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Top Pet Myths Debunked By A Pooler, GA Veterinarian

March 15, 2024

Animals have been a part of human existence from the beginning of civilization. Fluffy and Fido have served in a variety of roles to assist us, including friend, guardian, hunting partner, tracker, and therapist. Our canine companions have also inspired several legends throughout history. It’s always wonderful to go back in time and read different fables and stories. Unfortunately, many superstitions and old wives ‘stories persist to this day. Some of these myths are really harmful to our four-legged friends! In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Pooler, GA veterinarian addresses some of the most common ones.

Pets Should Have A Litter Before Being Spayed

Let’s begin with one of the most dangerous myths. Unfortunately, many owners assume that letting their pets have a litter before spaying them will make them healthier and happier. This is absolutely false. There are no physical benefits to waiting. Plus, encouraging pets to reproduce only adds to the growing population of homeless animals. If you haven’t made this appointment yet, we recommend doing so ASAP. 

And Meow, For The Cat Myths

Kitties have also accumulated a lot of rumors! Here are some common examples:

Kitties Only Purr When They’re Happy

As anyone who has an affectionate furball may attest, our feline companions tend to start their engines when they are happy. Many cats purr when they cuddle with their owners. However, this is more than just an indication of Fluffy’s joy. Kitties also purr when they are sick, scared, or lonely. It is thought that they may be able to soothe themselves in this way.

Fluffy Can Use Wormholes To Teleport

To be honest, we’re not too sure about this one. Let’s just say we have some concerns about Fluffy’s ability to create wormholes and bend space and time to her will. Our feline pals certainly do seem to have their own versions of the rules of physics and gravity. (Kitties also have their own take on politeness, but we’ll discuss that another time.) 

Kitties Have Nine Lives

It’s not hard to see where this one came from. Fluffy has a penchant for getting herself into trouble while narrowly avoiding danger. Cats,  like us, only have one life. (We’re not sure if Fluffy got this memo, but that’s another issue.)

Fluffy Sees in the Dark

It’s true that cats have better night vision than humans. However, Fluffy cannot actually see in the dark. In fact, you might want to get a night light to help your furry friend move around at night!

Cats Will Always Land On Their Feet 

Fluffy is extremely nimble and can twist herself in midair. We’ve all witnessed those impressive kitty acrobatics! But just because our feline friends can perform incredible kitten gymnastics does not mean they are immune to injury. In fact, the damage sustained by cats when they fall from heights is referred to as High Rise Syndrome. Always ensure that your screens and windows close correctly.

Black Cats Are Unlucky

This one has caused a lot of distress for our feline companions, yet it refuses to die. Black cats aren’t unlucky for us, although they have had some bad luck. These myths trace back to the Dark Ages, when Fluffy was erroneously accused of being involved in witchcraft. Unfortunately, this resulted in a widespread backlash against black cats. Unfortunately, the superstitions continue to this day. This makes it hard for black cats to get adopted. (It does not help that black kitties are a popular Halloween motif.) 

Cats Can’t Stand Water

There is a degree of truth to this. Most of our feline pals do not enjoy being wet. (Some of you may have learned this the hard way.) However, a few furballs do appreciate the water. Some, such as the Turkish Angora, even enjoy swimming.

Rumors About Fido

Let us go on to Man’s Best Friend. Fido has also garnered a lot of hearsay and speculation throughout the years. Here are some of the biggest rumors about him:

A Dry Nose Means A Sick Dog

 While this myth is incorrect, it does have a grain of truth, as do many of the other topics that we’re addressing here.

Fido’s wet nose helps him distinguish scents more quickly. Your dog’s cute nose creates a unique mucus that is intended to capture smell molecules. Your pet will gain extra information about the scents he’s picking up by licking his nose.

Puppies’ noses might get dry for a variety of causes. Senior dogs frequently have dry noses. This could also mean Fido has simply taken a long nap and hasn’t licked his nose in a while.

However, this could imply dehydration, which is very harmful.

Of course, we’d have a lot fewer diagnostic tests and equipment in our clinic if we could assess Fido’s health by how wet his cute nose is. This seems like a wonderful opportunity to highlight the genuine signs of sickness.

Here are some of the biggest ones:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Trembling
  • Limping
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing Issues
  • Changes in Thirst and Appetite
  • Skin/Fur Problems
  • Bloating and swelling
  • Withdrawal
  • Grumpiness
  • Staggering

In general, anything out of the ordinary for your four-legged friend may be cause for concern. Please contact your vet straight away if you see any of these symptoms or anything else that seems off.

Our Canine Pals Like Being Hugged

Some of our canine pals don’t mind being cuddled. Fido loves his owners, so he probably won’t mind if you give him a hug. Many smaller breeds are also super cuddly. However, you should never hug a strange dog. Hugs really do not translate well into doggy language. In pack terms, they are similar to the body language that dogs employ to assert dominance over one another.

This is really pretty important. If you have children, make certain that they understand this as well!

Fido Only Wags His Tail When He’s Feeling Cheerful

It’s not difficult to see where the confusion came from on this one. Our canine companions do wag their tails when they’re excited. In fact, some pup get so enthusiastic that they damage their tails by knocking them against things. (This is officially referred to as Happy Tail Syndrome.) 

However, Fido does not just wag his tail when he’s happy to see you or excited over the possibility of a walk, toy, or treat. Dogs that are nervous, distrustful, suspicious, or uncertain will also wag their tails. They just do it much slower. You can almost consider tail speed as a mood gauge. Fast wags suggest that a dog is cheerful. Slower ones are more of a warning sign that a pup is uneasy.

A Human Year Equals Seven Dog Years

This definitely isn’t a reliable predictor of Fido’s age. For one thing, dogs do not age at the same rate across their lifetime. That first year alone may be comparable to 15 human years. Furthermore, large and small canines develop and age differently. For more information, contact your Pooler, GA vet.

Schedule an Appointment at Your Pooler, GA Veterinary Clinic.

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us here at Westside Animal Hospital, your Pooler, GA pet hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinarian needs. We are here to help!

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Top Pet Myths Debunked By A Pooler, GA Veterinarian

Animals have been a part of human existence from the beginning of civilization. Fluffy and
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