They may be man’s best friend, but unfortunately, our dogs can’t talk, and we misunderstand their behaviors and body language all the time. There’s often no easy way to know for sure what our dogs are thinking, so myths about our canine companions easily spread and become widely accepted. When it comes to some of the most common dog myths, what is fact and what is fiction? Let’s debunk some popular dog misconceptions.
Myth #1: One dog year equals seven human years
A popular way to calculate the relative age of dogs is to assume that one year of a dog’s life is equivalent to seven years of a human’s life. It is true that dogs age more quickly than we do. However, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so this math does not always add up. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates:
- The first year of a medium dog’s life is about 15 years of a human’s life.
- Year two for a dog is about nine human years.
- Each following year for a dog is about five human years.
Dog size and breed matter here. While smaller dogs develop and reach maturity faster, they tend to age more slowly and have a longer lifespan than larger breeds. This means that large and giant dogs reach senior status as early as six years old.
As dogs age, they often develop mobility issues and joint discomfort, may exhibit signs of cognitive decline, and are prone to experiencing new or heightened stress. Fortunately, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA works to reduce inflammation, modulate perception of discomfort, support cognitive function, and address both general and situational stress. In addressing these issues, CBD + CBDA can often lead to improved overall well-being for senior dogs, no matter what age they reach their golden years.
Myth #2: Dogs see in black and white
The assumption that dogs can’t see color was widely accepted for decades. However, we now know that while dogs can’t see the same colors that humans can, they can still see some colors.
Research conducted at the Neitz Color Vision Lab at the University of Washington now shows that a dog’s color vision is similar to that of a person with red-green color blindness. This means that they can’t distinguish red from green light, but can make out yellow and blue, as well as any combination of these colors.
Myth #3: Dogs can feel guilty
Dogs feel a wide range of emotions, so it makes sense for people to interpret their dog’s bowed head or avoiding eye contact as guilt. However, some animal behavior experts say that guilt is most likely too complex for our pups, as they would need to understand social norms and morals like humans. So, if they’re not feeling guilty, why are they behaving like they are?
There’s a difference between feeling guilty and acting guilty. It is possible that your dog has simply mastered the art of picking up on your emotions and responding accordingly. Dogs are keen observers. Experts from ASPCA suggest that dogs described as feeling guilty may just be nervous or scared because the people around them are angry or behaving in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
Myth #4: A wagging tail means a happy dog
TRUE AND FALSE
It is true that tail wagging is a sign that your dog is feeling happy and excited, but it can also signal that your dog is stressed and feeling threatened. A wagging tail indicates emotional arousal—both positive and negative—and is only one part of the body language dogs use to communicate. A dog’s ear position, body posture, and facial expression are all important cues, too. It is important to understand dogs’ body language because a stressed or fearful dog can quickly become an aggressive dog.
ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA can offer support for your dog’s stress levels, helping to relax them in stressful situations. This can allow your dog to become calm enough to manage their stress and fear-based response. In addressing your dog’s stress, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA can lead to improved overall well-being and a happier, less fearful dog.
Consult your veterinarian if your dog shows any indications of aggression.
Myth #5: Dogs eat grass when they feel sick
There is a common belief that dogs eat grass to make themselves throw up and get rid of something yucky they’ve swallowed. However, studies show that fewer dogs vomit after eating grass than this theory would suggest.
It is possible that your dog is stopping mid-walk for a grass snack as a way to add some fiber to their diet. Grazing may be filling a digestive need. Roughage in a dog’s diet helps their bodily functions run more smoothly.
It is important to remember that dogs, particularly young puppies, explore the world around them with their mouths. There may be nothing more behind your dog’s grass-eating habit than the fact that they simply like the taste and or texture.
Myth #6: Adopting siblings is a bad idea
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
If you have ever adopted a dog or are in the process of looking, you have probably come across warnings about “littermate syndrome.” It is believed that littermates adopted together develop such a strong attachment to each other that it interferes with their ability to properly socialize with other people and dogs. They may fail to develop connections with their human family and experience severe stress or even aggression in new environments and when separated from one another.
In addition to developing stress and fearfulness, siblings may be so distracted by each other that they have difficulty learning basic obedience skills. These dogs also play rougher with one another, which can lead to fighting, aggression, and serious injuries. Without socialization with other dogs, littermates are less likely to learn boundaries and canine manners.
While not all dog siblings will develop littermate syndrome, there is some evidence that these concerns are valid. Stress, which can lead to aggression, is a serious issue that should be addressed carefully. Consider consulting a professional trainer or animal behaviorist if your dog shows signs of extreme stress and aggressive behavior.
Bottom line on dog myths
There are lots of common misconceptions about our canine companions. Dogs are wonderful, loving pets who we are still learning about and trying to figure out every day. Some myths should be taken more seriously than others, but most are just that—myths. When it comes to your dog’s health, always consult your veterinarian.
For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]). We are here to help.
Any health or medical information in ElleVet blogs is from a variety of public and reputable sources. This information is an educational resource only and is not a substitute for expert professional care.