As a pet owner, you have probably heard several claims from pet ads and other pet owners about what is good and bad for your pet.  The truth is that every animal is different, and one thing might get your pet sick, but may not even affect your neighbor’s. There are several myths out there about whether or not certain things are okay for your pet.  Don’t wonder any longer, because the most popular pet myths are debunked below!

1)    Cats need milk.  Despite all of the cute pictures we see of cats sipping up milk, resist the temptation to offer this in real life.  In fact, most cats and dogs cannot break down lactose in milk product, which can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and other tummy problems.  To keep your pets hydrated, offer them water and only water.

2)    A warm nose means your dog is sick.  Not necessarily.  A dog’s nose can be warm for a number of reasons.  Instead of determining that your pup is sick from that, look for other signs of sickness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing, vomiting, and anything else that isn’t typical of him.  Although a dog’s nose can be warm when he is sick or has a fever, but it should not be used to diagnose sickness.

3)    Cats always land on their feet.  This is actually not true, although every cat owner wishes it was!  If you have a window, or other high area that your cat could fall from, keep it inaccessible from him.  There are plenty of other ways you can stimulate his instincts, such as hiding kitty treats around the house of attaching a string to the wall that he can play with. 

4)    Kissing your dog is not harmful.  Think about where your dog’s tongue has been, still want him to kiss you?  It is actually possible for humans to contract salmonella poisoning and other infections from a dog’s mouth.  But if you insist on being affectionate with your pet, keep his mouth as clean as possible by brushing his teeth, letting him chew bones, and bringing him in for regular veterinary check-ups to rule out dental problems. 

5)    Dogs eat grass because they like the way it tastes.  This can be true, depending on your pet.  Some animals do like to graze every once and a while.  However, grass eating can pinpoint a stomach problem, such as gastritis or acid reflux disease.  If you notice your pet chowing on grass regularly, you may want to take him to the vet for a check-up.

6)    Flea collars are effective.  This is not true, because the flea collar is only effective where the collar touches.  Dogs with flea collars can still contract fleas.  Instead of relying of these to prevent fleas, use products like Frontline that are proven to be effective. 

Although these are not all of the pet myths that you hear from day to day, they are all very common, and trigger some of the most popular questions veterinarians get asked.  Next time you hear a myth, get confirmation from a veterinarian to determine the reality behind it.