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These outdated, unproven dog care myths have got to go.

Education is the foundation of better dog ownership. The more we learn about our dogs, the better we can understand them. For more happy, healthy and safe years of doggy love, read up on these five common dog myths and spread the truth!

1. Dogs Eat Grass To Make Themselves Throw Up

This is a big one. Many people believe that dogs eat grass when they feel sick, in order to make themselves throw up so they can feel better.

I’ve personally heard this myth a ton of times, and believed it until now. But when it comes down to it, have dogs ever shown evidence that they have that kind of foresight? They’re smart animals, sure, but not smart enough to medicate themselves with plants.

Dogs eat grass because they like to eat stuff – they really don’t care what, do they?

Grass is everywhere, so it’s no wonder it’s such a common phenomenon.

Dogs who eat grass don’t always vomit, and they don’t often appear to be sick before they start to graze.

If your dog has a habit of eating grass outside, only to come inside and vomit all over your house, there are some things you can do to stop the habit.

Some dogs might eat grass when they’re not getting enough nutrients or fiber in their diets. You might want to try switching to a higher-quality food or adding some leafy green supplements to your dog’s diet to see if it helps curb their grass cravings.

Your dog might just be bored, or hungry. To discourage grass grazing, practice your “drop” and “leave it” commands, and reward your dog with a nice treat when they decide not to indulge.

2. Ice Water Will Make Your Dog’s Stomach Explode

Like most bad pieces of advice floating around these days, this one is constantly popping up on Facebook. You may have seen it under the title “NO ICE WATER FOR DOGS… PLEASE READ ASAP”

A well-meaning, concerned dog owner gave their dog lots of ice water after noticing their dog was becoming overheated. The dog drank lots of ice water, and soon became drooly and lethargic. His stomach began to bloat, a sign of Gastric dilatation-volvulus – a potentially deadly buildup of gas in the stomach.

The dog lived, and the owner went online to warn the public. Though they had good intentions, they had misunderstood why their dog had suffered from bloat. The real reason? The dog simply drank too much water, too quickly.

Bloat is more common in large dogs, and it’s not caused when dogs drink ice water or play with ice cubes. It’s caused when a dog eats or drinks too quickly.

Dogs eat snow all of the time, and they love to hydrate with frozen treats like homemade pupsicles to prevent heat stroke on a hot day.

Remember, even small dogs can suffer from bloat if they’re allowed to drink too much water at once. Ice cubes are fun to slide across a smooth surface, and allow your dog to drink water one lick at a time. Take care to watch your dog when they eat icy treats – if they chew, instead of lick, they could damage their teeth.

3. Garlic Keeps Fleas Away

Nope! That’s vampires.

Flea drops and sprays may be expensive, but they keep fleas away. If your dog has no known allergies or past occurrences of side-effects, just use Frontline or similar.

Big tip! You can actually buy the flea drops for Large/Giant breeds, and then use a syringe to administer a tiny amount to your small dog using the brand’s dosage guidelines. You can split each large vial over a few months, as long as you take care to read the package and measure out the dose for your dog’s weight.

Garlic can be poisonous to dogs in large amounts. Don’t add it to their food, and don’t let them have leftover people food that contains even small amounts of garlic. Just don’t risk it!

4. Healthy Dogs ALWAYS Have A Cold, Wet Nose

Nose check! Is your dog’s nose wet right now?

If you only really feel your dog’s nose when they’re licking or nosing you, you might not notice that it’s actually dry much of the time – especially when they’re sleeping.

Dogs lick their noses to clean them, as well as to help them better sniff out interesting scents. Another reason: their nose is so close to their mouth, that their hot, moist breath dampens their nose.

Some dogs lick their noses more often than others. If your dog’s nose is crusty or overly warm, they could need a vet visit. It’s occasionally a sign of an upper respiratory infection, or dehydration.

5. A Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Human’s

I’m sad to see this one debunked.

Dog lovers have been using this factoid to make doggy kisses seem more socially acceptable to non-dog-lovers.

The truth is, dogs’ mouths’ are full of bacteria – just not the kind that gets us sick. Usually.

The myth comes from the fact that you’re more likely to get an infection if you get bitten by a human being than if you get bitten by a dog. It’s just that many types of bacteria are species specific. That’s why you can’t give your dog your cold.

So, while you can’t really compare the amount of bacteria in your dog’s mouth to your own, you can safely let your dog lick your face and kiss your dog without threatening your life.

Even if dog kisses were deadly – life’s short anyway! Kiss a dog!

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.