Pet lovers, listen up:
- First, is it true that cats hate babies? This topic has been in the news again lately because pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton recently told the readers of his newspaper column that cats were known to be jealous of babies and would smother them. The truth: Absolutely not. Millions of women for thousands of years have had babies and cats and lived in harmony. That's according to feline veterinary expert Elaine Wexler-Mitchell. It is true that cats like to snuggle next to soft, warm things in small areas - so keep your cat out of your baby's room. Never allow your cat to nap in the baby's crib. Most cats stay away from babies anyway because they hate the crying.
- The next pet myth: Dogs and cats only eat grass when they're sick. Not true. In fact, according to veterinarian Marty Becker, author of The Ultimate Dog Lover - pets love the taste of grass, particularly new sprigs with a little dew on them. So how did that rumor get started? When pets consume a lot of grass, it sends their food through their intestinal tract - either one way or the other. So they may get sick from eating too much.
- Now, here's a truth about dogs - just because the dog is wagging its tail, doesn't mean it's friendly. A wagging tail can have many meanings - so you have to look at the dog's whole posture. For example, a relaxed dog will have a gently wagging tail held horizontally, or slightly lowered. However, if a dog has a lowered head, a direct stare, a closed mouth, ears back and a wagging tail - that's a warning to back off.
- One last pet myth: Rubbing your dog's nose in his business is the right way to train him. Absolutely not. You'll only make him scared and he'll find hiding places to go in the house. Instead, take your dog outside on a leash, and when he goes outside, praise him and give him a treat. That's the correct way to housetrain a dog.