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Friday, August 25, 2006
DOGS HAVE BEEN OUR CLOSE companions for at least 12,000 years, cats for 8,000. They warm our feet, guard out homes and love us unconditonally. But as with all long-term relationships, misunderstandings are bound to crop up. And the animals can't correct us! It's about time we debunked some of the most persistent beliefs that owners mistakenly hold about their pets.

Cats always land safely on their feet.
Cats dont have nine lives, so keep them off the terrace. Cats are naturally flexible and have an amazing ability to right their bodies. But that does'nt necessarily protect them from harm. "Cat can break their front legs and jaw when they land on their feet," reports Dr. Ann Hohenhaus of New York's Animal Medical Center. Urban vets often see kitten who've fallen from high-rises. Oddly, they can survive falls of less than five stories and sometimes more than nine. The drops in between are most lethal.

Dogs and cats require annual revaccinations.
Although exact protocols are still debated, it is now known that certain vaccines, such as distemper and rabies, don't need to be given yearly after initial doses and boosters. Check with your vet - don't just go for the shots. Pets age faster than we do. Regular visits allow for early detection of problems.

Pets can be spiteful.
Pets can become stressed when left alone and may seek comfort by finding a "scent picture" of you in your favorite chair or shoes --anything that smells like you. They also may express their stress by chewing or leaving a puddle. But that does'nt mean they did it with a "this will teach my human a lesson!" intent. It's unlikely that dogs and cats are even capable of such thought patterns.

Old dogs can't learn new tricks.
Dogs can learn to perform at any age. Though the body may be slow, his mind is more than willing to learn anything that makes his new owner happy. Says Aimee Sadler, training behavior coordinator at the Longmont (Colo) Humane Society.

Neutering makes cats and dogs fat and lazy.
Not so. "It's not neutering but eating too much that makes animals overweight", says Dr. Thomas Carpenter, president-elect of the American Animal Hospital Association. Neutering your pets protects them from medical problems such as testicular and mammary cancers and uterin infections. And laziness? The dogs that routinely protest our borders are neutered. If you want to call them lazy, do it from a few feet back.

Dogs "know" when they've been bad.
You come home to find your trash can overturned, bits of tinfoil strewn across the kitchen. Your dog looks "guilty" - head low, tail tucked. What he is tellin you is he knows when you're upset. It's not proof that he understood at the time that raiding was "wrong". Dogs live in the moment. Want to keep your dog out of your garbage? Put away the trash can . Prevention really works.

Low-shed breeds of dogs and cats are "sage" for people with allergies.
Not quite. For more people, it's the dander and saliva, not the fur, that trigger an allergic response. Some breeds of dog or cat may cause a bigger or smaller reaction in certain people, but no breed is universally "hypoallergenic". Pet lovers can minimize reactions by keeping animals out of their bedroom, regular grooming (by someone else), vacuuming waith a hepa-filter and following doctor's advice.

(Source:PARADEMAG by : Sarah Wilson and Brian Kilcommons)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:58 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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