The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, January 07, 2015, Page 6, Image 6

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Jodi Schneider McNamee
Common dog
myths debunked
Call them legends or even
old wives’ tales, but don’t
call them facts. Whether
it’s a tip from a neighbor or
something you remember
from long ago, myths about
dogs can steer you in the
wrong direction.
These myths have been
around since the domesti-
cation of dogs, and some
of them stick around even
today. Here are some mis-
conceptions about dogs that
just won’t die:
It was once believed that
dogs could see only in black
and white. Many people still
think this is the case. Dogs
do see in color, but they see
differently than most people
do and are less able to dis-
tinguish between colors.
Veterinary ophthalmologists
have determined that dogs
see like humans who have
red/green color blindness.
Dogs’ eyes have receptors
for blue and green shades,
but not for red shades. As a
result, it appears that dogs
cannot easily distinguish
between yellow, green and
red, but they can identify dif-
ferent shades of blue, purple
and gray.
“Can’t teach an old dog
new tricks” is a myth that
has become a popular cli-
ché over the years, (usually
referring to people). The fact
is old dogs not only learn
new tricks, but they thrive
when being trained. While it
isn’t as easy to teach an older
dog new tricks, it can still
be accomplished. A senior
dog might no longer possess
the reflexes or energy of an
enthusiastic puppy, but with
some patience on the pet par-
ent’s part, introducing new
skills to an old dog is per-
fectly achievable.
Another old wives tale,
which is probably the big-
gest dog-health misconcep-
tion around, is that if your
dog’s nose is warm or dry,
it indicates he’s sick. The
moisture content or even the
temperature of a dog’s nose
are not measurements of his
For instance, your
pooch’s nose is often dry
and/or warm if he has just
woken up, and this is per-
fectly normal. But if his
nose is persistently dry and
crusted, it could be a sign of
a health problem; just check
with your vet.
Have you ever seen your
dog eat grass? The myth is
that a dog will eat grass to
induce vomiting, and it’s
true that dogs will often
throw up after eating a lot
of grass. However, this does
not mean they ate that grass
to induce vomiting, or that it
is somehow a sign of illness.
While nobody knows the
exact reasons why
dogs eat grass, it is
possible that they just
actually like grass.
Some dogs like to
graze, while others
Enough grass in
the stomach can cre-
ate minor irritation
and cause Fido to
vomit. Some experts
believe that a dog’s
taste for grass goes
back to the days
when dogs’ ances-
tors, such as wolves,
ate the stomach con-
tents of its prey, usu-
ally grass, leaves,
etc. Regardless of the
reason, it’s relatively
harmless as long as
the grass is not chem-
ically treated.
So you think that
a few table-scraps
are okay for your
dog? Think again.
One ounce of cheddar
cheese for a 20-pound
dog is like a human
eating more than one-
and-a-half chocolate
bars. In other words,
photo by Jodi Schneider mcnamee
table scraps are empty Buddy is an older dog that loves to learn new things.
calories for dogs.
Your precious pooch
needs precisely balanced that is not always the case. need mental stimulation as
nutrition for his specific life And this happens to be a well as physical activity. If
stage to continue to remain dangerous misconception you leave your dog out in
that sometimes leads to dog the yard alone, they might
For instance, eating bites. While tail-wagging not get much of either. It’s
scraps of ham could create often means that a dog is important to take them for
gastrointestinal problems happy or excited, it can also walks, play fetch or sim-
and pancreatic concerns. Do suggest anxiety or even fear, ply run around together. Of
your furry friend a favor and which can be aggression course different-sized dogs
may require different levels
stick to his nutritional dog triggers.
Some people believe that of activity, and not only will
food and treats.
Most people think that if just letting their dog out in it make for a happier, health-
a dog’s tail is wagging that the yard is enough exercise, ier dog but it will also help
is a sign of a happy dog. But and that, too, is myth. Dogs strengthen your relationship.