Top 10 Persistent Pet Myths That Just Won’t Die

With love of pets leading to some amazing and outrageous beliefs, don’t wait for your next vet visit to begin researching them. Below are the top ten pet myths that have plagued pet owners for decades as debunked by veterinarians, researchers, and other experts.

    1. Cats smother babies. As answered by the U.K. site Safe Kids, the myth that cats will purposely smother babies is just that. While cats have been known to explore the new nursery and curl up next to a heat source such as a baby, it has not been proven that cats smother on purpose. The most important thing for cat owners with an infant to remember is to keep the nursery door closed. Read the entire article with more here.

    2. Dogs can detect cancer. This one actually is more truth than myth. It is believed that cancer cells create a scent that may be detected by dogs in breath or urine samples. Get both sides of the myth from a 99 percent detection rate to outright absurdity from the San Francisco Gate.

    3. The smartest pet is a cat. With litter box training as a leading source for this conclusion, this myth may seem true, but according to recent research, is not. Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent conducted a simple study on both felines and canines and found that the dogs were able to navigate the puzzles faster and more consisitently. Read the entire article from The Telegraph for more.

    4. The Jack Russell terrier is the smartest animal in the world. In keeping with the above study, this myth is also a lie. While this breed of dog is exceptionally intelligent, you may be surprised which animals beat it out on the Top 10 Smartest Animals from the Discovery Channel network. They include rats, squirrels, pigeons, and the leader may surprise you.

    5. People food isn’t okay for pets. Like many myths, this one is based on a part truth. If the food is high in fat, sugar, or spicy, it can do damage to the digestive system of your pet. A good rule to follow when giving people food to a pet is: if it isn’t good for you, it isn’t good for the pet. The website Pet Education has a comprehensive list of foods you should never feed a pet, including why, here.

    6. Cats don’t have feelings. We’ve all seen dogs wag their tails, jump for joy, or slump over in shame, but can cats feel the same way? Six different experts weigh in on Cat Channel to share wisdom and give advice. You can read the entire article here and get useful cat tips.

    7. Pets see in black and white. While it is true that dogs and cats do not have the visual range of humans, can they not see color? Four different vets analyze how pets see and even include simulated pictures to show how they view the world. See it all by clicking here.

    8. Cats always land on their feet. Thanks to their skeletal structure and the vestibular apparatus, this is mostly true when falling from a short distance. However, when falling from a distance of about a story or more, cats are just as subject to injury as the rest of us. The people at Petplace have even more.

    9. Grass eating = sick pet. Another part truth, both dogs and cats have a variety of reasons for eating grass according to veterinarian Janet Tobiassen Crosby. It may be hunger, curiosity, a need to vomit, or they may vomit from it. See why they do it and what to do about it by reading the entire article.

    10. One human year equals seven dog years. While it may average out that way, dogs reach adulthood much faster in dog or human years than people do. They also reach their senior years later. Visit here for an online dog years calculator to measure your pet or yourself in dog years.

While researching is a good idea, your veterinarian knows your pet best and can tell you all you need to know if you have any questions about these top ten pet myths or any others you may come across.