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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Got the wrong idea?

Myths to dismiss about pets
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - April 3, 2011
By: Adele Ong
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Got the wrong idea?

This month, Pets Corner looks at some popular pet myths and ideas that don’t hold up so well in reality. You know the ones: “Cats live on fish and milk”, “Rabbits should be picked up by their ears”, “Give a dog a bone”, and the like.

Dogs & bones

Let’s start with that last one, about dogs and bones. It’s a popular image, isn’t it? A happy dog chewing on a bone? The truth, however, is that dogs who are given bones usually get hurt, and may die painfully. Small bones such as chicken and duck bones easily splinter when crunched on, and the splinters will pierce the dog’s digestive tract, leading to its eventual death. Small bones may also get lodged in a dog’s throat and cause it to choke. As for large bones like beef bones, these are very hard and can damage a dog’s teeth. Some animal bones also harbour bacteria and other microbes that could cause disease and illness in pets. If you must give your dog something bone-like, stick to bone-shaped rawhide treats – and don’t give too many of those, because too much rawhide can clump in the stomach and cause indigestion.

Throwing sticks for dogs to catch

This isn’t much of a problem in Singapore, where leash laws are strict and most homes small. But perhaps in some pet runs or homes with bigger gardens, it could happen. The familiar idea of throwing a stick for a dog to catch sounds nostalgic, but it could kill the dog. There have been documented cases in other countries of people tossing a stick to their pet dog, only to have the stick pierce the dog right down the throat, or through the mouth or body. In other cases, the dog catches the stick, but splinters from the stick pierce its gums and lips. An object that hard can also break the dog’s teeth. The main message is: never throw anything hard or even slightly heavy to your dog to catch. Stick with soft pet toys and soft balls – but ensure that the balls and toys are not small enough to slip entirely into your dog’s mouth, or it could choke to death on them.

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