Dogs Myth De-bunking

All my life, even after a few years of getting a dog, I believed in a lot of things, assuming them to be true
facts on dogs. With time, and experience, I realized they were totally false and baseless. I am sure, even
you must have heard and assumed some of the below myth to be true:

1) Wet nose is a healthy dog:
I always believed that the shinier and wetter the nose, the healthier the dog. But this is
completely not true. Whereas, the reverse is true, that if the dog’s nose is dry and appears to be
cracked, then definitely you should take your dog to the vet. Casper’s nose was shinny and wet
throughout his life. Infact, even till two days before his death, his nose was twinkling. But the
fact was, he was very ill. On the other hand, Junior has always had an orange semi glow nose,
but in his 8.5 years of life, he has been doing relatively good.

2) Labradors should be shaved:
A big NO NO! I used to shave my dogs when they would shed a lot. But my vet educated me on
not doing so as their coat is their natural protecting layer. It helps them in maintaining their
body temperature and if we shave them, we disrupt their routine and daily living. Besides this,
Casper and Junior always developed bad rashes after being shaved and they would scratch their
selves like hooligans.

3) Training is only for puppies or young dogs:
Absolute rubbish. When Casper was 5 years old, he learnt how to do Namaste. Even today, I try
teaching Junior some new tricks. Infact, it is a good idea to teach your dogs some new tricks
every month. This helps in keeping their minds stimulated and engaged.

4) All dogs are great swimmers:
Most of the dogs are good swimmers. But not all. Casper could swim very well, but Junior
drowns and is even petrified to come near the pool. On the other hand, Casper hated baths and
I had to literally drag him inside the bathroom, but Junior knows Sunday is his bath day and
when he sees me taking his towel in the bathroom, he will walk in without me having to call
him. (he doesn’t hate baths, but isn’t a great fan of it too)

5) The guilt looks on dogs when they do something bad or when you scold them:
What all we do to gain followers on Instagram or for more likes. We make videos of scolding
dogs just to show the world how guilty they look. The look is not of guilt, but the dogs are
scared. Yes, we should stop them if they are doing something which they shouldn’t or train
them, but never raise our voice or scold them. This only increases fear in dogs and under no
circumstances this should be a content for any social media site.

6) Dogs eating grass to induce vomiting and they are sick:
I am absolutely guilty of this one. Something I believed for the longest time. But this is not true.
Dogs do vomit after eating a lot of grass. But many a times, they eat grass just because they like
it. It does not necessarily mean they have a bad stomach or they are ill.

7) Dogs should be mated atleast once before being neutered:
I got Casper mated four times before getting him neutered. And, I never got Junior mated
before neutering him. Neutering has a lot of benefits. It helps in calming the dog, it also helps in
controlling the population. The puppies born are not randomly given out for the sake of
adoption. Many breeders over mate the female dogs for money which results in low quality life
of the dog and many puppies are born with a weaker immune system. Casper was a result of
over breeding, which I didn’t know back then. He had a weak immunity and would fall sick often.
I always suggest to neuter dogs as it really calms them down and hopefully lives a quality life.
Trust me, your dog is missing out on nothing if he/she is neutered without getting mated.

8) Tug-of-War game can cause aggression:
Absolute No! Junior’s favorite game is Tug-of-War. And he is the friendliest dog you will ever
meet. Many dogs truly enjoy playing this game. It is a healthy display of their predatory nature,
and, an excellent physical and mental workout. It is also a great way to reinforce the human-
canine bond.

9) Dogs heal their wounds by licking it:
There are two myths associated to this. Dogs mouths are cleaner than humans and their saliva
help in healing wounds. Just imagine, some dogs eat their own poop. Think about all the
bacteria that is transferred from the poop or the wound to their mouths. Their mouths are dirty.

10) Some dog breeds are more aggressive than the other:
A dog’s behavior is 100% based on how a human trains them. No dog is aggressive or bad based
on the breed. This is baseless. If you train your dog to bite or bark at people, or if your house
atmosphere is volatile and bad, then the dog will learn the same, and that is your problem, not
the dog’s. Sometimes, if your dog is anxious or aggressive, it could also be out of fear. It is
important be a responsible human being and not to blame our actions on the breed of the dog.

11) All stray dogs have Rabies and they bite:
No dog bites for no reason. And no, all stray dogs do not have Rabies. It is always advisable to
approach an unknown dog with caution; not because he has Rabies, but maybe he is hungry or
scared and get a little anxious. All my strays in the locality are vaccinated and friendly; because
we do not hit them or kick them or burst crackers on them or keep them hungry. The dogs are
always fed and treated when ill or injured. When a dog bites, it is basically because of the way
he has been trained or treated. If a dog bites, it is our fault.

There are quite a few more myths about dogs, but the above are the ones that I have experienced
personally. A well trained dog is a well behaved dog. Adding a good diet and enough exercise helps in keeping
them healthy. There is nothing more they ask for. But we humans, believe in things without knowing the
facts and impose it on our dogs. If we bring a pet at home, or even stray dogs, it is our responsibility to
know the facts first before taking any action which cause harm to them. Myths and false information are
very easy to believe, but it is time we start questioning anything before assuming it to true.

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