Top 10 Myths About Household Pets

Even though new discoveries are quickly debunking the current myths concerning household pets, some of them still persist. Owning a pet is without a doubt a great responsibility for any person, but sometimes our misconceptions get the best of us. The problem is that some of these myths and misconceptions prevent owners from providing their pet the optimal care, the best diet and the necessary treatment in the eventuality that it develops a condition. This guide aims to discuss some of these most frequently encountered myths and if you have fallen prey to either of them, you should immediately take the steps to address the issue.


1. Home treatments are less expensive compared to veterinarian fees and are equally effective

Unless you have a certification in the field of animal medicine, then it is strongly advisable to refrain from treating your pet on your own. There is a reason why veterinarians undergo extensive schooling and practice under the supervision of a licensed specialist before they are allowed to provide treatment. Their knowledge and years of experience is the safest way to establish the diagnosis of your pet correctly and select the optimal medication, in the absence of which the simple condition can escalate quite quickly along with the cost of the treatment.


2. A dog/cat that never leaves the house does not necessitate vaccines

It is necessary to point out that the legislation in the vast majority of states stipulates that the anti-rabies vaccine is mandatory, regardless of whether your dog/cat leaves the premises of your home. Rabies is spread by bats and chances are these small animals could enter the house without your knowledge. On a side note, the heartworm preventatives should also be part of your pet’s treatment, considering that you cannot really keep your home 100% mosquito free at all times.


3. Sister-brother pet mating is not an issue

False, dogs and cats have no sense of taboo and will in fact mate with their siblings as soon as their reproductive organs are functional. Like in the case of human, inbreeding has high changes of determining congenital defects, so the pets should be spayed/neutered before they are 6 months old. Alternatively, you can give them away to different homes.


4. Milk is part of a cat’s mandatory diet

This is probably the most frequently encountered mistake, but it is simple to understand why pet owner believe that: cats love milk and this aliment has positive health effects for humans. However, while the weaning period milk does constitute the primary source of nourishment, the cat develops lactose intolerance. Therefore, by giving them milk you can expect gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, gas, etc.


5. Cats usually urinate outside the box as revenge

You simply cannot attribute human emotions and reactions to your household pets, no matter how friendly or vengeful they appear. If your cat was trained to utilize the litter box but you discover urine stains on the carpet all of a sudden, it could indicate that it is suffering from a urinary tract disease (stones, infection, inflammation, etc.). Therefore, visit your veterinarian right away in order to establish the diagnosis.


6. Contracting toxoplasmosis is inevitable if you have a pet

While it is true that there is a chance for pregnant women to contract this dangerous condition, you should also know that it can easily be avoided. The primary source of infection is the cat’s feces, so you can either ask another family member to handle the litter during your pregnancy or you can utilize latex gloves for the task. In other words, there is no reason to go as far as to abandon your cat.


7. Pets giving birth are the best way of educating children on the subject

You should consider the animal overpopulation issue before you jump to this conclusion. While this does not go to say that you should not allow your pet to have puppies/kittens when you cannot afford to keep them, there are better ways of teaching children about birth when you plan on abandoning/giving them away them soon after. There are numerous books and magazines on this topic, so utilizing them is certainly a more responsible gesture.


8. Your pet could suffer a myocardial infarction from overexcitement

The heart of the dog or the cat does not have the same structure as its human counterpart. Therefore, it is not predisposed to the same type of problems, including myocardial infarctions, better known as heart attacks. However, in the case of dogs, there are certain issues that can occur, such as heart failures or valvular diseases. The first indicators for these conditions comprise of coughing or difficulties in breathing shortly following physical effort. When you notice these symptoms, you should immediately take your pet to the veterinarian because the condition could be fatal in the absence of the correct treatment.


9. Crate training is nothing short of animal cruelty

In fact, a quick look at the dog’s evolution as pets will show you that originally these animals were kept in dens. The ancestral memory of the specie determines the dog to view the crate as its own personal den, his private refuge. Because the dog will never leave urine or feces in its den, the crate constitutes the perfect housebreaking method. It is true that they are reluctant to the crate at first, but after a while they will grow to enjoy it. However, various dog races necessitate different crate training procedures, so be sure to apply the most viable one in your case.


10. Cats and babies do not mix well

This myth comes from an ancient superstition that suggested the cats are draining the life of the baby. And the superstition probably originates from the fact that the cat sniffs out the milk scent on the lips of the infants, which draws their attention and they sometimes proceed to licking the baby. As silly as this may be, you should know that once the child is big enough to crawl around and grab things, you will need to supervise both him and the cat in order to prevent potential injuries but other than that, these both beings can get along pretty well!


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