Pet Health Myths – Debunked!
We’ve all heard many old wives’ tales before. Some have certainly given us comfort and many even have some truth to them, but when it comes to our pets, we should leave the decision making up to the professionals, not rumors.
A cold, wet nose means your pet is healthy. This is not a reliable indicator of your pet’s health. Actually, both dogs and cats have a higher normal temperature than humans do, so their noses will often feel warm to us. Your pet’s behavior is a better way to tell if your best friend is under the weather. Are there changes in appetite, activity, or behavior? Call your vet if you see these changes in your pet.
If your pet is eating grass, they don’t feel well. Wrong! Many cats and dogs seem to enjoy grazing on grass, and actually, only a small percentage will get sick after eating it. It appears to be a common behavior for both.
You can save a bit of money by skipping annual exams. This is a bad idea; your vet gathers information at your pet’s exam that could help prevent an illness or may catch one early. Please don’t skip this!
Your pet should go through a heat cycle before being spayed. This is not true, and it is potentially dangerous. Going through a heat cycle increases the chances of mammary cancer, and complications during surgery increase with age.
Our pets are color blind. This is just plain wrong. Our pets do see colors – just a bit differently than we do. Cats don’t seem to see red and green very well. Dogs do well with yellows, blues, and violets, and they too have difficulty with reds and greens. Both cats and dogs have much better night vision than humans do.
Our pet’s mouth is cleaner than ours. Let’s not forget that our dogs sniff other dogs behinds, some eat poop, and others drink out of puddles. Most dogs over 3 years old have some periodontal disease. Believe it or not, a cat’s mouth is considered to have more bacteria than a dog’s mouth. So let’s put this myth to bed: your pet’s mouth is not that clean.
My pet does not need flea or tick prevention. Let’s face it, dogs go outside, even older dogs – a few minutes for a potty break or just for a change of scenery. Even indoor cats can get fleas if you or a visitor brings one in (not as rare as it sounds). While fleas are more of a nuisance, ticks carry diseases that both you and your pets can get. You don’t want to play games with these buggers!
My dog isn’t at risk for heartworm. Untrue, and this is a very dangerous myth because every state in the USA has heartworm cases. All it takes is one bite from one mosquito to transmit this potentially deadly disease. Treatment is expensive, and your dog could still end up with health issues after treatment. A simple dose of medication is the best way to prevent this terrible disease.
Now that we’ve put some of these myths to bed, we can enjoy the heck out of our cats and dogs.