Say What? Fact or Fiction

4 Popular Pet Myths Debunked

By Ava Agata Gorecki

Say what? Fact or Fiction popular pet myths debunked

You may have heard countless bizarre myths in your lifetime about our friends in the animal kingdom. Popular ones such as, a black cat crossing your path will bring you bad luck, toads will give you warts, and having to tread safely in Australia for fear of encountering the carnivorous drop bear. You can blame that toad for your devious behavior all you want but have you ever thought if these were fact or fiction?


Get Leashed is here to set these four facts about our four-legged other halves straight.


Dogs can smell cancer: Fact

Dogs have been known to smell a lot of interesting things including that stash you have hidden up your bum, missing persons, gun powder and even bed bugs. Weird or what? But the strangest of all is cancer. Since dogs can smell in parts per trillion they have a very sharp nose to any drastic changes in the human body. Apparently, this is due to evolutionary factors. They need to sense if there’s something wrong with their caretaker so they can know if those loving head scratches and a bone to snack on will be available come tomorrow. Dr. Snugglemuffin may be a pretty happy dog but unfortunately she doesn’t have a PhD and therefore she shouldn’t be your only source for early detection. If your dog seems to be sniffing around you more than usual, consider a shower first before assuming the worst.


Cats always land on their feet: Fiction

Although it is true that cats will land on their feet more often than not, it’s not uncommon that falls result in injury for our seemingly imperishable feline friends. Cats are extremely agile and possess an innate ability known as the righting reflex. This is what allows them to quickly establish what is up, down and all around whilst falling so felicitously from roof tops.

However, falls from 12 inches or less don’t allow a cat enough time to right itself. So if your fluff ball is plunging from the top of a $5 foot-long it could potentially land on its little kitty face; and that’s how the Persian was created. Even though your cat may seem like a ninja, the laws of physics ultimately reveal its fallibility.


Allowing a dog to lick another dog’s wound will speed healing: Fiction

First, please do not try this at home or anywhere. We are sure you have all heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, which is actually a fallacy in itself. Comparing the dental hygiene of humans and dogs is like comparing suburban garbage to carnival garbage. Sure, one comes from a more seemingly civilized area but both are just heaps of bacteria that carry their own set of microbes and antibodies. That said, before you let another dog give your pooch a good free-for-all licking at the dog park be aware that this may result in some unsavoury side effects. One consequence that can develop is a pretty nasty staph infection which will lead to more healing time and money than would following traditional medical treatment. Stay safe and visit your own Dr. Sheldon if you’re unsure.


Cats suffocate babies and steal their breath: Fiction

We’re just asking this one for a friend…This myth is a little bit strange, and arguably insane but we’re here to call out the weird. Does a cat actually want to steal your baby’s soul? You know what, probably. But in reality, no. Albeit, you should take caution when introducing your brand spankin’ new, shiny baby to your pets, but a cat doesn’t purposefully try to steal the air from it. If your cat seems to be lingering around your baby it’s probably because of its warmth and the smell of milk on its breath.

How did this even become a thing? Over 200 years ago, January 25, 1791 to be exact, it was a dark and stormy night and found recorded in the Annual Register (a publication of interesting things) was this entry: “A child of eighteen months old was found dead near Plymouth, and it appeared, on the coroner’s inquest, that the child died in consequence of a cat sucking its breath, thereby occasioning a strangulation.” Sounds suspicious to us, but trust him, he’s a doctor. No matter what tall tales Babushka has been preaching to you in broken English, we can confirm this myth is as certain as catching a cold by going outside with wet hair.

Some superstitions and misconceptions are as old as time so don’t be ashamed if what you thought was truth is inaccurate. Unless of course you believe that soul sucking cat thing. In which case maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices.