Do you believe any of these myths about dogs?

There are many things we’ve come to believe about our beloved pups over the years that are…well…simply not true! However fact-based these rumors and truisms may be, they tend to get passed around so much they are treated as common knowledge or even “common sense.” Why would you ever question something millions of people have bought into without question?

But Variety Pet Foods believes that, when it comes to caring for our pets, it’s best to have the most accurate answers at hand. That’s how we can know if they’re just having an off-day or if they’re facing a serious health issue that requires veterinary care. That’s how we can know if sneaking them gobbles off the Thanksgiving table is “being nice” or could make them incredibly ill. So let’s look at some of these myths and put a little more confusion or misinformation behind us.


Myth #1: “Dogs see in black-and-white” – This basic belief was established before scientists even had a good idea of how the human eye perceived color through rods and cones. Dogs can, in fact, see in color, though they do so in a slightly shifted spectrum compared to humans.┬áIt is currently thought dogs have something similar to red-green colorblindness and see better in blue, green, yellow, and gray shades.

Myth #2: “Dog Years” – The idea that you can equate 1 human year to being 7 “dog years” is an older notion that shouldn’t be relied on. Now, yes, dogs do age faster than humans, but there isn’t such a direct correlation between the timeframes. Dogs tend to age faster when younger, and then the aging process slows down as they get older. A one-year-old pup might be considered more of a “teenager” in human terms, whereas an eight-year-old dog would be considered middle-aged. Aging is also going to differ greatly depending on the specific breed.

Myth #3: “Wagging Tail = Happy Dog” – We see a dog’s tail wagging and instantly think it’s in a positive, happy mood. This might be the case, but dogs also wag their tails to show agitation or general nervousness. Dog communication is much more complicated than we tend to realize, and involves their ears, posture, eyes, and other body language elements. All these must be taken into consideration to determine if that wagging tail actually indicates happiness or whether aggression or fear is being broadcasted.

Myth #4: “Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths” – This myth comes from our observation of dogs licking their wounds to help themselves heal. The truth is, dogs licking their wounds can help heal them but not because of any magically cleaner saliva–it’s just because their rough tongues are removing dead tissue and dirt, much like a doctor might swab out a cut before bandaging it. Too much licking, in fact, can increase the risk of infection or introduce bacteria into the open wound.

What are other common sayings or bits of trivia you believe about dogs? Have you ever taken the time to research whether it’s actually true or not? Are there bits of “canine wisdom” you wish people would stop repeating?


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