Pet Myths Debunked

Friday the 13th has long been associated with superstition, so it’s the perfect time to dispel some common pet myths. Read on to find out that you can teach an old dog new tricks, black cats are considered lucky, and more!

Black cats are bad luck – False
Black cats are actually considered good luck in many cultures. In Japan and Scotland, the presence of a black cat is thought to bring good fortune and prosperity to the home. Also, when sailors would look for a cat to bring aboard their ship, a black cat was preferred and believed to protect a ship from treacherous weather. Families of sailors and fishermen even kept black cats at home to help protect their loved ones at sea.

Cats drink milk – False
You might have heard of someone leaving a saucer of milk out for kittens, but cats are actually lactose intolerant and milk will upset their stomach.

Cats always land on their feet – False
Cats have a reflex that quickly twists their bodies in the air, however this does not guarantee that cats always land on their feet. Cats still get injured from falling, so make sure your cat stays safely away from balcony edges and open windows.

Dogs are colorblind – False
A dog cannot see as many colors as the human eye, but the canine retina can actually  distinguish some colors like primarily blues, yellows, and greens.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – False
Dogs can learn tricks at any age!  In fact, continuous training can add wonderful enrichment to your dog’s life.

Breeds on the banned list are always aggressive – False
Providing the proper socialization and training is important with any breed. According to the CDC, no dog is born inherently dangerous or vicious. The American Temperament Test Society also found that dogs considered to be an “aggressive” breed illustrated friendlier behavior than some breeds without an aggressive label.

A warm nose means your dog is sick – False
A dog’s nose can be a product of the environment. If you are worried about your dog being sick, look for other symptoms like lethargy or an upset stomach.

Indoor pets don’t need heartworm prevention or regular trips to the vet – False
There are many types of communicable diseases like distemper, leptospirosis, and upper-respiratory infections that can be tracked inside the home on shoes. Pets can even catch distemper by an infected animal, like a racoon, walking through your yard without having any direct contact. The American Heartworm Society has also reported that 1 in 4 cats infected with heartworm disease were indoor cats.

Cats purr and dogs wag their tail only when happy – False
Cats are also known to purr when they are anxious or nervous, and dogs wag their tails to show excitement, stress, and even aggression. It’s best to observe an animal’s entire body language and not rely on only one indicator.

Rabbits are low-maintenance pets – False
The average life of a rabbit is ten years, so adopting a rabbit is not a short-term commitment. Rabbits need several hours outside of their enclosure every day to get the proper amount of exercise, and they need lots of fresh vegetables for a proper diet. Also, a rabbit’s teeth and nails never stop growing and need to be managed properly to stay healthy. Many people also don’t realize that rabbits also need specialized veterinary care with yearly checkups.

Rabbits should eat lots of carrots – False
Carrots are high in sugar and are not a healthy source of nutrition for rabbits. However, carrot tops can be given in limited quantities as a treat. On the other hand, grass hay like Timothy hay should be available 24/7 and is essential to a rabbit’s health.