Queenie’s Pets® here to say GOODBYE old school pet care!! For as long as people have had pets, there have been ideas/assumptions about pet care that simply… aren’t true. In fact, some of them are downright dangerous. While human parenting guides seem to get an update every year, pet care is not quite so hip with the times. Today at Queenie’s Pets®, we say enough is enough! We’re rolling up our sleeves to do some serious myth-busting about how to keep your pets living their BEST lives!
Myth: Lay down newspapers for your puppy while potty training.
Busted: Use a wee-wee pad instead
While laying down a newspaper to potty train your puppy isn’t “wrong”, it isn’t your best option either. Newspapers are not particularly absorbent, which means when your dog pees, they stand in a puddle of urine that can then be tracked through your house – not to mention seep through onto your beautiful mid-century hardwood floors. Wee-wee pads on the other hand absorb liquid, keeping paws and your floor urine-free. As an added bonus, they are more resistant to shredding than the Sunday times AND contain a special scent to attract your puppy.
If you are unsure about the benefits of using wee-wee pads over a newspaper, ask yourself, when is the last time you read a wee-wee pad and left it on your couch… or bed… or pillow. You get the picture!
Helpful Tool: Try Wee-Wee pads!
Myth: Pets are creatures of habit. Don’t change their food.
Busted: It’s actually critical that you do! Just like humans need a varied diet, so does your pet!
In recent years, it’s been discovered that pets’ health benefits greatly when they eat different food. Switching up food types gives your pet a variety of tastes, ingredients, and proteins. This means your fur family gets different vitamins and fatty acids too! Beyond nutrition, it keeps your pet’s life more interesting to have different flavors and it can make them more resilient to food intolerances. If your pet has diagnosed food sensitivities, make sure to consult with your vet before introducing anything new to their diet!
Check out our site to learn about all the different options you have to beef up your variety game!
Myth: Cats love cow milk.
Busted: Cow milk is actually really bad for them.
Remember your roommate from sophomore year of college who couldn’t eat pizza? They were lactose intolerant and guess what? So is your adult cat (sort of)! Cats can’t break down cow’s milk, nor should they have to. It’s not a natural part of their diet! As cats grow, their need for any type of milk disappears completely. Dairy can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea in a cat. Fill their bowl with water, instead!
Myth: Cats relax when held by the back of their neck, scruffing.
Busted: Ahh! That actually terrifies your cat.
Mother cats pick up and transport kittens by the back of the neck. They do it in a very specific way and only during the earliest weeks of a kitten’s life. When a human picks up a cat by the back of the neck, it is not the same! Not only is the technique different, but it’s not appropriate, helpful, and even induces fear. A better way to handle your cat is to tuck them into a burrito! When turned into a kitty-burrito, cats are so adorable that you could just eat them up, and they’ll be so relaxed that they might not mind an abundance of nose-rubbing and cuddles. Learn how to perfect your technique in this Queenie’s Pets® how to video!
Myth: Hitting an animal teaches them right from wrong.
Busted: No, just no.
The only thing an animal learns from being hit is that you are a person to be feared. Numerous studies have been done that prove when you punish a dog for being “bad,” they make no connection between their action and your behavior. They just think that you are someone to be afraid of. Dogs learn best when rewarded for good behavior, not when punished for a mistake. Instead of hitting your dog when they eat your slipper, reward them when they chew on the right object. Remember to be patient with your dog, as they don’t have the luxury of understanding the world as deeply as you do!
Myth: Oh, cats are so low-key. You can leave them alone with a bowl of food and water for a long time.
Busted: Despite their aloof nature, cats are social animals and really need company and attention.
When cats are left alone for too long, they can develop depression and anxiety – just like people. This anxiety can lead to improper elimination patterns, scratching and destroying things, and even health problems. Cats are very social creatures and they bond with their owners. That bond may not always be obvious, but it is strong nonetheless. We don’t recommend leaving a kitten alone for any more than three hours and adult cats shouldn’t be left alone for more than 24.
Helpful Tool: Try this PetSafe timed feeder and Drinkwell Zen Pet fountain!
Myth: Grooming is just for looks!
Busted: It’s actually critical for puppy health
Doggie haircuts are not just for the catwalk! Regular grooming can help keep ticks and fleas off your dog. It can also reveal any hidden skin irritation that your pup might be experiencing. Think your dog is hypoallergenic and so they don’t need grooming? Wrong again! Dog’s who “don’t shed” actually do – the hair just gets caught up in their topcoat so it never makes it into the air. But it DOES cause matting which can be painful. Regular trimming and grooming keep your pet healthy and, yes, they do look adorable too!
Oh and long-haired cats? Yeah, they need their fur maintained too. We recommend daily brushing to prevent matting!
Helpful tool: Try the furminator!
Myth: Coats are just for little dogs
Busted: Big fella’s get cold too!
There’s no one size fits all rule of thumb for dog coats. Small breeds have a hard time regulating body temperature and benefit a lot from a coat, especially during long walks in the winter! On the flip side, while some large breeds, like Huskies, have fat and fur that insulates them, other large breeds, like Great Danes, do not. Large (or really any) dogs with short hair could use a coat for those chilly months. Here’s lookin’ at you bull breeds!
Helpful tool: Try Chilly Dogs coats!
Myth: As long as a pet is fed and feels safe, they’re set
Busted: Pets need enrichment!
Your pup and your cat, especially indoor cats, need enrichment. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise for your fur family. It keeps them sharp, engaged and reduces stress. Providing toys that require some “figuring out”, allows them to problem solve as they would in nature. While humans and pets share the need for enrichment, remember that what’s right for you is probably not right for them.
Helpful tools: My Intelligent Pets & Oxbow Hide & Seek Mat for small animals!
There you have it. Petcare myths busted!! We tackled ten, but we know there’s more. Send us the pet myths you want to see in our next myth-buster edition. For pet solutions that aren’t entrenched in 1950’s pet values, come see us at the shop or catch us online! No matter how you choose to shop, we’re here to give you the guidance your fur family deserves!