Little red catWhether you’re a pet owner or not, you’ve likely heard your fair share of pet myths. These “old wives tales” range from everything to how many lives a cat has (only one, in case you’re wondering) to what a wagging tail on a cat means (many things).

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are truth seekers to the bitter end, which is why we have compiled, and debunked, 5 of the most common pet myths. Enjoy!

  1. Cats Always Land On Their Feet

    Because we are sure you haven’t tested this theory, we figured we should let you know that it isn’t always true. While most cats seem to come out of a fall right side up, dignity intact, the way a cat lands depends largely on the length of the fall and the cat’s physical condition.

    Cats can and do suffer injuries from falls, and many don’t survive, particularly older cats. Falling from a great height, such as more than 5 stories, tends to give a cat’s body more time to adjust itself and can often result in less injuries that a fall from a shorter distance.

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

    We can debunk this popular myth with one simple question: do you lick your own rear-end? No? Well your dog does. And chances are good that he or she is licking, sniffing, and chewing on other equally disgusting items as often as possible.

    Not only is your dog’s mouth teeming with bacteria, his or her saliva may also contain intestinal parasites that could sicken human family members as well. So, if you’re like most dog owners and let your pooch give you “kisses”, make sure he or she is current on vaccines and monthly parasite preventives.

  3. Cats Hate Water

    Anyone who has ever tried to give a cat a bath knows that this myth has some truth to it. But to say that cats “hate” water would be inaccurate. Most cats are fascinated by water and enjoy dipping a paw into their water bowl to scatter a bit of water here and there. Any cat owner who has ever had a leaky faucet has probably witnessed their kitty batting at the falling drops.

    Try a recirculating pet fountain, or even drop an ice cube or two into the water bowl, to peak your cat’s interest and encourage him or her to drink more.

  4. Dogs Are Color Blind

    It’s unclear where this particular myth originated, but it is undeniably false. Dogs do have color capturing cones in their eyes, but only one-tenth the amount that human eyes contain. Dogs see only two colors: blue-violet and yellow, along with any blends of these colors.

    According to a 1995 study on canine vision published in the journal of the American Veterinary Association, this limited color vision is likely of little consequence to dogs since they don’t forage for brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Tennis balls, however, are a different story entirely!

  5. You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

    While this adage tends to be true with humans (we tend to become set in our ways as we age) it couldn’t be further from reality for our canine friends. Dogs are capable of learning new skills and commands within their physical and mental capabilities at any age.

    Older dogs may require extra patience, kindness, and persistence on your part while teaching them new tricks, but they will benefit from the mental stimulation and discipline that comes with mastering a new skill.

Have we seen your dog or cat lately? If not, please give us a call to set up an appointment. We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon!