Dogs are one of the most lovable and popular pets, with an estimated 43 million dog owners in the U.S., representing 74 percent of households with dogs. There are also around 6 million cats in the U.S., which makes it the single most common pet category in the country. And with so many dogs and cats in our lives, it’s not surprising that there are so many myths about these beloved pets—and it’s unfortunate that some of them aren’t true at all!
Myth: Small dogs are easier to care for
A smaller dog does not mean an easier dog. A small dog is still a dog and will require the same amount of care and attention as any other breed. The myth that small dogs are easier to care for is just a myth. Smaller dogs might need less exercise, but they can be more difficult to train than larger breeds. Smaller dogs also have less tolerance for heat and cold, so they need more frequent grooming sessions in warmer months, too.
Myth: Bigger dogs are better guard dogs
Some people believe that large, intimidating dogs make better guard dogs because they can be more difficult to sneak up on. But in reality, a dog’s size and strength are irrelevant when it comes to its ability to protect your home from intruders. It’s their natural instinct and training that determines their effectiveness as a guard dog.
Myth: Male (neutered) dogs don’t mark their territory
Male dogs will mark their territory, even after being neutered. They usually do this by leaving urine or feces on vertical surfaces like trees, fire hydrants and lamp posts. It is a natural instinct that they developed over time to stake claim over anything in their environment. This is not something that can be trained away; it is just in their nature and cannot be changed.
Myth: Puppies are cute and cuddly
Puppies are not always cuddly and cute. They can be a handful for new dog owners. They are more like small children than pets. They need constant attention and training to grow up into well-behaved, mature dogs. Puppies also have a lot of energy that needs to be released in some way or they will find their own way to release it by chewing on furniture, digging in flower beds, or barking at everything they see.
Myth: Toy breeds aren’t as smart as bigger dog breeds
This is false. While toy breeds are smaller, their brains are actually just as big as those of larger dogs, which means that they have the same capacity for intelligence. Toy dog breeds such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas may have small noses and short muzzles, but they are still just as capable of being trained and performing tasks as other dog breeds, like Labrador retrievers. In addition to this, all dogs require mental stimulation in order to keep them happy and healthy!
Myth: Spaying/neutering makes your dog fat
This is one of the top myths about dogs. Spaying or neutering your dog will not make them fat. They are just as likely to get fat with a spay/neuter as they are without it.
Dogs typically put on weight when their owners feed them too much, don’t get them enough exercise, and spend too much time feeding their dog table scraps.
Myth: You need to feed your dog special treats if he doesn’t have teeth
You don’t need to feed your dog special treats if he doesn’t have teeth. You can just give him regular food. If you want, you can also make a softer version of his normal kibble by mixing it with warm water or canned food and adding some baby cereal to it. For added variety, you could add a scoop of peanut butter or any other tasty protein. Your vet will also be able to provide some suggestions on what types of treats are best for toothless dogs.
Myth: No matter how I treat my dog, it’s never enough
It’s not uncommon for people to feel guilty when they feel like they’re not doing enough to care for their pets. If you have this feeling, it can be a sign that you are a caring and responsible pet owner. Keep in mind that there is no perfect dog parent, and no matter what you do your pup will always want more of your time and attention.
Myth: All shelter pets have health issues
Many people believe that all shelter pets have health issues, but this isn’t true. Yes, some shelters take in animals with special needs and other medical conditions, but there are plenty of healthy animals waiting for a new home. Talk to an adoption specialist at your local shelter and find out how to get started today!
Myth: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human mouth.
The truth is, a dog’s mouth is not cleaner than a human mouth. The canine mouth has more bacteria in it than an adult human and can also be home to more harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E-coli and campylobacter which are found in fecal matter.