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6 dog myths we humans need to leave behind

Dogs definitely are the new vogue pet if all the internet memes are anything to go by. However, we’re also still repeating and perpetuating a lot of dog myths along the way. These myths may seem harmless, but they could be causing your dog frustration or even putting them at risk.

That’s why Fox Valley Animal Hospital is looking closely at dog myths today. Enjoy!

Some dog breeds are more dangerous than others

You’ve probably heard people state that Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Greyhounds and mixed breeds have issues. Heck, there’s even some councils and state governments that have breed specific legislation regarding some breeds. There’s the assumptions about locking jaws, the ability to trigger rage, unpredictable behaviour and more.

This is not true. Dogs are a product of their temperament, their socialisation, the situation they are in and how they are taught to be behave. Sounds a lot like human children, right?

And that lock jaw? While staffies may have strong jaws, they don’t lock. This is a myth.

What you put into a dog is what matters. Plus, dogs have an amazing capacity for rehabilitation. You can adopt an ex-puppy mill breeder dog or an ex-Greyhound without fear of Cujo appearing. As long as the dog has been appropriately assessed for re-homing, you should be fine.

Dogs can eat anything and everything

leave dog myths behind with the right advice from your vet

Photo by
sergio salamanca via Unsplash

That hang dog look at the dinner table may be telling you Fido can eat all the things, but the truth is they can’t. In fact, dogs have surprisingly delicate gut flora and fauna that needs minimal changes. It also needs a specific diet.

Dogs farting is not a good sign of a happy doggy tummy. It’s not what should be happening. And dogs need a variety of different foods to maintain health, not simply meat.

You’ll also need to navigate what dogs are allergic to. This is why we list the range of foods that can put your dog in harm’s way on our website. We also discuss nutrition with you during visits and stock only the best quality food.

Here’s the inside scoop- dogs don’t need a lot of the processed salt, sugar and fat we consume. It’s not always good for us and it is even worse for our pets. Those videos of dogs eating fast food or soft serve might seem cute, but they may be putting your dog at risk. Diabetes, heart disease and pancreatitis can potentially begin in your pet through exposure to high fat, sugar and salt content in food.

Supermarket pet food is also problematic. We’ve talked about this at length on the blog previously but again, it needs repeating. Most of the supermarket food is not good for your dog.

Need help designing a diet for your pet? We have the Fox Valley Animal Hospital Slimmer’s Clinic for portly pets as well as a great range of food our vet nurses can talk you through.

Your dog is vying for alpha

Ah yes, we wonder sometimes if a few too many werewolf films and episodes of Vampire Diaries are colouring how we see our dogs. Dogs want to be loved and cared for. They want to connect with family. However, they aren’t looking to challenge you or your authority.

Like any mammals, puppies can go through distinct phases of rebellion. You may find that what you taught them is falling on deaf ears. Or you could wonder if some of their gestures are designed to give you a hard time. If you have a dog that’s staying with friends, they may try to sit on the sofa even if not allowed at home. Or they may see how far they can get before having to sit.

They are testing the boundaries! We all do it. But that doesn’t mean we want to take down the lead.

And this is true of canine interactions as well. They are not looking to dominate each other. In fact, you’ll often see dogs take turns in who gets to win, lead the play, be on the bottom or top in a rumble and so on.

If anything, their thinking is geared more to be a part of a community effort. Not trying to win the ultimate prize of leader of the pack.

Dogs age in 7-year increments

It’s true dogs and puppies age quickly. But the 7-year calendar measure is a myth. Larger dogs age faster than smaller breeds. And puppies age far quicker than their adult selves. As it’s more complex, perhaps someone simply decided to stick a pin in a number, and it stuck.

However, if you want a true indication of ageing for your dog, it might be better to ask our vet the next time you pop in for a check-up.

Garlic is a suitable tick and flea remedy

This is a worrying myth as garlic is toxic to dogs. Garlic in any form can create problems for your dog through haemolytic anaemia. This condition where the body attacks and destroys its red blood cells. It leads to lengthy hospital stays, often to blood transfusions and may even be fatal.

Please do not use garlic on your dog internally or externally. Do not feed them garlic in food you prepare or any form of table scrap or leftover.

If you need flea and tick prevention, come visit us and speak to one of our friendly vet nurses. They’ll be able to help you with the right advice on what to use.

Dogs are happy chilling on the couch

Nothing could be further from the truth! Even with elderly dogs or the legendary couch potato, the Greyhound, dogs love to be out and about.

Dogs need exercise not only to maintain physical fitness but mental stimulation and emotional balance as well. Whether that exercise is daily walks, time spent running and playing at the dog park, swimming in the ocean and/or playing with the ball in the backyard, your dog wants to move.

They also gain an enormous amount from exploring new territories and in most cases, meeting other doggy pals. So please, don’t cheat your pet out of something so vital to its health and wellbeing. Make exercise, walks and play time a part of your regular routine.

Want to find out more about the dog myths you may have heard or looking for advice on anything discussed in this article? Contact us on (02) 9489 4805 today.


About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.