The list of top dog myths is a long one. It seems we’ve all heard a dog myth or 2 that we now believe as fact.
There are myths around your dog’s nose, mouth, vision, grass eating habits, exercise needs, and how they age.
Everyone has an opinion on what a wet nose means or what eating grass is all about or how much exercise a dog really needs.
Now, we’re dog people at SierraSil. Some days it seems like there is more office chatter about our dogs then there is about our kids. Yeah, we know how it is.
And this is exactly why we want to talk about dog myths.
We can’t include every dog myth we’ve been told or read about. So, do visit our Leaps & Bounds Facebook community page and tell us about the dog myths you’ve been told.
Let’s work together to bust these dog myths and get the facts out there about wet noses, grass, exercise, vision, senior dog health, and so much more.
Myth #1: The Wet or Dry Dog Nose
Touch your dog’s nose, if it’s wet, your dog is sick. Or is it, if it’s dry, your dog is sick?
What is the scoop with your dog’s nose – does it really tell you anything?
The truth is, your dog’s nose has nothing to do with his health.
A wet nose can become dry in minutes and a dry nose can get wet very quickly.
The wet or dry nose probably tells you more about the weather – is the air dry (dry nose), is it humid or raining (wet nose), or did your dog stick her nose in the water dish (wet nose).
Of course, do pay attention if your dog’s nose is constantly running, looks dry and cracked, or if your dog is rubbing her nose frequently.
Myth #2: Your Dog’s Mouth is Cleaner than Your Mouth
“Oh, don’t worry – dog’s mouths are clean,” is a frequently heard comment after you’ve been licked in the face or on the mouth by a dog.
What a strange myth. How can your dog’s mouth be cleaner than yours?
The fact is your dog’s mouth is not cleaner than your mouth. In fact, it’s packed full of germs.
Think of the things your dog eats on a daily basis. Think of where he licks himself. Think of your dog chewing on your wood furniture or eating your sweaty socks.
And let’s not forget that most of us don’t brush our dog’s teeth. Yes, more germs.
But don’t worry if your dog does lick you on the face or mouth – the majority of the germs in your dog’s mouth are not harmful to you.
We don’t want you to stress about the germs in your dog’s mouth. Assuming you’re adhering to your veterinarian’s advice on keeping your dog healthy, you don’t have to worry.
Myth #3: The Need to Eat Grass
You know the sounds. The sounds of your dog getting ready to and then vomiting.
Your dog might react this way after eating grass.
However, this does not mean that your dog is eating grass as a way to make himself vomit.
Your dog might in fact vomit after eating grass. But he’s not doing this because he’s sick or has the need to vomit.
The truth is your dog is eating grass because he likes it. Maybe it’s the taste, the texture, the smell, or something else.
Like anything your dog eats, when she eats too much, the stomach can become irritated, and your dog might vomit. The same happens with grass.
If you have a grass-eating dog, make sure your dog is not munching on grass that has been chemically treated.
And do monitor the frequency of vomiting in your dog – high frequency can be an indicator of an illness.
Myth #4: Dogs are Colorblind
No, dogs are not colorblind. Or actually, it’s hard to tell you if your dog is colorblind or not.
After all, we can’t fully see what your dog sees. This myth has long roots back to a time when scientists didn’t fully understand the structure of canine eyes.
We now know that dogs do see color. However, your dog doesn’t see color the same way you do.
Scientists now know that the types of cones in your dog’s eyes mean that your dog likely has an easier time seeing shades of blue. Your dog can likely see blue, greenish-yellow, and different shades of grey.
Myth #5: Playing in the Yard is Enough Exercise
Your dog loves to be out in the backyard all day long. She spends the day poking around, digging (sigh), sniffing, chasing her tail, and taking in the fresh air.
This day-long outdoor time must be enough exercise – right?
Wrong – dogs are pack animals. This means that your dog doesn’t run, walk, or even play actively enough when she’s alone.
Even though your dog is outside playing and relaxing in the backyard all day, you still need to take your dog out for daily walks and to the dog park. Hint: you’ll feel great getting out for the dog walk as well – after all, you need to take care of your joint and mental health.
Not only is a daily (or multiple daily) walk important for your dog’s joint health, it’s also key in maintaining your dog's mental health and healthy weight.
Make sure your dog is getting her walks in, time at the dog park, and play time in the backyard.
Myth #6: Teaching a Senior Dog New Tricks
The myth that you “can’t teach a dog new tricks” has more to do with us humans than dogs.
Yes, you can teach your senior dog a new trick.
The root of this myth stems from the way many people are resistant to change or learning new skills when they’re older.
But just as we know that this is not true for humans – it’s also not true for dogs.
Anyone who has adopted a senior dog, knows that any dog – regardless of age can learn. It just takes a different approach than training a puppy.
If you’re trying to teach your senior dog something new, remember that your older dog might have issues with hearing, seeing, or smelling.
This happens when dogs age, so be aware of these sensory changes as you’re trying to entice your dog with an all-natural dog chew or with a new dog toy.
Myth #7: That Wagging Tail
There’s nothing better than a puppy bouncing around with a wagging tail.
This makes us smile and feel comfortable around the dog.
A wagging tail signals to most of us that the dog is friendly, happy, and wants to be petted or played with.
You likely know this already but reading your dog’s body language can be tricky. This confusion over body language also applies to your dog’s tail.
Yes, a wagging tail can mean the dog is friendly and happy, but it can also mean that your dog is stressed, afraid, or anxious.
A dog’s tail does tell you a lot, but it doesn’t give you the full story about your dog’s mood and mental health.
Look for other body language signs such as how your dog is holding her head, the sounds she’s making, the brightness (or lack of) in her eyes, the angle of her ears, and her overall body position.
The more you understand your dog’s body language, the easier it is to keep your dog safe when out on walks or a run in the dog park.
Because most people assume a dog with a wagging tail is friendly, it is tempting to reach out to pet or cuddle strange dogs. Speak up if you’re unsure about your dog’s mood – this protects everyone from an unfortunate experience.
Number One Dog Fact: Your Dog’s Joint Health Is Important
We couldn’t finish this blog post without reminding you of the importance of your dog’s joint health.
Regardless of the age, agility, mobility, and activity level of your dog – his or her joint health matters.
Watch our video about Leaps & Bounds and see how our all-natural dog chew has changed the lives of some special dogs.
Think of how you feel when your joints are stiff and sore. Your dog feels the same way as you do.
Learn more about Leaps & Bounds and how our all-natural dog chews can help support your dog’s joint health mobility.