Myth: If your new puppy makes a mess in the house while you’re not around, bring the dog over to the mess, hold his nose in it, and scold him. This will force him to learn that going in the house isn’t acceptable under any circumstances.
Truth: Unfortunately, this is one of the most prevalent housebreaking myths among new pet owners. The fact is, puppies that age can’t fathom the cause/effect relationship between their natural bodily functions and why, 20 minutes later or more, you’re yelling at them. This housebreaking method doesn’t work, and really does more emotional harm than good.
Myth: Dog food that is high in protein causes kidney disease.
Truth: This myth probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low-protein (and thus low-nitrogen) diets. Today, we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein, but instead contains protein that is more digestible (therefore producing fewer nitrogen by-products). These diet changes are made merely because damaged kidneys may not be able to handle the excess nitrogen efficiently. In pets with existing kidney problems, nitrogen can become too high in the bloodstream which can harm other tissues.
Unless your veterinarian has told you your pet has a kidney problem that is severe enough to adjust the protein intake, you can feed your pet a normal amount of protein without worrying about “damaging” or “stressing” your pet’s kidneys. Also, keep in mind the fact that you are not “saving” your pet’s kidneys by feeding a low-protein diet.
Myth: Human shampoo if fine to use on pets.
Truth: You should never use shampoo that is made for humans on your pet. Human shampoos contain harsher detergents, are not pH balanced for pets, and could damage hair or sensitive skin.
Myth: Stop worrying about fleas and ticks once it gets cold out.
Truth: Remember that cold weather does not kill ticks. In fact, spring and fall are when the deer tick numbers are at their peak. As a general rule, we recommend using flea and tick products until after extreme winter conditions persist. In warmer climates, flea and tick protection should be provided year round.
Myth: The only consequence of not giving my dog proper exercise is he might gain a little weight.
Truth: Exercise is important for physical health, but exercise also plays a key role in mental health. Providing your dog with proper exercise can prevent boredom and help him be a happy, well-behaved dog. Boredom is a leading cause for dog behavioral problems. Inappropriate chewing, digging, and excessive barking or licking can be signs that your dog is bored.
Myth: Rawhide is not safe or healthy for my dog.
Truth: A major US medical school once conducted a laboratory test that showed in groups of test dogs, even in those fed rawhide three times a day, there were no ill effects. Chewing rawhide has the beneficial effect of removing plaque from the animals’ teeth and keeping them cleaner, important because periodontal disease is a real problem in many adult dogs. We feel that rawhide is a good all-around choice for dogs, if they are supervised when chewing. Supervision should be used when your dog is playing with any object, including toys and bones.
Dog Dental Health
Myth: Dogs have great teeth and chew bones alone keep their teeth healthy.
Truth: 70-80% of cats and dogs over 3 years of age have dental disease. Even if their teeth look good, we do not know what could be lurking under the gum line. The best way to avoid painful and costly dental disease in your pet is with a good dental health program.
Myth: A Cold, Wet Nose = A Healthy Dog.
Truth: Actually, a dog’s nose should be normal body temperature unless it is winter and he just came inside.
Tug of War
Myth: Tug-of-War makes dogs aggressive.
Truth: Tug is a great game to bond with your pet and give it some exercise and stimulation. Be sure to set rules and boundaries so that your dog knows when to “leave it” or “drop it.”
Myth: You can’t teach an Old Dog new tricks.
Truth: While it is true that older dogs may be more set in their ways, any dog can learn something new, no matter how old. Dogs, like humans, will benefit from mental stimulation every single day of their life.
Myth: A wagging tail means the dog is friendly.
Truth: Dogs move their tails in many forms of communication including happiness, aggression, fear, dominance, and invitation. It is best to ask the dog’s owner before petting a strange dog.
A Dog’s Mouth
Myth: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans.
Truth: Today, you brushed your teeth twice. Today, your dog ate kitty litter, garbage from the trash can, a dead bird from under the bush in the yard, and licked his butt at least four times. Really – you can let this one go.
Myth: Dogs eat grass when they are sick.
Truth: Some dogs simply like the taste, especially early in the morning or after a rain when the grass is dripping with fresh water. My family had a dachshund that kept a small area mowed by his chomping every morning.