Dogs and Cats: Fact or Fiction

We here at Wayside Waifs see many animals come through our doors everyday. After a while, you see certain animal stereotypes begin to fade, and we see who they really are. There can be small dogs who are ready to run, or cats that don’t land on their feet. We figured we would take the time to debunk a few of those rumors going around.

*We do not want to change your mind. If you’ve experienced any traumatic incidents, this will not pertain to you necessarily. This is more for people who have heard things about breeds, but not experienced it, and are not sure if they are comfortable around them. All we would like to do is educate!*

1. Pit Bulls are a dangerous breed.

There is a common misconception that there is only one Pit bull breed, but there are multiple. There is some truth in, “It’s all about how you raise them,” but not 100%. Pit Bulls have been tested by scientists, and they do not have the strongest dog bite. They also do not have locking jaws, nor are they the most likely breed to bite. We’ll leave with a statistic; In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. By comparison, in 2013, 31 people were killed in dog bite related fatalities.

2. Small dogs don’t require as much exercise.

Specifically Terriers like to run and chase, so they already contradict this myth. Don’t be fooled by the little fluff balls! There are the few that would rather sit with you, but most of the time, dogs enjoy going on a walk with you, or playtime. Definitely see what your dog would like, but get ready for walks!

3. Neutering your dog will negatively affect his personality.

If your dog has always been an outgoing, fun-loving, playful dog, neutering won’t change that all. If he is a little reactive with other dogs or roams the neighborhood, neutering may make him a bit gentler and more inclined to stay home.

4. Dogs who spend the day in the yard get plenty of exercise.

Dogs are pack animals — they are not good at running or playing when they are alone. Exercise is an important part of your dog’s health. It’s up to you to be sure he gets it.

5. Obedience training is only for problem dogs.

Yes, obedience training can help with some unacceptable behaviors, but wouldn’t it be better if those behaviors never had a chance to develop?  In addition, obedience training can strengthen the bond between you and your dog and help you enjoy each other’s company even more so!

6. Cats always land on their feet.

Cats are very agile, but also not perfect. They can land on their backs or head, or side. Especially if they are falling from a low-rise area, they are more susceptible to injury because they don’t have as much time to prepare. To keep yours safe, ensure that your windows screens are intact and free of holes, and make your shelves and tabletops unappealing platforms for people-watching.

7. Cats do not need regular vet check-ups; only when they are sick. 

Of course, cats have only one life. So it’s important to schedule regular veterinary visits to ensure your cat has a long, healthy and happy one. Going to the veterinarian shouldn’t only be for when your cat is sick. Your cat needs annual wellness check-ups, vaccines, dental exams and nutritional consultations… just like we do. Vaccinations are effective in keeping your cat clear of infection.

8. Calico and Tortie cats are mean, and more sassy than others. 

Remember that Calico refers to coloration, not a breed. With that in mind, a Calico cat’s personality will most likely be determined by breed and other factors, such as their experiences and environment, just like any other cat. A Tortie cat also has a rumor to have “Tortitude,” but really it can depend on breed tendencies, or past experiences.

9. Milk is good for cats.

One of the most common misconceptions about cats is that they should be given milk. The fact is that many cats are lactose-intolerant and giving them a warm saucer of milk will likely cause your cat to have terrible diarrhea. Cats only require milk from their mother while they are nursing. Once they are weaned, water should replace milk as their liquid nourishment. If you need to feed a tiny, orphaned kitty, always use specially prepared kitten formula from your veterinarian.

10. Pregnant women should not have a cat. 

Sadly, you often see classified ads offering “Free Cat, Baby on the Way.” The truth is that pregnant mothers can still love and enjoy their feline friends as long as they take precautions emptying the litter box. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease spread through cat feces and litter. It can cause serious neurologic diseases. While a woman is pregnant, it’s best to have someone else empty the litter box. Or, if that’s not possible, the pregnant owner should always use disposable latex gloves when changing the litter. It’s also smart to wash hands thoroughly after changing the litter as an extra precaution.

Once again, this is just an education post, and should not be used to change anyone’s mind, rather just provide some new information. We hope you enjoyed the debunking of myths!

You can always visit our adoptable animals during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.

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