Frogs and Snails and Puppy dog's tails - News from Dean

Old wives tales, myths and superstitions....where do we draw the line.

Content supplied by Dean | Veterinary Nutritional Advisor | The Vet Store Vangate

Do we really know all there is to know about our furry family members? I think not!

I am sure we will be learning new things about them on a daily basis. Let's put some of these common misconceptions to bed.

Dogs only see in black and white

Behavioural testing suggests that dogs do see shades of yellow and blue and are incapable of seeing in a range of green to red. 

Cats always land on their feet

Not always true....falling from certain heights may give the cat a chance of re-positioning its body so that it lands safely, but should the fall be from too high a place or too low, the risk of serious injury is a reality. Needless to say, do not attempt to test this theory.

I can give Ibuprofen to my dog for pain

Absolutely NOT...this myth needs to be put to bed right away. Ibuprofen is highly poisonous to dogs and cats and will cause serious liver and kidney dysfunction. If you suspect that your pet has ingested Ibuprofen please contact the Pet Poison Helpline immediately (

1 Human year equals 7 dog years

Nope....As a general guideline, though, the American Veterinary Medical Association breaks it down like this: The first year of a medium dog's life is equal to about 15 human years. The second year is equal to about 9 years and after that each human year is approximately five years for a dog. Generally larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans than smaller breed dogs.

No whiskers means no balance

Cats use their whiskers as "feelers" and not for balance, however a cat without whiskers cannot accurately gauge the size of openings and may find themselves stuck in holes. Generally, if the whiskers fit through the hole so should the body and their positioning indicates the cat's mood.  Do not ever cut or pluck a cat's whiskers, they are rooted deep in the skin where the nerve endings are abundant.

Leave the dog in the car as long as the windows are cracked open

No No No....even 5 minutes unattended in the car can have disastrous consequences. It is illegal to leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death.

If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, take down the car's colour, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call local humane authorities or police. 

Surly a tiny piece of chocolate must be fine for my pet?

Well it's not and you could do some serious harm to you pet. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. It is toxic to dogs and cats so just don't do it.