Pet Myths Busted

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Mar 26, 2018

My kids used to love the show, MythBusters.  I’ll never forget listening to them laugh at an episode when Jamie and Adam tried to bust the myth that banana peels are slippery.  It seems that all kinds of interesting myths surround our pets too, and today we’re going to bust some of them ourselves.


Myth #1: Spaying/Neutering will alter my dog's or cat’s personality and is unaffordable.

Busted: There is no need to worry about your dog or cat’s disposition being altered after spaying or neutering.  According to Kate Maher, DVM, “A dog's intelligence and personality is formed more by genetics and environmental factors than by sex hormones.”  And luckily, spaying and neutering is covered by PetPartners' Wellness Plan.  Their flexible Wellness Plan offers you a choice of spaying/neutering or a dental cleaning each year. You’ll only need to take advantage of the spaying/neutering the first year you have your young pet, so each additional year, you can have his teeth cleaned.  It’s a win-win!


Myth #2: One dog year = seven human years.

Busted: While a dog’s average lifespan is roughly 1/7 that of a human’s, it is not accurate to say one dog year is equivalent to seven human years, since dogs age much more rapidly during their first two years than they do in subsequent years.  According to Dr. Kathryn McGonigle, clinical professor of internal medicine at Penn Vet, a dog’s first two years are equal to 15-24 human years.  From there, the aging process slows down a bit.  “After that, we think each year of their life is roughly equivalent to maybe four or five of our years,” says McGonigle.  See the AKC Pet Insurance blog, Dog Age to Human Age for more on how size of the dog play into the aging process.


Myth #3: Cats hate water.

Busted: This one is complicated, just like our pet cats.  Dr. Katy Nelson, vet and medical advisor for PetMD suggests that cats don’t actually hate water, rather they dislike the loss of control they may feel when they get wet.  Cats like being in control and tend to be finicky about their own appearance.  When it comes to bathing, their mentality is, “I got this,” and they typically don’t want anyone else calling the shots in terms of getting their fur wet.  On the flip side, many cats actually like running water and prefer to drink out of a faucet as opposed to still water.  This may be instinctual, since in the wild, moving water is more likely to be uncontaminated.  According to Nelson, as far as water is concerned, “When it’s their idea, they’re probably a big fan of it.”  So, if you can get your feline to think bath time is her idea, you may have more success.


What myths have you heard about cats and dogs?  It’s important to do your own research and consult with your vet before you believe everything you hear!

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Pam Karkow

About the Author
Pam Karkow

Hi, I'm Pam. List maker, note taker, and avid reader. I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys. We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog. I have been blogging for PetPartners since 2015, and I love researching and writing tips about how to be a better pet parent. I spend most of my time sharing my adventures at, where I share the ways I am learning to be a better wife and mom--to my two and four-legged children.