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Debunking Six Dog Myths


Is it true that seven human years are equivalent to one dog year? Can dogs really smell cancer? Here, we debunk some commonly held dog myths.

Dog Age

Though many believe one human year equals seven dog years, this is a common misconception. When your dog reaches 2 years of age, it will age about five dog years to every human year in smaller to medium-sized breeds, and one human year for every six to seven dog years in larger breeds. Here’s a good online conversion calculator. Keep in mind, a young dog with no attention, limited exercise and a poor diet may not live as long of a life as an older dog who gets good healthcare, proper nutrition, and both mental and physical stimulation. Just like those BMI charts at the human doctor’s office: One has to take into account one’s lifestyle, dietary habits, exercise patterns, stress level, etc. The same holds true for a dog. It is really true that”age is a just a number.”


Nose Color

A dog’s nose can actually change color in the winter months due to a condition called snow nose (or winter nose). In winter months, owners of black-nosed dogs may notice their pets’ noses turning a pinkish color, which is believed to be caused by an enzyme deficiency. Any sudden changes should be examined by a veterinarian.


Dog Doctor

The ability of dogs to detect cancer via scent receptors (“their sniffer”) is, in fact, a truth. A German research report revealed that dogs are able to find early-stage lung cancer, and countless reports have revealed that canines can sniff a cancerous growth in humans long before the growth is visible with the naked human eye.

bunny dog
Now that’s LOVE!

Tail Wagging

When a dog wags its tail, it is not necessarily a sign of friendliness. Dogs wag when they are fearful, disconcerted, aroused and more. Watch its body language, such as posture and ear positioning, and always ask a dog’s owner about petting it first.


Eating Grass

Dogs that eat grass are not necessarily sick. Some dogs may like the taste, but other theories suggest their bodies might instinctively crave nutrients that are lacking in their regular diet. My good pet industry friend, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, authored a piece on the dogs eating grass topic for PetMD.


Guilt Trip

Finding a puddle of piddle in the house may not be pleasant for humans, but dogs do not feel guilt when humans disapprove. Instead, they are reacting to the emotional response of their owner, regardless of when the accident occurred. Never spank a dog. Putting your hand(s) on a dog as a form of punishment is not only wrong but as harmful to the relationship you want with your dog. Counterproductive in fact. Here’s more on the not spanking a dog topic.  Please share the no spank link with folks; it is worth the tweet and share just to save a dog from a miserable existence for being hurt.


What is a dog myth you’ve encountered? Bark at us in the comments below.


  1. Sharon S. says

    Thanks for these great nuggets of information. It’s so important for pet owners to understand our pets. I didn’t know that a dog’s nose can change color depending on the season.

  2. emma says

    Good points. Mom’s German father in law told her that dogs eat grass when it is going to rain. My sisters and I don’t eat grass but occasionally on our morning walk we all start eating grass and then usually all puke in unison and that is the end of it. This always happens on days when it rains a bit later. This is not scientific, but we believe it because it is the only time we eat grass…well, my sister Katie eats it when she needs to throw up because she ate something disgusting, but that doesn’t really count.

  3. Dawn says

    Maya’s nose turns brown in the winter. I read that it is because the coldness of the weather inhibits the cells that create the black pigment. Also, both my dogs eat grass all the time. I think it is just because they like it. It is a treat for them for some reason. They have excellent quality food and still eat grass.

  4. Kimberly Gauthier says

    That a dog trainer’s dog listens 100% of the time. I’ve had two very very talented dog trainers share times when they were a little off their game and their dog or dogs didn’t listen to them. It makes me feel better when our dogs don’t immediately listen to us.

    Another one that my boyfriend has FINALLY let go is that “they know what we’re saying.” It’s our current trainer that shared in one of our classes that when we use too many words to direct our dogs, it can be confusing, because they don’t know which one to respond to. We’re currently teaching our dogs to go to their beds – the problem is that we’ve taught them “go to your blanket” which means get on the sofa. So we now use “it’s time for your bed” when training, because they are reacting to the words “go to” not “blanket” or “bed.”

    Crazy huh? love learning how to talk to our dogs.

  5. Robbi says

    What about the “cold nose” is a healthy dog? Henrietta doesn’t have a tail as much as she has a stump to wag! I love the age converter… she is still a #Boomer right along with me!

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