Common Pet Care Misconceptions

As a newbie pet parent, you’ll likely be bombarded with tons of information on how best to care for your pet. Unfortunately, there’s so much information out there about caring for your pet that it can be hard to know what’s best – and not all of it is accurate.

Chances are, you’re bound to come across conflicting information, which can be frustrating for you and even harmful to your pet’s health. 

While some pet myths are pretty harmless, others can seriously impact an animal’s quality of life by preventing them from getting the proper care they need. So, let’s dispel some common pet care misconceptions.

Debunking Common Pet Care Misconceptions

1. Female dogs should go through one estrus cycle or have one litter of puppies before being spayed

This is one of the most crucial common pet care misconceptions that extends to cats too. But there are absolutely no physical or emotional advantages for a cat or dog to have a litter before being spayed. Moreover, there’s already an overpopulation issue at shelters and animal rescues, and this common belief adds to the problem.

Not to mention – pregnancy and birth are just as complicated for animals as they are for humans. They require proper prenatal care and emergency care for birth complications. Spaying also helps to prevent plenty of common and fatal reproductive diseases.

2. Dogs eat grass when they have an upset stomach

Yet another one of these common pet care misconceptions that applies to your feline companions… Contrary to popular belief, pets don’t always eat grass because they’re nauseous. It could be because of nutritional deficiencies in their diet. Also, it could be a way to purge their bodies of intestinal parasites. 

Despite this, you shouldn’t encourage your pet to eat grass as it could expose them to harmful chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemical treatments. 

3. Pets that stay indoors don’t need to go to the vet

While it’s true that indoor pets (particularly cats) tend to be healthier than their outdoor counterparts, they’re not entirely free from danger. Various factors can impact your pet’s health, including genetics, hormone problems, tumors, diet, and exercise.

Plus, even if they never leave the house, you do. You may inadvertently bring in dangers from the outside, putting your indoor pets at risk of parasites and diseases. An annual wellness visit to the vet can help catch many sicknesses and medical issues earlier, thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery.

4. People and pets can’t share diseases

Rabies is probably the most widely-known zoonotic disease. But you can also contract various diseases, parasites, and infections from your pet, including tapeworm, roundworm, salmonellosis, ringworm, and toxoplasmosis. You can also infect your pet with the flu and other infections simply by being near them.

As a matter of fact, you increase your risk of infection by petting and kissing your furry friend. So, make a point of washing your hands after you pet your dog or cat and maybe reserve your kisses for human family members. It’s also essential to keep up with your pet’s vaccines and deworm them regularly.

5. It’s needless to brush your pet’s teeth

To be clear, animals aren’t immune from tooth decay. Most pet owners are just coming around to the fact that animals need dental care too. Poor dental care can lead to tooth loss, which can adversely impact your pet’s ability to properly chew and eat their food, often leading to nutritional deficiencies. Numerous pet diseases can also be linked to poor dental care. For instance, severe tooth decay could result in a bacterial infection that may spread to the heart and brain.

Brush your pet’s teeth with gauze or a special brush that fits over your fingers. If your pet won’t allow you to clean their teeth, make sure to get occasional dental cleanings at the vet.

Don’t Believe These Common Pet Care Misconceptions

Were you surprised by any of these pet misconceptions? It’s always best to consult with professionals when it comes to pet care. 

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital 

Contact us at (860) 228-4324, or visit our contact page to learn more about common pet care misconceptions. Also, give us a call if it’s time for your pet’s regular wellness or preventative care visit.