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Mythbuster for dogs

Date updated: 02 05 2019

Dogs may have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean you fully understand them (at least not yet). From the best doggy diets to their oral health, there are plenty of myths shrouding your buddy’s way of life. Uncover the secrets of how dogs see, smell and understand us – and sort the facts from the fiction – with our mythbusting guide.

Are dogs colour blind?

No. This urban myth which has been around for decades has actually been proven false . However, their colour spectrum is vastly limited compared to what their owners will see. Instead of a plethora of reds, greens, pinks and oranges, your pooch mostly sees only blues, yellows and violets .

While their visual colour range is limited, dogs have better night vision than us and can easily pick up movement – perfect for hunting.

How do you calculate dog years?

A dog’s lifecycle is, on average, one-seventh that of a human’s . A dog will age quicker than their owner, but the speed of this depends on their stage of development. For example, a dog will grow fastest in their first two years, when it transitions from pup to adult, but then slows considerably. Also, the average lifespan of a dog varies from breed to breed, with some dogs living well over 15 years .

Are dogs omnivores?

While dogs’ ancestors, wolves, stuck to a carnivorous diet, today’s domesticated dogs are actually omnivores. This is due to their ability to process and break down grains, which also supports the digestion of other nutrients . Grains are common in many pet foods. The balance between meat and plant-based ingredients gives your buddy all the nutrients they need – much like our own diets. Read more about your dog’s nutrition.

Are dogs smarter than cats?

Yes, dogs are said to be more intelligent than cats. While each four-legged friend has their own strengths and skills setting them apart, science has proved that our pooches are smarter than their feline counterparts. Dogs have twice the number of neurons (the cell responsible for transmitting information) than cats, according to a recent study .

Other studies also suggest that dogs understand their owners better than cats, with many pooches being able to comprehend over 100 words .

How far can a dog pick up a scent?

Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, roughly 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than humans’ . However, their ability to identify a scent depends on various factors such as their breed and age, plus the training they’ve had. Bloodhounds have the best sense of smell overall. They’ve been known to follow a trail for more than 130 miles.

Can dogs eat fruit?

Many fruits are fine in moderation, but just like chocolate, some fruits and other household foods can be equally as bad. For example, you should never feed your dog grapes. They can cause severe illness and even kidney damage, with symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Apples can also be problematic for dogs to eat, as the core contains toxins that can make it hard for your buddy to breathe .

It’s important you know about these other foods you should never feed your dog.

Are dogs’ mouths cleaner than humans’?

A dog’s mouth is generally a lot more unhygienic than a human’s . However, this isn’t necessarily due to how we are built, but more about environmental factors.

While humans brush their teeth regularly and take care to avoid having smelly breath, dogs don’t have a care in the world. From sampling the garbage to drinking out the toilet bowl, having fresh-smelling breath to greet you with probably isn’t very high on your canine companion’s agenda.

With many of these common myths debunked, you may start to look at your buddy in a different light. With superior intelligence, incredible sense of smell and a lovable personality to match, it’s really no wonder dogs are a man’s best friend.