The 20 Biggest Dog Myths, Debunked 

Anabel Conner
Updated February 19, 2020 35k views 20 items

You might think you know everything about your dog. After all, he is your best friend, is he not? His favorite squeaky toy, his favorite place to nap, his favorite spot to get a rub... these are things that are easy to figure out, but what is he thinking when he wags his tail? What does it mean when he has a dry nose? Are these things indicative of a dog's state of mind or health? What do we really know about dogs?

Whether it's a tip from a neighbor or something you read in a book, myths about dogs can steer you in the wrong direction. Some of these sayings and old wives tales have been around for centuries, but, in reality, many are simply myths that amount to bad advice. What are the true dog facts? Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about dogs that just won't die, as well as some truths to help separate fact from fiction.

A Warm, Dry Nose Means Your Dog Is Sick

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This is the granddaddy of all dog myths. The truth is, the temperature and moisture of your dog's nose are not miracle measurements of his health. A dog's nose may be dry for a variety of perfectly legitimate reasons, such as fluctuations in temperatures in the environment or just waking up from a nap. A nose that is persistently dry and crusted might be a sign of a health problem, but so may one that is constantly runny and drippy. Proper and accurate health assessments for a dog should be done by a veterinarian and cannot be done by simply monitoring the temperature and aridity of a pup's nose.

A Dog's Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Human's

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Folks like to dole this myth out whenever a dog licks your face or samples whatever you're currently eating without your permission. The idea that dogs' mouths are clean could come from the observation that dogs lick their wounds, which then seem to heal quickly. In reality, this occurs because their tongues are rough and easily remove dead tissue and stimulate circulation, promoting healing. A dog's mouth contains plenty of germs and other gross things. Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground and out of the trash – or licks off of herself. The good news is that these germs are usually dog-specific and unlikely to cause any harm to humans, so no need to stop smooching your pooch!

Leaving A Dog In The Car Is Fine As Long As You Crack The Windows

What's for dinner tonight mom?

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Never, ever do this, even if you think you are only running out for a minute. Even in cool temperatures, the heat inside a vehicle can rise quickly, and cracked windows do not provide enough relief. If it is a warmer time of year, this practice is all the more dangerous.  Besides being cruel and poor form, it is also illegal in many places. It's simply not worth the risk!

Dogs Can Only See In Black And White

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It was once believed that dogs could see only in black and white. Many people still think this is the case. The fact is that dogs can see color, just perhaps not in the same way that people do. Canine color vision is thought to be similar to red-green colorblindness in humans, which means they see primarily in tints of blues, greenish-yellow, yellows, and grays.