6 Common Dog & Cat Health Myths

1) You should only be concerned about parasites infecting your pet in spring and summertime.

While it is true that dogs and cats are more susceptible to ticks, fleas, and mosquitos (which can spread heartworms) during the warmer months in spring and summer, most veterinarians recommend parasite medication year-round. The reason is that some parasites can reside in your home throughout the year, even during the winter months. Even indoor cats never allowed outside need to be protected from home-dwelling parasites. Discuss any parasite concerns with your veterinarian.

2) Neutering causes a dog to lose traits characteristic to that breed.

Although neutering may affect a dog’s behavior, the results are generally positive. In fact, the surgery may reduce bothersome or aggressive behavior in puppies. Neutering additionally helps prevent testicular cancer and prostate problems.

3) Cats will urinate outside their litterbox just to spite their owner.

Cats do not urinate outside of their litterbox simply to spite their owner; it could just be them marking their territory. However, urination outside the litterbox could be a sign of a more serious issue like urinary tract disease, bladder stones or diabetes. If you notice that your cat is unable to urinate, take your feline to the vet immediately. Keep in mind that your cat’s unusual urination behavior could be his or her way of dealing with anxiety relating to a change in the home. To accommodate your feline(s) anxiety, be sure to clean their litterbox(es) twice daily and that you have placed the litterbox(es) in a private and accessible spot for them to relax.

4) It’s not necessary to brush your pet’s teeth every day.

Just like a person’s teeth develops plaque, so does your pet’s teeth. It is important to brush your pet’s teeth daily to prevent tartar buildup and potential dental disease. If you haven’t introduced daily brushing in your pet’s younger years, you can still gradually introduce teeth brushing by first allowing your pet to lick the pet-friendly toothpaste before brushing until they get accustomed to the routine.

5) The best way to show your pet love is by giving them food.

Don’t feed your pet every time they beg for food. Doing so may lead to your pet overeating which may cause obesity later on. If you have any questions regarding your pet’s diet, discuss with your veterinarian about how often your pet needs to eat. Avoid giving your furry companions treats and table remains when they beg and instead show them love by giving affection like petting or cuddling or playing a stimulating game with them.

6) If your pet is itching their ears, it means they have ear mites.

Although your pet could have ear mites, this isn’t always the case. Itchy ears could also indicate allergies, yeast infections, bacterial infections or other potential issues. Discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian if you notice your pet frequently itching their ears.