6 Common Dog Myths Busted

15 Jul 2014 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

There are a lot of myths that surround our canine friends. Many have been called old wives tales, some even legends, but a lot of dog myths have originated as a result of facts being lost in translation. We at present to you some of the common myths and the truth behind them. Here we are finally putting a muzzle on the myths and hope to help in promoting better care of our canine friends.

Dog litter 

Myth: Dogs must have at least one litter before they are spayed / neutered.

History: In the old days people understood and propagated that female dogs must mate at least once before the owners decide to spay else the dog will feel incomplete and there will be no one to carry on the legacy of the dog. When I got my Labrador Retriever Myshka, my parents told me the same thing and even suggested suitable “grooms” for Myshka as she grew up.

Fact: Dogs reproduce / get mate mainly for the survival of their species and not for any other reason. A neutered / spayed dog are a better behaved, gentle, calmer dog than one that has not been spayed / neutered. Sterilized dogs are less likely to mark territories (like your car / bed / couch), bite, impose dominance over other dogs or run away during the onset of hormonal changes during heat period. Health wise too, spayed female dogs are less likely to suffer from cancer than a un - spayed one. 

dog nose

Myth: A dry nose means that the dog is unwell

History: Through times, our furry canine friends have been associated with cold and moist noses and hence there is a myth that if a dogs nose is warm and dry it means that the dog is unwell. During illness such as distemper a dog’s paw pads and nose becomes extremely dry and cracks.

Fact: A dogs nose is not always cold and moist. For instance when a dog wakes up from sleep, its nose will be dry and it will also be dry when they are dehydrated. Therefore, dogs nose should not be taken as an indicator of dogs health. In case the nose is dry or cracking, it will be advisable to see a vet immediately.

Myth: Chocolates should be avoided as they make a dog lethargic.

"Rahul Wahi, pet parent to two month old Labrador Retriever Nano told us that according to him giving chocolates to dogs can cause lethargy and skin problems."



History: Over the years a lot of food products have been diagnosed as unhealthy and harmful for pets. Pet Nutritionists have studied the harmful effects of food and advised against a few like grapes, nuts, caffeine rich products and plant protein.

Fact: Chocolate is one of the most common sources of food poisoning in Dogs.Chocolate is made of cocoa and contains theobromine. Theobromine is highest in dark chocolate and cooking chocolate and pose a higher threat to dog’s health as it is difficult for dogs to metabolise theobromine. Low doses of chocolate to dogs can cause vomiting and diarrhea while higher doses can kill them. 


Myth: Puppies should not be taken away from mothers as it makes them cry all day.

History: A lot of people who adopt or buy a pet prefer to get one which is more than 45 days old. The myth being that a younger puppy will cry for his / her mother and will not be happy.

Fact: The main reason for not weaning a puppy from the mother before 45 days or 7 weeks old is low immune system. Puppies derive nutrition and immunity from their mother’s milk. When a puppy is weaned off, chances of catching Parvo Virus or other diseases is higher as their immune system will be rendered weak.

Dog licking

Myth: A puppy licking its wounds will heal the wound.

History: Dogs and cats are known to groom by licking themselves. Though we give our pets regular bath, day to day they groom on their own.

Fact: Dogs often get wounded and scratched when they go for runs or walks and even at home when they accidentally bump into things. For a dog, licking a scratch or a wound is a natural instinct to clean the wound as it’s rough tongue cleans the area of dead tissue. However, care should be taken that the dog does not lick too the wound or scratch too much as it would make the wound sore and increase chances of bacterial infection.

Dog mouth

Myth: A dogs mouth is cleaner than that of a human.

History:  A dogs tongue is often considered as a factor that a wound on a dog healed early. However, its just the debride of the dead tissue by the rough tongue that may result in early healing of the wound.

Fact: A dog’s mouth is not really the cleanest around. All of us know how dogs like to poke around trash cans and snack on junk and arbit dirty things. However, the bacteria inside a dogs mouth is healthy and dog specific and won’t cause any harm as long as the dog is de-wormed and vaccinated.

If you know of other myths that are related to the health of dogs, do share with us!

Image courtesy: Pinterest

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"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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