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Ann Hohenhaus: "One human year equals
seven dog years."
Myth. Myth. We could cut it right there.
Carly Fox: "Certain dog breeds are hypoallergenic
because of their fur."
This is a major, major myth.
"Only male dogs hump."
Hi, I'm Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, I'm the staff veterinarian
at the Animal Medical Center
here in New York City.
My name is Dr. Carly Fox, and I'm an emergency
and critical care staff veterinarian
at the Animal Medical Center.
Hohenhaus: Today we're debunking dog myths.
Fox: I think, honestly,
the majority of male dogs
do like to hump, but I guess female dogs
also can be seen to exhibit that behavior.
Hohenhaus: But males hump more than females.
Fox: Definitely, yeah. But, I mean,
I guess female dogs can also hump,
I mean, if they're in the mood.
Hohenhaus: Next myth: "Dogs are colorblind."
Dogs are partially colorblind.
People used to think they were totally colorblind.
Dogs have a little bit of ability to see color,
and so they see things
in kind of blue, yellow, and gray.
But they don't see a lot of color.
Fox: "Dogs don't like to be hugged."
I mean, biggest myth.
Physical touch is one of the things that
makes a dog a dog, so I can't imagine
that dogs don't like to be hugged.
I mean, dogs will literally climb onto your laps
in order to be hugged, so this is an absolute myth.
You can't and shouldn't just
go up to any dog and hug it.
Dogs still are different, just like people are.
Some people are huggers, some people are not.
So some dogs don't love that very direct attention
from someone perhaps they don't know,
so be sure to ask the owner
if you can pet or hug their dog,
and read the dog's signs.
Hohenhaus: Next myth: "One human year
equals seven dog years."
Myth. Myth. We could cut it right there,
but there's some really interesting research
behind this question.
So, the seven years probably comes
when people lived to be about 70
and dogs lived to be about 10,
so 70 divided by 10 is seven.
That's where that number maybe comes from.
Nobody knows, it's a myth,
so there's no data behind it.
Then, a number of years ago,
a group of researchers at Purdue University
looked at developing a formula for dog age
based on the size of the dog
and the dog's chronologic age,
or how many calendar years it was old.
And that formula might actually be the best.
This is a myth, but there are ways
that you can calculate your dog's age
based on a complicated mathematical formula.
Next one. Fox: Oh, OK.
"You should shave fluffy dogs in the summer."
This is mostly a myth.
A lot of people will shave their dogs in the summer
because they think it will make them cooler.
That's not necessarily true.
Dogs have adapted to all types of weather,
and they actually will shed
different coats at different times of the year
in order to sort of be
comfortable in that weather.
Hohenhaus: I think they don't like to be shaved
because they feel naked.
Fox: Yeah, probably. I mean,
why wouldn't they? They have no idea.
Hohenhaus: Yeah, they've never not had hair before.
So I'm not sure that shaving them
is always a good thing either, so myth.
"Dog saliva can heal wounds."
When's the last time you got bitten by a dog?
Fox: Probably, like, last year.
Hohenhaus: And it's ugly.
It is not healing wounds; it's making wounds worse.
This is a total, total myth.
Dog bites are really nothing to laugh about,
and most veterinarians get bit on the hand,
and so we're always worried
because we work with our hands,
so any dog bite needs to see a veterinarian
because it's a potentially infected injury,
and you need to go to your physician
to have that bite looked at.
Fox: "Certain dog breeds are hypoallergenic
because of their fur."
This is a major, major myth.
So, all dogs produce allergens,
and some dogs will produce
more allergens than others.
Dogs that don't shed, like poodles,
or smaller dogs that shed less
are less likely to produce a large amount of allergen
that can cause allergies in the environment,
and it really has to do with how often they shed
or if they shed at all.
But definitely all dogs produce allergens,
and all dogs could be allergenic,
but some dogs will produce less.
Hohenhaus: And now we have a different myth:
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
I think that's an idiom rather than a myth, isn't it?
Some famous saying.
I think that that is a myth.
Training a dog is never easy,
and it involves repetition
and persistence and rewards
in order to successfully train a dog,
but I don't think age is the problem.
I think we're more of the problem
in not sticking with training a dog.
Fox: Yes, they actually did a study about this,
and they did the same teaching of a trick
to young dogs and old dogs,
dogs that were six months to a year
and then dogs that were 10 years old.
And they actually found out
that both sets of dogs can learn a new trick.
However, the dogs that were older,
it took them twice as long to learn it.
So they can learn it, it's just something
that requires more time,
and that's definitely something that
you are going to have to commit to.
But it's possible,
and they definitely can learn new tricks.
Hohenhaus: "Dogs feel guilt."
I think that humans want the dog to feel guilt
for making a mess, chewing the furniture,
taking the fringe off the sofa,
destroying the pillows,
'cause we want them to be like us.
