Debunking Common Pet Myths
Sun, April 18, 2021

Debunking Common Pet Myths

There are times when people shouldn’t always believe what they see or read on the internet. Chances are, those “fun facts” that we see on social media aren't facts at all / Photo by: fotojagodka via 123RF

 

There are times when people shouldn’t always believe what they see or read on the internet. Chances are, those “fun facts” that we see on social media aren't facts at all. Many of these are myths or misconceptions, and some of them have to do with domesticated pets. 

Although some of the inaccuracies about pets that are passed around through gossip and casual conversations are not really harmful, it is still best to shed light on the truth. This can help us understand the animals around us and, ultimately, save us from the embarrassment of spreading the wrong information. Here are a few myths we should put a stop to.

Dogs cannot see colors

Many people and even articles on the internet have stated that pets, like dogs, are color blind. But Ethos Veterinary Health, a national network of veterinary hospitals providing specialty and emergency care for pets, mentioned on their website that dogs can actually perceive color, but not every color. This results in them not seeing colors as vibrant as we do. 

The canine color field, according to Dog Time, an online resource for dog tips, consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets. Meanwhile, the other colors such as reds, greens, and oranges are not really distinguishable to dogs. These colors appear somewhere on their yellow and blue spectrum. 

This is because the retina in the canine eye has more rods and no fovea. These are responsible for human eyes observing sharp visual details. Instead, it gives dogs superior night vision, which makes them better at tracking movements than humans. Their inferior visual skills are made up for with their incredibly strong sense of smell. 

Many people and even articles on the internet have stated that pets, like dogs, are color blind / Photo by: Jaromír Chalabala via 123RF

 

It is natural for cats to have bad breath

According to an article published by Northern Kittitas County Tribune, a weekly newspaper, if the breath of your little feline friend makes you want to gag, then it’s a sign that your cat has an underlying oral health problem and you should see a veterinarian to take care of it. Pet owners can prevent dental problems with the use of a specialized brush for your cat’s teeth. 

However, cats are known to be uncooperative and hostile, so it is advisable to try adding oral care probiotics to their food. There are products that are designed for the oral care needs of dogs and cats, while the probiotics can flood pets’ mouths with good bacteria, which will combat the harmful bacteria from growing. 

Pet owners can prevent dental problems with the use of a specialized brush for your cat’s teeth / Photo by: Anurak Ponapatimet via 123RF

 

Toads are the reason for your warts

Although they have bumpy and unattractive skin, toads are not covered with warts. Mental Floss, a lifestyle website, stated in their article that humans can’t get warts from touching a toad. The bumps that we see on toads' skin are actually glands that produce defensive toxins that help them in warding off predators. 

This is why humans should really avoid touching them -- not because they will infect you with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the main reason why people develop warts on their skin. 

The wagging of a dog tail and a purring cat mean the same thing

Most people believe that when their cats purr, this means that they are happy. However, this behavior might mean something different. It could also mean that they are feeling stressed, sick, or pain. Other cat owners believe that purring is a self-comforting mechanism that helps their feline buddies rest and repair. 

On the other hand, a wagging tail on a dog is usually associated with them being happy and excited, but this action could also indicate that they are feeling nervous. It is said that a dog’s tail wagging to the right indicates that they are feeling positive, like contentment or excitement, while wagging to the left means that they have negative emotions such as anxiety or stress.

Baby snakes are more dangerous than adults

Some people believe that they should be more mindful of snakes who are younger than usual. This is because baby snakes haven’t yet learned how to control the amount of venom to inject once they strike their enemies. This is not true at all, because it is still uncertain if any snake, regardless of their age, is capable of controlling its venom output. 

In some snake species, a snake’s venom gets more potent when they get older, while a bite from a smaller one is more likely to contain less venom than the larger one. 

Dogs feel guilt

Many posts on social media have gone viral for this very reason. Dogs who look like they are guilty of causing trouble in their owner’s house always get the most shares and likes, but there is insufficient evidence to support the fact that dogs do feel secondary emotions like shame or guilt.

When dogs appear to look guilty, it is believed to be a learned response to their human’s actions. Dogs will respond to what their owners are doing, but they are incapable of knowing what they did wrong, therefore, they can’t feel bad for it.