Saturday, 16 May 2009

The truth about dogs

This week the world’s oldest dog, Chanel, celebrated her 21st birthday! The dachshund-cross turned 147 in doggy years. But how do we actually count a dog’s real age? does 1 year actually equal 7?

Contrary to popular belief most inherited myths and superstitions about our dogs, including age, are not necessarily true and sometimes by acting upon these so called facts we can be harming our favourite four legged friends.

The PDSA recently revealed some of the most common myths about our pets so if you think a dog with a cold wet nose is healthier and a wagging tail means a happy dog then you might need to think again!

We have tracked down and busted five more of the most common dog myths around so that you can eliminate any silly ideas about your precious pooch.

Multiplying a dog's age by 7 will give you its real age in dog years – Wrong. A dog is able to reproduce at 1 year and has reached full growth by 2 years. To calculate a dog's age in human terms, count the first year at 15, the second year as 10, and each year after that as 5. Click here to check the human age of your dog with this rough guide or here to see how old your dog really is according to his lifestyle and health.

Give a dog a bone! - The most common symbol associated with the dog is the bone. However a bone can be very dangerous for a dog so the most common misconception for any dog owner is to believe that you should ‘give a dog a bone’ Your dog’s dental care is as important as it is for you. If you give them bones to chew their teeth can wear down fast and could even break. Cooked bones especially, cannot be chewed or ingested properly thus splintering in the stomach and causing bad indigestion, but worse of all can be fatal for smaller breeds. There are several options to give your dog the chewing exercise he/she needs and loves; these include nylon bones and soft and tough chewable toys.

Dogs only see the world in black and white – Computer says no! People who think dogs only see in black and white have been misinformed. Here is the scientific part, "Dogs see in color, but not the way we do," wrote Dr. Christine Wilford, D.V.M "Veterinary ophthalmologists have determined that dogs are like people with red/green colour blindness: They only have receptors for bluish and greenish shades, not for reddish ones. So, when a person with normal vision sees an orange ball on a grassy lawn, a dog sees only a greenish ball in greenish grass." I think that sets the record straight for most of us doesn’t it?

A dog with a waggy tail is a happy dog - Not always true. A wagging tail could mean one of many things. Your dog is either, happy, anxious, tense, ready to rumble or just plain annoyed. Approach a wagging tail with caution next time you go in for pet or stroke.

A wet nose is a healthy nose - Not necessarily the case. The "warm nose myth" has many pet owners feeling that their pet has a fever however you’ll be glad to know that it’s perfectly normal for a dog's nose to be very wet and cold one moment then be warmer and not-so-moist the next. Changes in texture and colour of a dog’s nose should be looked at more carefully.

To enter this month’s prize just click here – no myths involved just a prize!

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