7 Common Dog Myths, Debunked

Have you ever wondered if there were any truths to these dog myths? Good news! You can stop scratching your head, and resume scratching behind your doggo's ears (yeah, that's the spot)! We've done all the debunking for you.

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Myth: Dogs are completely colorblind.

False. Not exactly. Dogs don't just see in black and white. In fact, dogs see in more colors than you may have originally thought. A canine's view of the color spectrum seems to mimic a type of colorblindness called deuteranopia (trouble distinguishing between red and green), but can see shades of yellow and blue pretty well. So if your dog is going nuts for that yellow tennis ball, there may be a good reason (besides the fact that it's super fun and fuzzy)!

Myth: Dogs think ambulances sound like howling.

True. Yes, your dog may howl at an ambulance thinking it is another dog, but there are also plenty of other reasons why an ambulance may be provoking your pup to "awoooo." Your dog can hear higher pitched noises at higher frequencies, so he may simply be airing his grievances about the irritating noise, or he could be alerting you of something very large (and annoying) approaching.

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Myth: A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth.

False. Dogs engage in activities that can make their mouths cleaner or dirtier at any moment. Doggos may have some anti-bacterial properties in their saliva, but it doesn't make their mouths cleaner than humans—this is just a rumor. To keep your canine's mouth truly fresh and clean, be sure to keep up on his dental hygiene and brush his teeth regularly.

Myth: One dog year equals 7 people years.

False. According to the AKC, dogs age differently depending on breed, size, and age, and the 1 to 7 rule is inaccurate when it comes to calculating your dog's age. As a general guideline, the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests:

  • The first year of a medium sized dog's life = about 15 human years
  • The second year of a dog's life = about nine human years
  • Each following year of a dog's life= about five human years.
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Myth: Dogs wag their tails when they are happy.

False. Don't be quick to dismiss your pup's emotions. Tail wagging can indicate more than just happiness in your dog. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, tail wagging is an amazing method of canine communication. Depending on position and wagging speed, dogs will use their tails to indicate agitation, negotiation, aggression, submission, curiosity, excitement, insecurity, and yes, even happiness.

Myth: Dogs eat grass to throw up.

False. If your dog is heading straight to the green stuff, it doesn't necessarily mean he is sick. According to AKC, there is a lack of evidence that eating grass is always related to self-curing in dogs. Dogs don't always eat grass when they are sick. Sometimes, dogs may simply just like the taste of grass. In other cases, dogs will instinctively include plant material in their diet, since undomesticated dogs are natural omnivores. When ingested, however, grass may act as a cure for an upset stomach and induce vomiting.

If your dog seems to be making a habit of chowing down on the lawn, or is demonstrating unusual behaviors or symptoms that concern you, be sure to consult your veterinarian to ensure that your friend is happy and healthy.

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Myth: You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

False. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, older dogs may be easier to train than their puppy counterparts. Dogs are incredibly observant animals and are constantly learning. And while puppies are very curious, older dogs aren't as distracted and can focus for longer periods of time than fuzzy puppies. So yes, old dogs can learn new tricks. So, please go out and adopt a senior dog: they are absolutely paw-some!