7 Pet Myths

Myths are often continued because they often have some truth to them, which is why they often sound believable. Just like many Urban Myths, Pet Myths are often continued and will likely do so forever.

As old myths often die, new myths arise to replace them. Here are some of the top 7 (plus 2 more) pet myths currently circulating.

1. Never Give Pets People Food

While many foods that are high in fat, fried, or spicy, should not be given to pets, meats that are trimmed of fat and most vegetables are fine for pets. If you have any doubts of whether or not to give your pet a certain food its best to err on the side of caution and just not give it.

2. Dogs and Cats Eat Grass When They're Sick

No one knows for sure why they eat grass. Some people think they just like the taste and texture, others think they do it because of a dietary deficiency. One researcher suggests pets inherited this behavior from their ancestors as a way to purge intestinal parasites, and have just continued the habit.

3. Bad Breath is Normal

Bad breath is not normal. Dental disease, like gingivitis and tartar can all contribute to bad breath. Dental chews like D.D.S. Dental Biscuits and regular dental cleanings can help. Some experts suggest that bad dental health can decrease a pet's life span by up to 15%.

4. Pets that are neutered or spayed gain weight

This is another myth proven to be false, but it does have some truth. Pets gain weight simply because of too many calories consumed and too little exercise. Pets that are actively seeking a mate burn a lot more calories than pets who have no desire to reproduce.

5. Cats cannot get rabies

Some communities require cats to be vaccinated against rabies. There are currently more cases of cat rabies than dog rabies. It is estimated that less than 10% of cats are vaccinated against rabies.

6. A dog should go through a season before its spayed

The risk of malignant mammary tumors in dogs spayed prior to their first heat is 0.05%. It increases to 8% if the dog is spayed after one heat. It then increases all the way to 26% if the dog is spayed after the 2nd heat.

7. If a dog scoots his rear he has worms

While worms might cause this behavior, it is more often due to inflamed or infected anal sacs, which are glands on both sides of the dogs anus. This can be a very painful condition, hence the scooting.

8. A pet's mouth is cleaner than a human's

While a human's mouth is not that clean, dogs and cats have just as many different types of bacteria as we do. Over 130 disease causing microbes have been isolated from dog and cat bite wounds. Up to 18% of dog bites become infected, whereas up to 80% of cat bites become infected.

9. One dog year is equal to 7 human years

All dog breeds age differently. Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds have average life spans of less than 9 years. Whereas Rat Terriers, Chihuahuas and Schnauzers can live on average up to 16 years.

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