So, I don't think dogs
necessarily can really feel guilt,
but since they're not talking,
it's really hard to know if that's true or not.
Fox: Our dogs will display guilt-like behavior
when they do something wrong,
like, they'll put their ears back, they'll hide,
they'll look very guilty.
But I think in most cases,
that's really a reaction to you
and your tone of voice
or your anger at them
and your body language
rather than true guilt.
Hohenhaus: One of the reasons
that dogs have been
so effective in integrating
themselves into our lives,
the lives of humans for millennia,
is because they are very good
at picking up on social cues.
Fox: "When dogs wag their tails,
it means they're happy."
I would say in a lot of times
when dogs wag their tails,
it seems like they are very happy.
However, tail wagging is a behavior in dogs
that can mean many different things,
not necessarily happiness.
Hohenhaus: And I think the wag matters.
So you've got a dog whose tail is quivering like this,
that is not a happy wag.
Think about the Labrador, swish, swish, swish, swish,
they're pretty much always happy.
And then there's the dog who their tail quivers
and then it curls under.
That's not a happy wag either.
That's a "I'm really upset" wag.
So in addition to looking at the ears
and the eyes and the body posture,
ask yourself, what kind of wag is this dog doing?
Because that's gonna give you an indication
on the mood of the beast.
Fox: "Human food is bad for dogs."
Well, there are very particular
types of human food
that are definitively bad for dogs.
For example, chocolate is obviously bad for dogs.
Grapes, raisins are toxic to dogs.
Onions, garlic, those things are bad for dogs.
However, human food in general
is not necessarily bad for dogs.
We do wanna always limit the quantity
of human food for dogs.
I usually tell people less than 10% of their diet
should be human food.
Just human food in moderation
is not bad for dogs.
Hohenhaus: Well, dog food is
good balanced meal for a dog.
I interpret it to mean, should I cook for my dog?
And that is a bad idea because what we eat
is not a balanced diet for a dog.
And so home-cooked diets run a huge risk
of being deficient in nutrients
that are critical for your dog,
mostly deficient in calcium phosphorus.
So cooking for your dog, unless you've had a diet
made by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist,
is a bad idea.
"Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths."
No. Human bites are
supposedly worse,
although we don't see a lot of human bites
at the Animal Medical Center.
But all of us have been bitten by a dog,
and we know that those
can get really badly infected.
What I've read is that if a
human bites another human,
it's awful, it's a terrible infection that you get.
So, no, I don't know that either is better.
Fox: Dog mouths and human mouths
are actually,
it's interesting,
they're sort of similar.
Both humans and dogs have over 200 types
of bacteria in their mouth.
However, because
disease is not really transmissible
between dogs and humans,
or there's not that much zoonotic potential
between dog saliva and human saliva,
they're clean in that, you know,
making out with your dog,
you won't contract the common cold,
but making out with a person, perhaps you can.
So, in that case, they sort of are cleaner.
However, they still have tons and tons of bacteria,
just like people mouths do.
Hohenhaus: "Dogs are afraid of their reflection."
This is...just no.
Just Google "puppies in mirrors,"
and you'll see that dogs love,
they're so enamored of that other dog
that they never met before.
They're really cute.
"Dogs can't digest grains."
So, this is a major, major myth.
Dogs can absolutely digest grains.
And not only can they digest grains,
but recent research shows
that they need grain in their diet.
Dogs on a grain-free diet are predisposed to
developing a very serious type of heart disease
called DCM, or dilated cardiomyopathy.
And dogs that are on a grain-inclusive diet
are not as likely to develop this heart disease.
So if your dog is on a grain-free diet,
it absolutely needs grain back in its diet,
and you should speak
to your veterinarian about doing so.
"Putting a dog's nose in their mess
will break a bad habit."
This is definitely a myth.
I think this is, like, a training method
that people introduced a long time ago.
However, I think with a lot of research and time
we found out that negative reinforcement
is very bad for dogs,
definitely doesn't correct bad behavior
and can actually breed bad behavior,
as well as breeding aggressive behavior
and fear in our pets,
and that's definitely not
something that we wanna do.
Ideally you should always reward your dog
with positive behavior, like treats or playtime
or feeding rather than punishing,
which is never recommended in dogs.
Hohenhaus: So, we talked about dog myths today.
And it turns out there are a lot of myths.
In fact, Dr. Fox and I didn't agree
with hardly any of the cues that we were given today
because most of them are myths.
So beware of Dr. Google.
Beware of what your friends tell you,
or the nice passerby on the street who tells you
you're not taking care of your dog the right way.
And get an expert opinion when it comes to your dog.
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Veterinarians Debunk 15 Dog Myths

559 Folder Collection
Victoria published on March 4, 2020
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