!Header Logo

Kanuga Animal Clinic Logo

!Call To Action

Give us a call! 828-692-0941

!Give us a call button

!Call Button on Mobile

Top Pet Myths Debunked

March 15 2024

Animals have been a part of human lives since the dawn of civilization. Fluffy and Fido have taken on a variety of roles to help us out, including friend, guardian, hunting buddy, tracker, and therapist. Our furry pals have also inspired many legends throughout history. It’s always fascinating to look back in time and read the various fables and stories. Unfortunately, many superstitions and old wives’ ‘tales’ remain to this day. Some of those misconceptions are quite dangerous to our four-legged pals! In this post, a local Hendersonville, NC veterinarian discusses some of the most common ones.

Pets Should Have A Litter  Before Being Fixed

Let’s start with one of the most harmful ones. Unfortunately, many people believe that allowing pets to have a litter before being spayed will make them healthier and happier. This is actually false. Not only are there no physical benefits, but encouraging pets to procreate contributes to the growing number of homeless animals.

Myths About Dogs

Let’s move on to Man’s Best Friend. Fido has also accumulated a fair amount of gossip and speculation over the years. Here are some of the major rumors about him:

If Fido’s Nose Is Dry, It Means He Is Sick

If you could tell a dog was sick just on how dry their nose was, well, we’d have a lot less diagnostic procedures and equipment in our pet clinic. This myth is wrong, but like many of the other things we’ve discussed here, there is a grain of truth to be found in it.

Wet noses help Fido identify scents more easily. Your dog’s cute nose produces a unique mucus that is designed to catch scent molecules.

Pups’ noses can be dry for a variety of reasons. Senior dogs often have dry noses. This could also indicate that Fido has just taken a long nap and hasn’t licked his nose in a while. 

However, this could indicate dehydration, which is quite dangerous. 

This seems like an excellent opportunity to point out the true symptoms of illness.

Here are some of the biggest ones:

  • Breathing Issues
  • Changes in Thirst/Appetite
  • Skin/Fur Problems
  • Limping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Withdrawal
  • Grumpiness
  • Staggering

Generally, anything that seems out of the ordinary for your pet could be a red flag. Contact us right away if you notice any of these, or anything else that seems unusual for your canine buddy. 

Dogs do not age at the same rate throughout their lifetime. Furthermore, big dogs and tiny dogs develop and age differently. So, this old adage isn’t actually a good indicator of Fido’s age. Ask your Hendersonville, NC veterinarian for more information. 

Dogs Enjoy Hugs

This is more of a misconception than a myth. To be honest, some dogs do not mind being cuddled. Fido is really fond of his owners, so he probably won’t mind if you embrace him. Hugs, however, do not transfer well into doggie language. They are actually similar to the body language that dogs use to demonstrate dominance over one another.

This is actually quite important. If you have children, make sure they understand this as well!

Only Happy Dogs Wag Their Tails

It’s not hard to understand where the confusion stemmed from on this one. Dogs wag their tails when they are joyful. In fact, some puppies are so eager that they can injure themselves by banging their tails against things. (This is known as Happy Tail Syndrome.) The misconception here stems from the fact that dogs do not just wag their tails to signify that they are pleased. Puppies who are uneasy, distrustful, suspicious, or uncertain will also wag their tails. They just do it considerably slower. Think of tail speed as a mood indicator. Fast wags indicate an excited dog. Slower ones? Not so much.

A Dog Year Equals Seven Human Years

Dogs Should Eat Like Wolves

Many individuals are interested in giving their pets natural meals. However, it is critical to understand Fido’s nutritional requirements. While our canine companions are descended from wolves, they diverged into their own branch of the family tree thousands of years ago. Fido’s diet should be primarily meat-based, but it should also include healthy fruits and vegetables, grains, eggs, and other things. Consult your Hendersonville, NC veterinarian for specific guidance on this.

Cat Myths

Kitties have also collected a lot of rumors! Here are some common ones:

Kitties Have Nine Lives

It’s not difficult to see where this one originated from. Fluffy has a knack for both getting herself into trouble and narrowly avoiding danger. Despite this old proverb, our pets, like us, have just one life. (We’re not sure if Fluffy actually got this memo, but that’s another matter.)

Fluffy Sees In The Dark

It is true that cats have greater night vision than humans. However, Fluffy is unable to see in the dark. In fact, you might want to acquire a nightlight to help your pet navigate around better at night!

Cats Always Land On Their Feet

This old legend, like many others, has some truth to it. Fluffy is incredibly agile and can twist herself in midair. We’ve all seen those impressive kitty acrobatics! But just because our feline pals can perform some amazing kitten acrobatics does not mean they are immune to harm. In fact, there is a term for the injuries that cats sustain when they fall from heights: High Rise Syndrome. Always make sure that your screens and windows close properly.

Black Cats Are Unlucky

This one has caused quite a bit of misery for our feline friends, but it refuses to die. Black cats are not bad luck for us, but they certainly have had some bad luck. These superstitions date back to the Dark Ages, when Fluffy was falsely accused of being associated with witchcraft. Unfortunately, this resulted in a public backlash against black cats, and many were tragically slain. The ancient beliefs persist to this day. 

It doesn’t help that black cats are a common Halloween theme. Actually, there are now multiple awareness days that are specifically for black cats because of the terrible public relations.

Kitties Just Purr When They Are Happy

As anyone with a fluffy furball can tell, our feline companions tend to start their engines when they’re happy. Many cats purr when they cuddle with their people. However, this isn’t just a sign that Fluffy is happy. Kitties also purr when they are ill, afraid, or lonely. The idea is that this could be a way for them to relax and soothe themselves.

Fluffy Can Teleport

To be frank, we’re not really sure about this one. Let’s just say we have reservations about Fluffy’s power to create wormholes and bend space and time to her will. We will follow up if and when we get confirmation.

Cats All Hate Water

There is some truth to this. Most of our feline friends definitely do not like getting wet. However, a few furballs actually enjoy being around water. A few, such as the Turkish Angora, even like swimming.

Book An Appointment At Your Hendersonville, NC Veterinary Clinic

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Hendersonville, NC pet hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care requirements. We’re here to help!