Top 3 Dog Facts and Myths
Top Dog Facts and Myths
We all want to give the best care and attention to our canine companions, and therefore wouldn’t hesitate to try and find out the reason for certain behaviours. Every dog is different, but over the years of dog ownership certain theories have emerged which are often accepted as fact, without being examined further. So what is true and what is just a common dog myth?
A lot of these facts and myths are partially true, based on some truth or the wisdom of the ages. But, sometimes they can be incorrectly interpreted and lead to us making assumptions about our dogs’ health without properly investigating ourselves. With the help of Nick Jones, Pet Behaviourist and Brian Faulkner, Veterinary Expert, Petplan investigates some of the most common dog facts and myths, helping us find out the truth and get some advice from the experts.
“Wet nose means healthy dog”
Why are dogs’ noses wet?
As a rule, we all know that a wet nose is a good sign that your dog is healthy. Dogs often lick their own noses or produce their own mucus to coat their nose, which in turn aids their sense of smell. The mucus on a dog’s nose helps to absorb smell chemicals, so if a dog is trying to lock on to a specific scent, this helps them track that little bit better. Additionally, as many dogs’ noses are so close to their mouths, they can get dirty quite easily, especially when eating, so dogs will often lick their nose to clean it.
However, the misconception with this fact is that if your dog’s nose is dry, it means something is wrong. In reality, some dogs simply don’t produce as much mucus, lick their nose as much, or they’re just born with drier noses. The only time you should worry about your dog’s nose is if you notice different coloured discharge, if it’s green, red, or off colour in any way, then you should consult a vet to make sure everything is okay.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, but how much truth is there to this old adage? Not a lot, to be honest! While the phrase itself has existed in some form or another since the 1500s, it actually has very little bearing in reality.
In truth, it may be more difficult to teach an older dog some new tricks, in much the same way as when we get older, we have difficulty learning new things as our behaviours stick and our minds become less malleable. However, teaching an old dog is no different to teaching a younger pup - by starting with short training sessions and slowly and sensibly increasing the duration, it’s very possible to teach your dog a new trick, no matter how old they are.
“Dogs who eat grass are unwell”
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs only eat grass because they’re feeling sick is another piece of knowledge that we take for granted as an absolute truth, but again, it’s not that simple. While some dogs will be sick from eating grass, there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why they’ve elected to eat grass in the first place. In fact, only about 25% of dogs who do eat grass will induce vomiting.
So, why do dogs eat grass? While there doesn’t seem to be any particular connection between eating grass and the health of your dog, unfortunately we don’t know much more. It could be due to the dogs thinking they’re sick, perhaps they need a nutrient they can only get from grass, or perhaps they simply enjoy it!
We learn more and more about our animal friends with each passing year, so maybe one day we’ll finally be able to answer this age-old quandary, but until then, your dog eating grass is no major cause for concern.
What are some common myths surrounding dogs that you think need to be dispelled? Let us know in the comments below...