Anyone who adores our animal friends is also aware of a number of pet myths. How do you get the facts straight when it comes to important aspects of your pet’s health and wellness? While some pet myths seem pretty harmless, there are others that can seriously delay a pet from getting treatment or the care they need.

To shine a light on fact vs. fiction, your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services are here to give you some insight. 

Debunking 8 Pet Myths

Myths are commonly held, yet unsubstantiated, ideas. Among hundreds of pet myths, here are eight that we hear that we just have to debunk.

Myth 1 — Dogs eat grass because they are sick. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t always eat grass because they are nauseous. Many dogs eat grass because they like to and it is a form of entertainment. Other reasons include internal parasites and nutritional deficiencies in their diet.

Myth — Cats always purr because they are happy. Most people associate their cat’s lovely purr as a way to express their happiness and pleasure. While this can be true a lot of the time, in many cases it’s not. In fact purring can signal aggression, fear, and pain. It’s a good idea to look for other signs of a joyful cat, such as tail-whipping and head-butting. 

Myth 3 — Having a backyard for your dog to play in is enough exercise for them. It’s great to have ample room for your Fido friend to run and play. But don’t let it fool you into thinking daily walks and other forms of exercise aren’t needed. These more active forms of exercise go a long way for your pet’s mental enrichment and getting their physical needs met. Plus, it’s a great way to get in more steps for you, too.

Myth 4 — Cats hate to get wet. Many cats are averse to having a bath or getting soaked by the rain. This is because the added weight of the water prevents them from sprinting away from a predator as quickly, and limits their defense mechanism. There are some cats, and certain breeds of cats, though, that really like water. You can start your kitten off by bathing them and getting them used to being in water. 

Myth 5 — Dog and cat hair is responsible for allergies. This is a frequently reported myth that fur causes allergies in humans. These symptoms range from watery eyes to sneezing and congestion. Instead, allergens are found in the dander (skin), saliva, and urine of animals. So, the fur is not to blame.

Myth 6 — Dogs have clean mouths. Before you let your dog plant a big, sloppy kiss on you, know that their mouths aren’t as clean as once thought. Their mouths are actually full of bacteria. Just imagine all of the gross things you have seen your pup try to eat, like poop. Not exactly enticing. 

Myth 7 — Cats land on their feet. The idea that cats can fall from great heights and be fine is one of the more disturbing myths. Many cats fall out of windows or off of balconies each year and are seriously injured or killed. This is why it is important to secure any second (or higher story) windows and watch your cat when out on a balcony.

Myth 8 — A “dog year” is the equivalent of 7 human years. This long-standing myth is most certainly not an exact science. Much depends on the size of your dog. A large breed has aged approximately 15 human years by 1 year of age. Whereas a much smaller breed might age more slowly. A good way to encourage longevity is to keep your pet in good health through an excellent wellness program.

Were you surprised by any of these pet myths? Did you believe any of them? What pet myths have you heard and were curious about? Here are more health-related pet myths. OVRS is open to helping you debunk any other health-related pet myths you might have. 

Please call us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.