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11 Common Myths About Dogs

11 Common Myths About Dogs

There are so many things that we think we know, but it turns out that we are misinformed.  There are so many myths, misconceptions, and fallacies.  Here are the facts.


 

1.  Dogs see in black and white

A dog in bed reading a book about cats mfp orgDogs only see the environment in shades of yellow, blue, and gray.  When a dog is presented with shades of red and green he will perceive those colors as shades of gray.

 


 

2.  Kibble will keep my dog’s teeth clean

Kidog pug smilingbble will only clean teeth if it were massaged around all the surfaces of the teeth.  Eating a package of crackers will not keep our teeth clean.  We still need to brush them.  Crackers will leave residue on our teeth as well so our teeth need to be maintained using a toothbrush.  Likewise for dogs.


 


3.  There are dogs who are don’t shed so I won’t see dog hair around my home

As long asVaccuum Sign there is dead hair in the bathtub after a bath, then a dog is shedding.  We shed our hair and our skin cells flake of as well.  Skin and hair sheds from humans and dogs as well.



 
 


 

 4.  Shampooing my dog is very unhealthy – it dries out and damages the hair

Dog Wash Sign Showing Canine Grooming Washing Or ShampooBefore the advent of dog shampoo, the above statement was true.  Dogs have different skin than people.  The pH of canine skin is neutral (7 to 7.4).  Human skin is more acidic.  Dog shampoo is designed for the pH of a dog’s skin and is less likely to cause irritation.  If a gentle oatmeal  dog shampoo is used, bathing a dog can be as frequent as a couple of times a week.  

 


 5.  If I get a puppy I can mold his behavior so he will become the perfect dog

Man Training Dogs to BegJust think about human children.  It is a mixture of nature versus nurture.  How many kids are well brought up.  They are fed well, they learn good manners, they get good grades, but they are messed up beyond belief?  Even the most perfect parenting doesn’t mean that a child will not become a serial killer, psychopath or a con-artist.  The same applies to dogs.  Perfect parents don’t guarantee perfect dogs.

 

 
 


6.  Shaving will reduce shedding and keep my dog cool when the weather is hot

Pom Bad Hair 1024

The hair on this Pomeranian has been shaved and is damaged.

By shaving dogs that have both a top coat and an undercoat will damage the hair (possibly permanently).  By shaving this type of coat, the growth of the top coat is inhibited and overtaken by overgrowth of the fuzzy undercoat.  In the long

Pom Great Hair on Orange Table

Healthy hair protects the dog.

run that means more and more shedding.  The undercoat is the hair that sheds.  That top coat is (also called the “guard coat”) is the hair that protects the dog from the sun, dirt, rain, snow, and keeps dogs cleaner and more comfortable.  When the fuzzy undercoat is removed (brushing expedites this), the dog becomes more “weatherproof.”  The result is that the guard coat lies flat and closer to the skin acting as a shield.

 


 

7.  Walking and exercise will always maintain the nails

Mutt Paw Long Nails 1024Walking dogs on pavement and plenty of activity outdoors will usually grind the nails down and help keep them shorter.  This is true partially true.  There are several factors which determine how well a dog’s nails will grind down.  A perfect gait, plenty of outdoor exercise, health, and physical condition are some of the considerations that determine how well your dog will be able to maintain his nails.  All nails need to make contact on the ground in order for all the nails to benefit.  If a dog is obese, weak, arthritic, or handicapped, it is likely that they will not be able to grind all of his nails down through outdoor activity; their nails are less likely to experience enough friction against surfaces sufficient to file down their nails.  Walking on grass will not help either.  A dog needs to have contact with a surface that will grind the nails down.  As many of us favor the one hand or foot over another, many dogs have left or right dominance as well.  Therefore, nails usually need to be trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks.  A good test to tell is the nails are too long is to have your dog stand normally on even ground.  If the tips of the nails are touching the ground, then you need to have them trimmed.


 


8.  If my dog is not neutered, but he’s very gentle, he will be safe with all dogs at the park

Choc Dog's Balls 437Just because your dog is sweet and gentle, there are many male dogs who get a whiff of the hormones and go ballistic.  This can sometimes lead to aggressive behavior from a dog who is already neutered if he is sensitive and provoked by the mere scent of the male hormones of an un-neutered dog.  Also, it takes only a moment for a dog to mount and penetrate a female.  Even worse, if a female is not spayed, there is the chance of pregnancy.  

 

 

 



 


9.  Kibble that is fortified with vitamins are best – after all, look at all the vitamins on the bottom of the label

Ingredient Label Dog Food

When a label has an extensive list of tons of vitamins and minerals within the list of ingredients it indicates that there is no nutritional value in the food itself.  Tree or four supplements are ok, but a list like the one on the right is something to be concerned about.  China has cornered the market on vitamin premixes.  A vitamin premix is a mixture of vitamins and minerals that is sprayed onto the food.  In the past, there have been reports of toxins (like melamine and cyanuric acid) in those sprays.  Manufacturers are not required to disclose this information on the labels.  They try to fool you by stating that the food is made in the USA.  This way people think it’s safe.  The government is doing as little as possible to regulate the pet food industry.  To learn about this issue in depth, you can read my article, Is the Government Addressing the Dog Food Issue?  If you would like to read more about premix, you can check my article, About China and Melamine in Pet Food. Manufacturers do not usually indicate where they are getting their ingredients, nor are they required to do so.  A number of pet foods tested positive for mycotoxins .  See the article Shocking Dog Food Research Study.  Aflatoxins have also been found in many foods as well.  See my article Aflatoxin Poisoning and Dry Dog Food to read more.  If you would like to see what food I give to them, read What I Feed My Own Dogs.

 


10.  If I have allergies a hypoallergenic breed will suit me just fine It’s the hair type that is the issue

Tissue BoxAlthough some dog breeds might be considered by some to be “hypoallergenic” it does not mean the same as “non-allergic.”  Often, people are not allergic to the hair itself.  It is common that the dander (the flakes of dead skin on the dog’s scalp) is the culprit.  Some people are allergic to the  saliva or urine of dogs.  Proof that dogs shed is when a dog is bathed, there is residue of dead skin and hair by the drain, therefore they shed just as we do.

 

 11.  A dog’s aging is calculated by multiplying his human years by 7

According to WebMD, the formula is as follows:

Age of dog

Small Size Breeds (20 lbs. or less)
age in human years

Medium Size Beeds (21 – 50 lbs.)
age in human years

Large Size Breeds
age in human years (More than 50  lbs.)

1

15

15

15

2

24

24

24

3

28

28

28

4

32

32

32

5

36

36

36

6

40

42

45

7

44

47

50

8

48

51

55

9

52

56

61

10

56

60

66

11

60

65

72

12

64

69

77

13

68

74

82

14

72

78

88

15

76

83

93

16

80

87

120

 

Sources:

 “Healthy Dogs.” Dog Age Calculator in Human Years. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/how-to-calculate-your-dogs-age>.

Essentiallydogs.com is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.

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2 Comments

    1. Janie

      I am so glad that you are enjoying. I appreciate your support. Please spread the word about my website. I feel that my articles can help many people. If you look through the health categories, I think you will find some really important articles.

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