Dispelling Common Dog Myths

Dispelling Common Dog Myths

A few weeks ago, we dissolved a few common myths about cats. In this week’s post, we’re busting myths about your canine pals. Below are a few of the most common misconceptions about dogs and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: You can tell if your dog is sick by touching his nose.
Most people have heard that feeling their dog’s nose can determine the health of their pet. For instance, if your dog’s nose feels cold and wet, he’s healthy. If it’s warm, he’s sick. This is a complete myth. As convenient as it would be, you can’t tell if your dog is sick or healthy just by touching his nose. To really find out if your dog is ill, you have to take his temperature with a thermometer and pay attention to how he’s behaving.

Myth 2: Dogs wag their tails when they are happy.
Not always. Yes, happy dogs often wag their tails, but dogs also wag their tails when they are agitated or scared. Don’t just assume that because your pooch’s tail is moving back and forth that he’s in a good mood. Pay attention to his overall demeanor. Is he walking up to you excitedly, wanting to interact? Then he’s probably happy. If he is wagging his tail but also has his ears back and seems a bit hesitant or tense, then he’s likely agitated or frightened. Also, pay attention to the position of the tail. If he’s wagging his tail in a high position, he is likely agitated. If his tail remains toward the middle of his body while moving back and forth, he’s most likely in a friendly mood.

Myth 3: It’s okay to use human shampoo on your dog if you’re out of dog shampoo.
Using your own shampoo to wash your dog is a bad idea. The ingredients in human and pet shampoo are different, and using anything but dog shampoo on your pooch could irritate his skin. It can even cause dry skin and dandruff. Dog shampoo is engineered specifically for dogs, so using anything else to wash him can have negative effects.

Myth 4: Leaving your dog alone in your yard is sufficient exercise.
Many pet owners think that if they put their dog in the yard, he will get plenty of exercise because he will run around by himself. Some owners even forgo dog walks in favor of this. But leaving the exercise up to your dog isn’t a good idea. Sure, some dogs will take the initiative to run by themselves, but others won’t. Many dogs are not active if their owners are not present to interact with them. If left alone, even outdoors in a yard, they will often spend the time lounging or sleeping. The only way to make sure that your dog gets enough exercise is to be with him. Make it a point to go on walks with your dog every day so he gets a healthy amount of exercise. If you’re pressed for time, take your canine pal on a jog with you. That way, you are both maximizing your exercise at the same time. But exercise isn’t just limited to walking and jogging. Swimming, playing fetch and any other active games are a great way for your dog to stay in shape.

Myth 5: Small dogs are better for kids than bigger dogs because of their size.
Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean it will get along great with kids. A lot of smaller dogs are temperamental and easily agitated, and will often bark excessively or even bite. If you want a kid-friendly dog, size doesn’t really matter. Instead, pay attention to the dog’s personality and temperament. A lot of medium- to large-sized dogs are great with kids because they are friendly and enjoy playing. And always supervise your kids when they play with the dog, to ensure they are playing safely.

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