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Dove Creek Animal Hospital busts common myths about pets

Myths surrounding our beloved pets have been passed down from generation to generation. They often stem from misunderstandings or limited knowledge about our furry companions. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common myths about pets, including those related to a dog’s nose, the cleanliness of dog and cat mouths, why cats purr, whether or not animals can heal their wounds by licking them, and whether all dogs are natural swimmers.

Myth: You can discern a dog’s health by their nose.

While many people believe that a dog’s wet nose indicates their overall health, this is actually a myth. 

The truth is that the temperature and moistness of a dog’s nose can be normal or abnormal, and the best way to determine if your dog has a fever is by taking their rectal temperature.

What is important is knowing what is normal for your own pet and consulting with a veterinarian if you have any concerns. It is worth noting, however, that dog’s noses are truly amazing – they have around 100 million sensory receptors, while humans only have about 6 million.

Myth: Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths.

While it is true that dogs have enzymes in their saliva that can kill some bacteria, they can also carry a variety of harmful bacteria and viruses in their mouths. In fact, some of these bacteria can be transmitted to humans and cause illness.

Furthermore, dogs are known to lick and eat things that are unsanitary or even toxic, such as garbage, feces, and other animals’ waste. This means that their mouths can contain a range of harmful substances.

In contrast, humans have the ability to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, to keep their mouths clean and healthy. Therefore, while it’s important to maintain good hygiene for both dogs and humans, it is not accurate to say that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth.

Myth: Cats only purr when they’re happy.

Purring is usually associated with contentment and relaxation, but cats can also purr when they’re in pain, anxious, or frightened. Additionally, research has shown that purring can have therapeutic benefits for cats, such as promoting healing. 

Similarly, they sometimes purr as stress management during visits to the veterinarian, even in cat friendly practices like ours (though most of our purring patients seem happy to see us).

This means that cats may purr in a variety of situations, not just when they’re happy. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to other cues from your cat, such as body language and vocalizations, to get a better sense of their emotional state.

Myth: Animals can heal their wounds by licking.

Many people believe that if a dog or cat licks their wounds, it can help with healing. While there is some truth to this belief, it’s important to understand the limitations and potential risks of this behavior. When animals lick their wounds, their saliva contains enzymes that can help to clean the wound and promote healing.

In fact, some studies have shown that certain components of animal saliva may have antibacterial properties that can reduce the risk of infection. However, excessive licking can also remove healthy tissue and delay healing.

Additionally, animal saliva can also contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can infect the wound and cause further complications. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your pet’s licking behavior and give us a call right away if you have any concerns.

Myth: Dogs are natural swimmers.

Some dog breeds, such as retrievers and spaniels, are known for their swimming abilities and love of water, but not all dogs are natural swimmers. Some breeds, such as bulldogs and dachshunds, may have difficulty swimming due to their body shape and size.

Even dogs that are capable of swimming may not necessarily be skilled swimmers. Like humans, dogs can become tired or overexerted while swimming, and may struggle to stay afloat if they’re not properly trained or supervised.

It’s also important to note that not all bodies of water are safe for dogs to swim in, as some may contain harmful bacteria or toxins that can be dangerous if ingested. Therefore, it’s important to assess your individual dog’s swimming abilities and always supervise them while they are in or around water.

Let’s get to know our pets better together!

Our pets are important members of our families, and it’s essential that we have accurate information about their health, behavior, and abilities. By debunking these myths, we can better understand our pets’ needs and provide them with the care and attention they deserve. Remember, when in doubt, always consult with your friendly neighborhood veterinary at Dove Creek Animal Hospital/Gloves City Veterinary Hospital to ensure that your pet is healthy and happy.

Dove Creek Animal Hospital at (518) 627-9762 / Gloves City Veterinary Hospital at 518-725-8117.

Making a difference, one paw at a time!