How many dog myths have you heard over your lifetime?
Whether it’s fodder from the neighbors or beliefs that passed down through the generations, some dog myths are just that — myths, not truths.
Here we take a closer look at 20 of them and discuss why they are incorrect.
Myth #1: Garlic is a good remedy for fleas and ticks.
Unfortunately, this is a myth that is propagated a lot, especially on the internet.
Not only will garlic do nothing the help with fleas and ticks in your dog, it has been known to cause something called hemolytic anemia in dogs, a condition where the body attacks and destroys its red blood cells.
Treatment for this is very expensive and would require multiple days of hospitalization and often blood transfusions. Not all dogs who eat garlic will get this condition, but if you feed your pet garlic, you are risking the chance that they could.
Myth #2: Dogs have clean mouths.
I remember hearing this since I was a kid. It never quite made sense, and yet I always believed it.
Think about it. Dogs eat their own poop. Their mouths are filled with bacteria, and yes, they are very, very dirty.
Myth #3: Dogs can catch a cold.
The common cold does not affect dogs.
Dogs are susceptible to certain viruses like leptospirosis or parvo, and they are also susceptible to bacterial infections, like pneumonia — but not the common cold.
Myth #4: Rescue dogs are bad because you don’t know where they came from.
Well, you may not be able to know the full history of a rescue dog. However, I have met many dogs in my field who were raised since puppies and were still aggressive, and many rescue dogs who are super nice.
Raising a dog from a puppy does not guarantee that it won’t have problems. Nowadays, there are many good rescues that put dogs through a series of tests to see how they respond to people, food, other dogs, kids, etc.
So give a rescue dog a chance.
Myth #5: Dogs have sweat glands.
Well, OK, this one is not exactly a myth — dogs only have sweat glands on their paws.
The main way dogs cool off is by panting; the exchange of air allows the moist lining of their lungs to help cool them. This means that dogs who have poor air exchange will have a more difficult cooling off when they get hot and are more susceptible to heatstroke, such as pugs and Bulldogs.
Myth #6: My fenced yard means I don’t need to worry about worms.
To my surprise, I’ve heard many people say this. Unfortunately, the fenced-in yard may be great at keeping your dog in, but it is not a magical barrier that can keep intestinal parasites and heartworms out.
Intestinal parasites are carried in the feces and urine of other animals like rabbits, squirrels and even birds. These can be deposited in your yard and, in some cases, like whipworm, can live in the soil for up to 7 years (yikes).
And heartworm is carried by mosquito, which all the fences, citronella candles and bug spray in the world still can’t keep away.
So give that monthly preventive — you’ll be glad you did.
Myth #7: I can give ibuprofen to my dog.
Nope — ibuprofen is toxic to dogs and can cause liver and kidney dysfunction.
Some veterinarians will prescribe aspirin or Tylenol to dogs, but the dose is very specific and it would be very easy to overdose your dog on these things.
Never give any human medicine to your dog without consulting a veterinarian.
Myth #8: My dog is hypoallergenic.
Sorry — there is no dog that is truly hypoallergenic. Some dogs create a greater allergic response than others.
Myth #9: Dogs are colorblind.
Dogs (and cats) actually can see color, but they don’t see as many colors as humans do. However, their unique eyesight allows them to see better in the dark.
Myth #10: A dry nose means a sick dog.
This is a common misconception, but if your dog has a dry nose, really all that means is your dog has a dry nose. It generally has no relation to their overall health.
There are 10 more myths to debunk! See them here: