The Top Pet Myths You Should Stop Believe In



From trending food diets to old known myths, you won’t believe what pet’s owners commonly think about their pets. Some of the myths sound silly and won’t harm your pets, but some of them are. Without any further discuss, this is the list of myths you should stop believe in:

Cats Purr When They’re Happy

We all know that when we pat our cats, they start to purr and we think they are happy. Well, it is not correct. According to researches, cats do not purr only when they enjoy while being pet, cats also purr when they are nervous, fearful, stressed or in pain.


For example, cats create low frequency vibrations purrs to help their body heal wounds and repair bones. Moreover, kittens use purr to bond more with their mothers or even when they encounter birds.

You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Most owners will say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” because said owners think that their dogs are too old and not smart enough. This myth is also not true.



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It’s true that puppies may be easier to train because they didn’t gain/build any kind of regular behavior yet, but older dogs still can be trained! It might take longer but they can. Dogs, like humans, can experience age-related illnesses (like dementia) and by teaching them new tricks, the owner might improve their mind and will slow the progression of the disease. According to studies, training old dogs might take longer but they will retain their knowledge for the long-term.

All Dogs Can Swim

We all believe that when we will take our dogs to the beach, we will see them swim in the water, well that totally not true. Dog’s ability to swim determined by their breed and their body structures.




Some breeds are born with the ability to swim and some dogs can swim because of their body type. Experts suggest keeping an eye on dogs while they go near deep water areas and even put fence around private swimming pools. More than that, experts suggest that if owners want their dog to have fun in deep water, they will wear specially designed life jackets to prevent them from drowning.

Cats Always Land on Their Feet

“Cats always land on their feet” myth exists since ancient times, but today scientists have proven that belief technically is incorrect. Cats and other animals born with unique reflex instincts. These instincts allow them, as they fall, to react in order to prevent injury or death.


Cats can adjust and reposition their legs and lands safely on all fours after falling due to their highly flexible backbone and lack of functional collarbone. Even with this amazing skills, cats won’t always land safely – it depends on the height from where they fell and the response time of each cat – which means it still can lead to injuries or even death.

A Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Human’s

Medical experts suggest dog’s owners to avoid from letting their dogs lick them. Dogs put everything in their mouths or bring their nose close to garbage.




Dogs like humans, have in their mouth oral bacteria. Because humans share only 15% of those bacteria, it can potentially cause illness or death to humans.

A Wagging Tail Means A Dog Is Excited or Happy

Another common myth is when we see dogs wagging their tails, we think they are happy but once we approach to them but we might get bitten. According to scientists and even dog behaviorists, a wagging tail simply means the dog is mentally ready to engage. This is not an indicator of their mood or state of mind.



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Dog’s tail wagging might indicate different emotions such as fear, annoyance, curiosity, enthusiasm, confidence, tension, nervousness, or hostility. Dog behaviorists suggest noticing the tail wag speed. For example, a tail wag follow by the body movements (body move side to side as the tail wag) show friendly and positive response from the dog, while a slow and stiffer wag can translate as proceed with caution.

Taking Care Of A Goldfish Is Easy

Goldfish are so simple to take care of, just put them in simple bowl of water and feed them from time to time. Well…. No. Goldfish may look different but they have some “carp family traits”: They create large amount of waste from their faces and gills which mean it can soil the bowl fast and risk their own life.




Even tiny goldfish require aquarium tanks of at least 20 gallons. With good care goldfish can grow and last 10 years but it requires constant care of the fish in the tank/bowl.

One Dog Year Equals Seven Human Years

Famous pet myth is that one dog year equals seven human years. Experts says it is not an accurate way to access a dog’s age.




According to a chart created by the American Veterinary Medical Association, scientists can now know how to measure the maturity of the dog. For example, a medium-sized dog’s first year is equal to 15 years of human being, next year equal to 24 human years. The next years equal to 4 to 5 human years.

It’s Okay for My Cat To Be An Outdoor Pet

One of the myths that can risk and put your pets in danger is “it’s Okay to for pet cats to be an outdoor pet”. Outdoor risks can be, poison food source on the streets, car/ bicycle accidents, unwanted pregnancies, and transmission of disease to free-roaming cats. More than that, one of the late researches tells about the possibility dangerous effects that cat can do on the environment.




According to Dr. George Fenwick, President of the American Bird Conservancy, cats kill (hunt) dozens if not hundreds to thousands animals such as birds and mice per year. While the cat roams, they leave behind “nature garbage” which in times might contain parasites which causes toxoplasmosis. Those parasites can cause diseases like severe brain damage or death to unborn babies.

Kittens Need Milk

We think that kittens need milk, no matter if it is from their mother or not. This myth is also wrong and might even risk those poor kittens. The only milks that is safe for kittens are milk from their mother, or a special kitten milk replacement.




A kitten’s digestive system is weaker than adult cats and cow milk can cause diarrhea, which can lead to deadly dehydration.

Shaving Long-Haired Dogs Will Keep Them Cool During Summer

We all see our dogs with the fluffy long hair during the summer and all we want is “to help them”. So we shave the long hair to keep them cool in the summer. Apparently not all dogs need to be shaved. Some dogs use their long hair to capture air and use it as a cooling system for their body.




For example, Siberian huskies or collies have double layer fur coats, during warmer season the dog’s protective layer undercoat is mostly shading and let cool air flowy closer to the dog’s body instead be insulation by the thick undercoat fur layer. Shaving to much of the dog’s hair might expose the dog to sun and cause sun burns.

A Raw Meat Diet Is the Best For A Dog

One of the myths that even make veterinarians worry is the fact that there some pet’s owners that give their dogs a raw meat diet. This diet includes raw meats, vegetables, raw eggs, and bones. All this to make their dog feel “closer to the wild”.




This diet can expose these dogs to deadly microbes found in raw meat. While the wolf hunt and eat raw food in the wild thanks to their strong Immune system, pet dog doesn’t have this immune system and this act put them at risk.

Dogs Can Only See in Black And White

You might already believe in this myth even if you don’t have a dog. Many people, including scientists, believed that dogs could only see in black and white. Thanks to the advancement of the science and technology, we can say goodbye to this myth. New research shown that dogs indeed can see colors but not the spectrum colors that human being able to see.




Dog eyes, like human eyes, have special color-sensing cells called cone photoreceptors. The dogs have 2 out of 3 cone photoreceptors compare to humans. Each one reacts to different colors found on the spectrum of visible light.

Dogs Heal Their Wounds by Licking Them

People believes that the saliva of the dog helps them heal themselves from injures. Sadly, that not true. According to the science, the act of dog licking their wounds won’t heal them but can possibly make it worst.




Letting your dog lick their wounds may result in reopening the wounds, warm the spots and even sabotage their sutures from surgeries. More than that, as mentioned before dogs mouth is not that clean and dangerous microbes might get into the dog body via the open wounds and cause infection.



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