14 Popular Dog Myths It’s Time We Stopped Believing

People believe in many things they hear or see. And sometimes, we hear a lot of myths about our dogs that we actually believed for quite some time.

We believed that their saliva has healing properties. We always thought that when they yawn, they are sleepy. And finally, we assumed that when their noses are dry, they are actually sick. News flash, all of these are actually myths that should be debunked right here and now because all of these are not true. And we are certain that these are not the only myths that you have been believing ever since you became a dog owner.

So for everything to be settled and answered once and for all, we have listed 14 of the most popular and always-thought-of dog myths that we will be debunked immediately.

TOP 14: If a dog yawns, it means it wants to sleep. FALSE.

You may always notice your dogs yawn in situations that are not supposed to make them sleepy, such as during playing or when being pet, especially by other people, for example. But their yawning doesn’t actually mean that they are bored or want to sleep. Yawning for dogs is their best way of dealing with anxiety and reducing personal stress.

TOP 13: Dogs’ saliva has healing properties. FALSE.

Unfortunately, there are some people that are so sure about this that they intentionally let their dogs lick the cuts and other injuries on their bodies. News flash, they should never let them do this and stop it immediately.

Dogs might drool when they're in pain.
Image from Pinterest

Dogs’ mouths are not clean.  They lick their body, eat food off the ground, and bite rodents, and do many unhygienic things. These things alone allow them to get a lot of germs into their wounds along with saliva. So, you can only imagine that one drop of their saliva can contain millions of bacteria which can definitely cause an infection to their cuts or injuries.

So please, don’t let your dogs lick their own wounds. In order to help them heal faster, put a special collar around your dog’s neck to prevent them from licking their wounds.

TOP 12: The best food for dogs is raw meat. FALSE.

Raw meat is likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and more. By cooking meat to a safe temperature kills off those harmful bacteria. Therefore, if you feed uncooked meat to your dogs, there’s a higher risk your dog will develop a foodborne illness or other types of bacterial infection. So, stop doing this.

Dog eating raw meat vs. dog eating dog food.
Image from Flickr and Instagram

TOP 11: Fluffy dogs should be shaved in summer so they’re not hot. FALSE.

Many dog owners shave their pets in the summer thinking that it’s the right way to save their pets from the heat but in most cases, it’s not true. Dogs have undercoats. In winter, it becomes thicker and protects them from the cold. And during spring or summer, during the time when the dog loses their hair naturally, they will have their natural undercoat so that they feel comfortable despite the heat.

So, if you shave your dog’s fur, the structure of their new fur will be disrupted and it may curl or get entangled. Instead of making them feel comfortable and fresh, you’re just making their situation worst. It is better to find a different way to prevent the dog from overheating than shaving all their fur.

Dog with fur vs. dog without fur
Image from Reddit and Instagram

TOP 10: Dog shoes are merely fashion accessories. FALSE.

Dog shoes can actually be quite necessary in some cases. Obviously, nature is supposed to take care of everything and make sure that the dog isn’t cold when it walks in winter or any other weather but it’s very unlikely that nature expected us to spread reagents all around — like how we put asphalt on the roads that turn into real lava in hot weather. Besides, the paws of some house dog breeds are way more sensitive than the paws of other dogs.

TOP 9: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. FALSE.

You can and should teach your dog new tricks no matter what age they are. Obviously, this can take more time and patience with older dogs. Dog experts think that a clicker is one of the most effective ways to teach older dogs. This is a device that clicks when you press a button. Professionals also recommend using electrical collars and other ways to train dogs in a more aggressive way.

A puppy and a grown golden retriever
AImage from Instragram and Instagram

TOP 8: If a dog is excited when the owner comes home, it means it loves them very much. NOT NECESSARY TRUE.

Two dogs showing different ways of loving
Image from Youtube and Instagram

If your dog loses control when you come home (it runs in circles, jumps, whimpers, or even pees), it doesn’t mean that it loves you more than a dog that greets its owner just by wagging its tail. It only means that the dog wasn’t trained properly. There are different ways to make a dog greet its owner in a calm manner.

TOP 7: All dogs love swimming. FALSE.

If you lift a dog over a pool, it will start moving its paws (you’ve probably seen videos like this) but it doesn’t mean that all dogs are great swimmers from birth. Yes, most dogs love swimming and do it with joy, and they can be taught to do so. But some dogs can’t even stay above the water’s surface.

Good swimmer dog vs. bad swimmer dog
Image from Instagram and Instagram

The dogs that have a powerful chest and a heavy skull are not very good swimmers — bulldogs, mastiffs, dachshunds, and boxers, for example. Small dogs should be put into water in a more careful way because they’re more prone to hyperthermia.

TOP 6: If a dog doesn’t contact other animals, it doesn’t need vaccines. DEFINITELY, FALSE.

Not all existing vaccines are absolutely necessary for your dog. The list of necessary vaccines can be different depending on the location of where you live. However, all dogs need vaccines from rabies, plague, enteritis, and leptospirosis, even if the dog lives in an apartment and rarely goes outside. That’s because there is still a small risk that they can become infected. But before you get your dog vaccinated, you should consult a veterinarian.

TOP 5: If a dog’s nose is dry, it means it’s sick. FALSE.

This myth has been dispelled many times already but dog owners still continue to touch their pets’ noses and worry if it turns out to be warm or dry. A cold, wet nose doesn’t always mean that the dog is healthy, sometimes it may signal that the pet has rhinitis. Look closer at the skin on your pet’s nose. If it’s cracked or covered with something, it may be a sign of illness. But in general, you should pay attention to the behavior and the appetite of the dog instead of worrying about the temperature and the humidity of its nose.

TOP 4: Dogs need to chew on bones. FALSE.

For centuries, people have continued to believe that dogs need bones. This myth has been depicted in literature and art but in fact, bones can do far more harm than good. The most dangerous bones are long, boiled, and tubular like those from a chicken leg. Dogs can chew on them and easily swallow sharp pieces that can injure their digestive tract. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

Dog chewing real bone vs. bone treats
Image from Instagram and Instagram

There are a lot of different dog treats in pet stores that you can definitely give to your pets. You can also give your dog a fresh bone that it can’t chew into pieces.

TOP 3: If a dog is waving its tail, it means it’s friendly. NOT NECESSARY TRUE.

This misconception often leads to unpleasant situations: a dog is wagging its tail, a person tries to pet it and the dog bites them. People are used to thinking that a wagging tail means that a dog is friendly but this isn’t always true.

You have to pay attention to other signs like if a dog that really wants to be pet sits down on its hind legs, gives its back to you, rolls around you, and wags its tail. If a dog’s body is almost motionless and it only shakes its tail, it’s likely that the animal is feeling tense and may attack you.

TOP 2: If a dog pees in your home, you should put its nose in the puddle. FALSE.

It’s been a long time since it was proven that this trick is not true. Teaching a puppy to pee outside is sort of like teaching a child to go to the toilet. Only positive motivation works: let the dog “do their business” outside more often.

TOP 1: Stray dogs are healthier than purebreds. DEFINITELY, FALSE.

This myth is so popular that many people don’t even get their dogs from the street vaccinated. People say this because these dogs have lived in the streets for centuries, so they assume their immune systems are strong enough to handle anything. But it’s not true. The life expectancy of stray dogs is very low. They die from the same diseases that kill purebred house pets, it’s just that people don’t realize it.

What other dog myths do you know? Maybe you’ve noticed some other dog habits in your experience? Share your stories with us.

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