dog mythsDog myths have been around for many, many years, almost as long as our human-dog relationship has. With the internet, dog myths abound. We thought it’s time to do some myth busting! The team at Springbrook Animal Care Center gives you the top 10 dog myths we hear time and time again, and myth-bust them one by one.

Myth #1: A wagging tail means a happy dog.

The wagging of your dog’s tail is the most visible indicator of how he is feeling, but it doesn’t always mean that he is happy. Dogs indicate confidence, excitement, insecurity and even fear with a wagging tail. Learn about your own dog’s total body language, practice good obedience, and always exercise caution with dogs you don’t know.

Myth #2: Female dogs need to have one litter of puppies before they can be spayed.

There is no evidence that having one litter of puppies before being spayed is beneficial to the mother dog. By spaying your female dog early (between 4 and 6 months of age), you’ll help to control pet overpopulation, which results in millions of healthy dogs being euthanized in the United States each year. And, you’ll be preventing uterine infections and mammary tumors in your dog by spaying her before her first heat.

Myth #3: Dogs age 7 years for every human year.

While it’s true that dogs (and cats) age much faster than humans, the actual calculation for determining a dog’s age in human years is a bit more complicated than simply multiplying by 7. It varies by breed and size. Regular physical examinations for your senior pet with The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center can detect problems before they become serious or life-threatening, and can improve the chances of a longer and happier life for your pet.

Myth #4: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth.

Although many of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth are harmless, that doesn’t count what your dog just ate! As omnivores, dogs can (and often will!) eat anything that seems nutritious and tasty to them. Enough said. Protect your dog (and your family) from parasites through monthly parasite prevention. Talk to us about what’s recommended for your dog.

Myth #5: Indoor dogs don’t need heartworm prevention.

Did you see that mosquito that just flew in your open door? Mosquitos spread heartworm disease, and they can bite your dog indoors or out. Even if your dog is rarely outside, don’t take a chance with this deadly disease. A simple and effective monthly heartworm chew can prevent it.

Myth #6: My dog gets plenty of exercise in the backyard.

Dogs are natural pack animals and want to be with you when exercising. A walk, hike, or swim with your dog will encourage bonding with you and provide much better focused exercise than running around in the yard. Proper exercise can lead to healthier weight, better behavior, and a longer and happier life for your dog.

Myth #7: Table scraps are good for your dog’s coat.

Some fats provide vital nutrition for dogs, but table scraps, poultry skin, and fatty food are never a healthy option. Not only that, feeding table scraps and any sudden change in diet can cause stomach problems and even lead to a serious condition called pancreatitis.

Myth #8: Giving dogs bones is a good way to clean their teeth.

Bones, like table scraps, don’t provide any health benefits to dogs. Aside from the fact that bones do not do a good job of cleaning teeth (only a professional dental treatment can do that!), they can cause mouth and throat puncture or intestinal perforation. Both of these conditions could lead to a potentially expensive emergency veterinary visit.

Myth #9: For effective flea and tick prevention, just feed your dog garlic.

Many people think that giving a dog garlic can prevent fleas, but there is no evidence that this is true. Worse, garlic can be toxic to some breeds of dogs (and cats), so it’s best to ask us about flea prevention that will be effective and safe for your dog.

Myth #10: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Simply not true! Dogs of all ages love to learn. Some older dogs may suffer from limited vision or hearing that may prevent them from learning new tricks or commands, but age is not the determining factor in learning something new.

There you have them! The top 10 dog myths we hear. Contact us if you have any questions or want more help to debunk dog myths you find on the internet!