5 Dog Myths – Busted!

Call them what you want, but these 5 myths are anything but fact! Some of these sayings about dogs have been around for centuries, but in reality many are simple myths or bad advice. We have found, and debunked, 5 of the most common myths about your dogs!

dog reading

Myth #1: Dogs eat grass only if they are sick

It's true that dogs will often throw up after eating a lot of grass. However, this does not mean they ate that grass to induce vomiting, or that it is somehow a sign of illness. Most recent research indicates that quite simply put, dogs just like to eat grass. Enough grass in the stomach can create minor irritation and quite simply put, cause the dog to vomit. If the grass is treated with chemicals, only then it could be hazardous to your pet. Some vets do believe that dogs will intentionally consume large amounts of grass to induce vomiting if they feel unwell or have consumed something toxic, but this should not be consistent behaviour. 

If grass-eating has led to chronic vomiting in your dog, you should probably keep him away from the grass and visit

Dog on grass

Myth #2: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth

Most of us have probably heard this at some point in our lives when a dog gives us a big slobbery kiss. “Don't worry about it! Didn't you know that a dog's mouth is cleaner than yours?”

This idea is thought to originally come from the fact that dogs lick their wounds and sometimes heal faster because of it – giving the idea that dogs have clean mouths. In reality, if a wound heals faster after a dog licks it, that's because his rough tongue has been removing dead tissue and stimulating circulation.  In summary a dog's mouth contains plenty of germs. Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground, out of the trash and the things he licks off of himself. Many dogs do not get their teeth brushed as regularly as people either, so there is the dental tartar build up and bacteria to also consider. Overall, a dog's mouth contains more germs than anyone wants to think about. But luckily these germs are usually dog-specific and unlikely to cause any harm to us.

smiling dog

Myth #3: A wagging tail means a happy dog

Tail wagging has been associated with happy dogs for so long it's hard to say how this generalization began; however it’s only sometimes true. This common misconception could lead to an unfortunate dog bite in some cases.  Yes, happy dogs wag their tails—but so do aggressive, agitated or anxious ones. Dog body language is much more involved than just setting the tail to on or off. Gaze, posture, facial expression, and ear position blend with the tail cues to create a range of expressions. Rather than looking just at the tail, it is best to pay attention to a dog's overall body language to determine its mood.

Happy dog

Myth #4: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

Although this has to be the oldest myth about dogs, it is still not true as age is not a determining factor for tricks or training. People tend to notice that their older dogs have less interest in new activities and are less responsive to training; however, many older dogs may suffer limited hearing or vision that prevents them from learning or following commands as easily as they used to. When training an older dog, you first need to be able to get their attention. You also need to make sure the activity is not too physically demanding for them. Keep it interesting with their favourite toys or treats and remember your fur-friend is not the young pup they once were.

dog sniffing hand

Myth #5: Warm, dry noses are a sign of sickness

“My dog's nose is warm and dry. Does that mean he's sick?”

This is probably the biggest dog health myth around. Somewhere along the line, people came to the conclusion that a cold, wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog and a warm or dry nose is a sign of illness.
If your dog has a dry nose it means your dog has a dry nose, case closed. Dry nose has nothing to do with a dog's health. The temperature and moisture of your dog's nose are not miracle measurements of their health. For instance, a dog's nose is often dry and/or warm if they have just woken up, and this is perfectly normal. Unless their nose is persistently dry and crusted, focus on unusual behaviours from your dog to detect signs of a potential problem. 

Dog nose

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