Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    9 Dog Myths and Facts

    By Kara Mayer Robinson
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM

    Think you've got your pup all figured out? Not so fast, if you believe any of these nine common myths about dogs.

    Myth No. 1: A warm, dry nose signals a fever.

    The temperature and moistness of your dog's nose has nothing to do with his health, says veterinarian Suzanne Hunter, DVM.

    The only way to know if he has a fever is to take his temperature (usually with a rectal thermometer). It should be 100-102.5 degrees.

    A better way to tell if your dog is sick is if he's not as hungry or active as usual.

    Other signs of illness:

    • Vomiting and diarrhea
    • Urinating more or less often than normal
    • Coughing and sneezing
    • Discharge from eyes, ears, or nose

    Myth No. 2: A dog's mouth is clean and sterile.

    Not even close. Just think about where that mouth has been.

    Most dogs "are willing to lick their own and other dogs' nether regions, steal cat feces from the litter box for a late night treat, and eat anything they can find on the ground," says veterinarian Julaine Hunter, DVM.

    Myth No. 3: Raw meat is the best diet for dogs.

    This may sound good in theory. But the reality is it's an unbalanced diet that can also be dangerous.

    A raw-meat diet can leave dogs short on calcium and other nutrients, says Tina Wismer, DVM.

    Raw meat is also risky because it can carry harmful bacteria, disease, and parasites.

    Myth No. 4: Dogs can't digest grains.

    "Contrary to popular belief, dogs' digestive systems are quite robust," says Hunter.

    Corn, rice, and beets aren't just filler. They enhance a dog's diet with essential nutrients and protein when pre-cooked, which is typically the case with commercially-prepared dog foods.

    "Dogs are omnivores and grains are a healthy part of their diet," Wismer says.

    Myth No. 5: You should feed your dog according to the label instructions.

    The label is just a starting point.

    "An extremely active dog or one with a high metabolism may require more. A less active dog would need less food to avoid becoming overweight," says Mary Jo Wagner, attending veterinarian at Argosy University in Eagan, Minn.

    Ask your vet what's right for your dog. If your dog is at a healthy body weight, you should be able to feel his ribs easily beneath the skin.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    bald woman smelling flowers
    Complementary therapies to ease symptoms.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes highlighted
    4 early warning signs.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    Senior woman using diabetes test kit
    Each one takes 10 minutes or less.
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.