Dog Myths and Facts

Dog care advice comes from many different sources, and therein lies the reason dog owners can be confused when it comes to dog myths and facts.

Here are some of the most common myths about dogs:

(1) Dogs Eat Grass When They Feel Sick
One of the oldest dog myths is that dogs eat grass when they feel sick to their stomachs, because it makes them vomit so they feel better. Eating grass can make your dog vomit but not because the grass itself sickens them but because the rough blades of grass often irritate a dog’s stomach lining. Most veterinarians, when asked about this myth, will tell you they believe that dogs eat grass simply because they like it.

(2) Mixed Breeds Are More Healthy Overall Than Purebreds
It is true that some breeds of dog are prone to specific diseases but it’s not true that mixed breed dogs are any healthier and heartier than purebred dogs. Mixed breed dogs are at risk of acquiring every inherited illness common in their genetic background. Owners of mixed breeds usually don’t know exactly what the genetic makeup is for their mixed breed, other than guessing their dog is part this breed and part that breed, when in fact, the dog might be a genetic mix of several breeds. This can put a mixed breed dog at a greater risk of developing genetic illnesses. The only way to be sure a dog won’t develop an inherited genetic illness is to adopt your pet from a reputable breeder who has screened the parents – and sometimes the grandparents – of a dog for any hereditary illnesses before they are bred.

(3) Dogs Eat Their Feces Because They Lack Certain Nutrients
Many dogs like to eat feces. There may be a medical reason for this but it’s usually just normal dog behavior. A dog might eat feces because it learned this behavior when it was young; it likes the taste (yes, I know you’re saying ‘ugh’ right now); it is seeking attention it’s not getting from you; or it gets very hungry between meals. You needn’t freak out if your dog occasionally eats its feces. Just be sure to clean up after your dog before it has a chance to eat it.

(4) Dogs Heal Themselves by Licking Their Wounds
It is true that dogs keep their wounds clean by licking them and this can speed up the healing process. But excessive licking of a wound is not good. It can easily promote more damage to the dog’s wounded tissues, which in turn may result in bacterial infection. If your dog starts licking a wound excessively, try to stop the behavior by focusing the dog’s attention on something else.

(5) A Dog’s Nose Should Be Cold and Wet
Most of the time, your dog’s nose will be cold and wet. On occasion it may suddenly become warm and dry. A dog’s nose will stay cold and wet because they tend to lick them a lot. A cold, wet nose is not an indicator of good health. You do need to watch for a runny nose or any discharge from the dog’s nasal passages which can indicate illness. Other than that, don’t worry about whether your dog’s nose is cold and wet or warmer and drier.

Before you boldly accept that something you heard or read about dogs is true, research it to see if it is really a dog myth or a dog fact!

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

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