Tall Tails: Debunking Dog Myths

Dogs are an incredibly important part of our lives, and as such, dog myths - long-held nuggets of so-called truth about our canine pals - have been passed along for generations.

Let's review eight of the most notorious offenders and clear up these bits of "wisdom".

1. If your dog has a dry nose, he's sick.

Myths abound that your dog is ill if his snout isn't damp to the touch. It's true a dry nose could indicate sunburn or allergies (sometimes caused by plastic bowls and toys), but weather and humidity can also change the moisture in your dog's sniffer. If his nose stays dry for days, get it checked to be on the safe side.

2. You can give your dog beer.

Your best buddy shouldn't be your drinking companion. Experts agree that just because dogs may like the taste of beer, that doesn't mean it's safe for them. The same goes for many other human snacks. You enjoy the people food and let your dog stick to dog-friendly foods.

3. Dogs see in black and white.

Though they're color-blind, dogs can see a limited number of colors. They can differentiate between blue and red, but they can't distinguish red from green.

4. Dogs are okay in a parked car if the windows are down.

Thankfully, it's becoming common knowledge that leaving your pet in a hot car is a fatal error, but even on a moderately mild day with the windows rolled down, it can be hazardous. The inside of a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.

5. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

This tired saying is one of the most popular dog myths, but has been proven to be false. Research has found that while the younger dogs may learn faster than older dogs, older dogs are still very capable of catching on and learning, although their stamina for training or physical activity may be shorter. 

6. Dogs only eat grass when they're sick.

False! Research suggests that dogs eat grass to smell and taste who else has been in their territory. So while your pup may be looking for a stomach soother on rare occasions, they also might just like the taste or are getting a better read at who paid a recent visit to their favorite spot.

7. 1 year for Fido equals 7 years for you.

The math isn't that simple and can vary by the size and other physical factors of your furry best friend. Dogs mature more quickly than we do early on so the first year of their life equates to almost 15 years of ours.

8. Lost dogs can always find their way home.

While dogs do have an amazing ability to use combinations of scent tracking, visual clues, and an internal compass to navigate their way back home, not all dogs are able to make their way back. Sadly, over 10 million dogs are lost or stolen in the US every year, and many never return home. It’s estimated that 80% are never reunited with their family. 

When you join the Link Family, you protect your pet from becoming a statistic. Link’s GPS location tracking means you can rest easy 24/7– at home or on the go.