When it comes to dogs, there is plenty of faulty information circulating about manifested in myth. Always be discerning with what you hear, because when false information is heeded, it can convolute your judgment in the event of a real emergency. As professionals, we make it our responsibility to debunk these myths and steer patients in the right direction through education. Below we’ve laid out some of the most common myths about dogs, and provided the correct answers.
1.) The moistness of a dog’s nose determines how healthy it is.
This is the most common myth that circulates often enough to trigger anyone’s panic button. Your dog’s nose has nothing to do with how healthy your furry friend is. The true indicators of your dog’s health are appetite and energy level. If you notice your pet is more lethargic than normal and eating significantly less, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately. It is also important to keep an eye out for symptoms like diarrhea, and excessive or abnormal urination, as these are causes for concern.
2.) Chocolate can kill your dog.
This is true to a very small extent. Your typical, commercialized chocolate like Nestle or Hershey products won’t poison your dog. While it’s certainly not the best for them, milk chocolate is not deadly because it doesn’t contain high amounts of cocoa. Cocoa is the ingredient in chocolate that is detrimental to dogs. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa, and if your dog consumes any, you should contact your local veterinarian right away. In the event that your pet does consume a copious amount of chocolate, whether it be milk or dark, still make sure you take the proper precautions to get it out of their system.
3.) It's okay to feed your dog from the table
It is important to remember that dogs have a very different diet than humans do. Feeding them table scraps can be detrimental to their digestive health and negatively alter their metabolism. Dog’s should always have a consistent diet, and eat at the same time every day. All dog food brands are specially formalized to be broken down in their stomachs and include ingredients that are healthy for dogs to consume. Even though they may beg, avoid caving and feeding your dog from the table.
4.) It is unhealthy for dogs to eat grass.
You may have noticed your dog eating grass on walks or when it is in the yard. Contrary to popular belief, this is not detrimental to their health. Obviously, if the yard has recently been sprayed with fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, you should prevent your dog from eating it. Overall though, it is a totally natural behavior for dogs to partake in, and shouldn’t signal any cause for concern. While there is no real nutritional value, your dog may enjoy eating it because it likes the texture or flavor.
5.) Raw meat is fine for dogs.
While it won’t seriously affect the health of your dog, it is not a good idea to continually feed your dog raw meats. There is not a lot of nutritional value and it can lead to an unbalanced diet. Raw meat is also subject to parasites and harmful bacterias. If you want to give your dog a tasty treat, make sure you stick with biscuits and rawhides that you can find at any market or pet store.
Beech Lake Animal Hospital has been serving the community of Lexington, Tennessee since 2000. We believe that the animals in our lives come first, and should receive first class care. Our friendly team of world class veterinarians is always here for you in the event of an unexpected emergency, for checkups, and when your pet is ill. Our dedication to a world of happy and healthy pets is evident in all aspects of our work as we continue to put smiles on the faces of our patients every day. Please feel free to call or email us to set up an appointment.