Myth’n Impawsible: The Top 9 Misconceptions People Have About Their Dogs

5. A dry nose means a sick dog

If you’ve ever put your hand on your dog’s nose to check its health, you’re not alone. But you’re also not checking its health.

A dog’s nose can change from warm to cool or wet to dry very quickly, even when the animal is feeling well. According to Pet MD, there’s no reason to worry about a dry dog nose, as it has more to do with the humidity than their health.

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4. Dogs eat grass when they’re sick

Dogs eat lots of things. Grass happens to be one of them.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is sick or needs to vomit, it just means the dog is a dog. In fact, grass may actually be good for your dog, providing beneficial insoluble fiber and folic acid, as well as a natural laxative.

A 2008 study in Applied Animal Behavior Science looked at the dogs of 25 veterinary students, all of which ate grass, and all which remained healthy throughout the experiment. Only 8 percent of the animals studied vomited the grass up afterward.

There’s nothing wrong with a little grass; in fact, some dogs may even enjoy it.

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3. Dogs are colorblind

A dog’s world is more than black and white. To call them “colorblind” is a bit myopic as well.

Comparing the visual perception spectrum of dogs to humans, researcher András Péter of Dog Vision was able to show how our canine companions not only take in a wider range of grays, but yellows and blues, as well.

“This renders a lot of the world grayish-brown,” the American Kennel Club reports. “That lush green lawn? It probably looks like a field of dead hay. That royal red velvet cushion? Still comfy, but it probably comes across as a dark brown blob to the dog.”

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2. Dogs hate cats almost as much as mail carriers

If food is scarce, a dog and cat may have to tangle, but without threats to their well-being, dogs and cats can cohabitate quite pleasantly.

Dogs and cats have different techniques when it comes to exploration and play, which may lead to a kerfuffle here and there, says John Bradshaw, an anthrozoologist and author of animal books, but they can make up in the long run.

“The cat tries to get away, the dog thinks the cat is inviting it to a game, and so chase ensues with neither party understanding what the motivation of the other one is,” Bradshaw told the Dodo. “Compared to their wild ancestors, cats are actually remarkably good at getting on with other cats and people, but it’s clearly a process that’s not gone as far perhaps as we’d like it to go.”

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1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

Don’t say this around any old dogs.

As Animal Planet maintains, all it takes is 15 minutes of dedicated training time a day for two weeks to instill behavioral change in a dog, regardless of age. Being a compassionate canine caregiver takes more than 15 minutes a day, of course, so devote some of that time to teach your pet a new skill and you’ll soon see results.

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This myth makes more sense as something dogs tell other dogs about humans, to be fair.

Do you think you know all there is about your feline friends? Click the button below to find 9 cat myths that need to be busted.

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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