when its Nose is Warm

 

yes

Your dog’s nose temperature varies based on a number of factors, so it’s not a very good indicator of illness in your dog. Wet nose or dry nose is not important generally.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

A Limp Can Indicate Cancer

yes

 

Dogs suffering from swelling and leg pain oftentimes display sings of limping. When the cause is lung cancer, it causes the leg bones to generate additional tissues, resulting in a limp. A chest x-ray can detect lung cancer, and, fortunately, the limp will go away after treatment.

PREMISE

FACT

MYTH

Dogs Heal Wounds by Licking

 

yes

A dog’s wounds are similar to those of a human in that constant irritation, such as licking, only serves to prolong the sore. A dog’s mouth is full of germs and bacteria harmful to open wounds. Because dogs are prone to licking, they are often prevented from doing so by wearing a cone collar.



Distinguishing fact from myth can be important as well as interesting. Whether you are new to pet parenthood or have had the pleasure repeatedly, you can never know too much about your pets.  This fact is what inspires us to deliver actionable tips through our Smarty Pets blog and knowledge center.

And if you’re looking for durable and cost-effective supplies for your dog, we invite you to browse our online store. Find a wide array of items like dog training collars, dog doors and more. Avoid the hassles of the big box stores while enjoying free shipping on all orders over $75.