Many people share their home with a furry family member.
Since these pets rely on us, it’s important to do our best to make sure we know plenty about them. We need to provide the best care we can for them and make sure our homes are safe living environments for us to live together with our pets. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there about pets. Here are six common misconceptions about cats and dogs.
1. Cats drink milk.
Despite what cartoons show us, milk is actually quite bad for cats. Like most mammals, they drink their mothers’ milk as babies, but adult cats are actually lactose intolerant. If there’s a stray cat and you want to leave a bowl out for them, make sure you leave water instead of milk so you don’t make them sick. Check out the ASPCA for other foods and drinks that are bad for pets.
2. Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths.
Your dog’s mouth is filled with over 600 types of bacteria. While most cat owners are aware of how dangerous it is not to clean a cat scratch, I’ve encountered plenty of people that don’t realize how important it is to clean a bite from a dog. Not only do dogs have plenty of germs naturally in their mouths, they also spend their day chewing on things like sticks, bones, small animals, and lots of other things that carry germs. If you get bit by a dog, clean the wound thoroughly.
3. Declawing cats is harmless.
Declawing is painful and harmful to cats. People often do this so that their cats won’t tear up their furniture, but this is actually pretty cruel. Cats need their claws and removing them will not only be a painful process, but it will have harmful lasting effects. Please provide your cats with someplace to scratch rather than hurting them by taking their claws. Check out the Humane Society for more information.
4. Dogs only see black and white.
Dogs see color, they just do it a bit differently than we do. Based on the cones in their retina, their vision is similar to red-green color blindness. Their vision is more limited than ours, meaning they can see colors, just not as many as we can. They tend to see in blues, yellows, and grays.
5. One dog year is seven human years.
Every breed ages differently, so going by this measurement makes no sense. Smaller dogs tend to live longer while bigger dogs tend to have shorter lives. A Shih Tzu can live up to 16 years, while Great Danes tend to only live up to 7 years. A dog ages quite quickly at the beginning of their life and the aging slows down as they get older, varying by breed.
6. Pregnant women should avoid cats.
This belief exists because of a disease called Toxoplasmosis. It is a disease that can be spread through feces and litter. If you’re pregnant, just make sure you aren’t the one changing the litter box and you’ll be fine. You don’t have to avoid your feline friend. The CDC website has tips on how pregnant women can avoid this disease without giving up their cats.