Bad Dog Care Advice: 6 Popular Myths

Dog care advice comes from a range of sources, and myths about dogs abound among pet owners. Here are some of the most common myths about dog care.

1) Mixed Breeds Are Heartier than Pure Breeds

While it's true that some breeds of dog are prone to certain diseases, it's simply not true that mixed breed dogs are healthier and heartier than pure breeds. In fact, mixed breed dogs are at risk of developing every inherited illness in their genetic background, which can be complicated. In most cases, owners of mixed breeds don't even know much about their dog's genetic background, or which genetic illnesses he may be at risk of developing. The only way to ensure that your dog won't develop an inherited genetic illness is to go to a reputable breeder, who screens his dogs for hereditary illness before breeding them.

Otherwise, take good care of your dog, and he will enjoy many years of good health, no matter what breed he is.

2) Dogs Eat Grass when They're Feeling Sick

One of the most enduring dog myths is that dogs eat grass then they're feeling sick to their stomachs, because it makes them vomit. While eating grass can make your dog vomit, that's most likely because the coarse blades of grass irritate your dog's stomach lining. Vets believe that dogs eat grass because they enjoy it.

3) Dogs Eat Feces because of a Nutrient Deficiency

Many dogs like to eat feces, a practice known as coprophagia. Though there could sometimes be underlying medical reasons for such behaviour, most of the time, it is simply normal dog behavior. Reasons why a dog might ingest feces include:

  • He likes the taste
  • He learned the behavior when he was young
  • He wants attention
  • His mother did it or is currently doing it
  • He's getting hungry in between meals

You can prevent this behavior by cleaning up feces on your property before your dog has a chance to eat it.

4) A Dog's Nose Should Be Cold and Wet

Most of the time, your dog's nose will be cold and wet, but don't panic if you should notice that it's suddenly become warm and dry. Dogs' noses are cold and wet because they tend to lick them a lot. It doesn't necesarily indicate good health. In fact, if your dog's nose seems runny, he's probably suffering from a respiratory infection.

5) Dogs Heal Themselves by Licking Their Wounds

While it's true that dogs can help to keep their wounds clean by licking them, and that this can speed up the healing process, too much licking actually makes matters worse. Excessive licking causes further damage to wounded tissues, can encourage bacterial infection and may become habitual. If your dog begins to excessively lick a wound, do whatever you can to stop the behavior and redirect his attention.

6) Feed Him Garlic to Kill Fleas and Other Parasites

Following this dog care advice actually puts your dog's health at risk. Garlic, like onions, is toxic to dogs, and feeding your dog garlic regularly can cause severe anemia.