Myths about dogs
A black dog is “malas,” or unlucky, some people would say.
True or false? False, of course!
The color of the dog has nothing to do with luck. Please stop blaming the dog or its color if life is not easy for you.
Only you can create the best life there is based on your choices. Not a dog, not a cat, not even another person.
Sad to say, however, there are numerous false stories going around about dogs, some of which can create unnecessary stress for pet owners.
Let us discuss them one by one. The following information from Jenna Stregowski in her article “What are the biggest dog myths (Common Misconceptions About Dogs)” will hopefully stop making you anxious.
Myth #1: A dog is sick if his nose is warm or dry.
Stregowski said this myth is probably rooted in a FACT because of the deadly virus canine distemper.
“One symptom of advanced distemper is hyperkeratosis (thickening) of the nose and footpads. Basically, the nose and pads of the feet become hard and dry. Back when distemper was more widespread, a cool, wet nose was considered a good sign that the dog did not have distemper. While canine distemper still occurs, it is far less common today due to vaccinations,“ Stregowski said.
Stregowski stressed that the dryness, moisture or temperature of a dog’s nose can not be used to measure a dog’s health.
For example, a dog's nose is often dry and/or warm after he has just woken up. This is normal, Stregowski said.
But a nose that is “persistently dry and crusted might be a sign of a health problem. If you notice an abnormal appearance to your dog's nose or any other signs of illness, contact your vet right away,” Stregowski said.
Myth #2: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than that of a human.
This myth probably started when people observed years ago that sometimes, the wound of a dog heal faster after a dog licked it.
But Stregowski explained ”that's because his rough tongue has been removing dead tissue and stimulating circulation, much like a surgeon would debride a wound. On the other hand, licking wounds can sometimes cause more harm than good by introducing bacteria and/or irritating the wound. Guess the people who came up with this myth did not consider the dog wounds that did not heal properly.”
A lot of germs “reside” in your dog's mouth, aside from other "icky" things, said Stregowski.
“Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground and out of the trash or the things he licks off of himself, “ Stregowski noted.
She added, “Plus, many dogs do not get their teeth brushed as regularly as people, so there is the dental tartar and bacteria to consider (as if doggie breath didn't give this away).”
Thus, Stregowski said, “Overall, a dog's mouth contains more germs than anyone wants to think about.”
The good news is that these germs are not likely to cause harm to humans as they are specific to dogs only, she added.
“Basically, if you keep your dog healthy, dewormed and up-to-date on vaccines, there is little to worry over. Better yet, take care of your dog’s teeth and there's even less going on in that mouth. So, a little “kiss’ from your dog is nothing to fret about, but I wouldn't go sharing water bowls or letting your dog lick your wounds, “ Stregowski said.
Myth #3: A dog sees only in black and white.
This myth could have come from old science, Stregowski said.
“It could be that scientists came to the conclusion that dogs see in black and white before they fully understood the canine eye (or even the human eye for that matter) and the functions of cones,” she said.
Dogs see colors but not in the way most humans do.
“Based on the types of cones in the canine retina, dogs probably see colors best on the blue side of the spectrum. Canine color vision is thought to be similar to red-green colorblindness in humans, though not exactly the same. It is believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray, “ Stregowski said.
Myth #4: A dog eats grass to induce vomiting.
While it is true that a dog throws up after eating grass, it does not mean the dog wants to induce vomiting or is sick, Stregowski said.
“The origin of this myth is most likely due to an incorrect assumption by dog owners. People observed their dogs vomiting after eating grass.They assumed that dogs intentionally ate grass when feeling sick to their stomachs in order to make them vomit. When you consider the real reason, this conclusion seems like the long way around, “ Stregowski said.
So why does a dog eat grass?
They simply like it. Stregowski said some dogs like to roam around while others want to chomp.
Stregowski said,”Enough grass in the stomach can create minor irritation and cause the dog to vomit. Some experts believe that a dog's taste for grass goes back to the days when a wild canid would eat the stomach contents of its prey (usually plants like grass and leaves).”
“Regardless of the reason, it's relatively harmless as long as the grass is not chemically treated. That being said, if grass-eating has led to chronic vomiting in your dog, you should probably keep him away from the grass and visit your vet just in case, “ she stressed.
(To be continued next Sunday.)