When it comes to taking care of our pets, we all want to do our best, but do you really know what’s best? Pet wellness expert Itch commissioned the research to find out – and correct – the most common misconceptions related to pet health.

According to the research, Brits believe some weird and wonderful myths about their pets,  you might have thought a bone would be the perfect treat for your pet pooch, sadly, you would be wrong. 29% of people believe that they are safe even though they can cause intestinal obstructions. 

Zoe Costigan, in-house Vet at Itch, commented,

From my time as a vet, I’ve seen some very strange things, but the one thing that is clear is that we really are a nation of animal lovers but there are some myths and habits that can cause our furry friends harm that many people don’t realise, such as feeding bones that can splinter and cause intestinal obstructions or choking.

Meanwhile carrots which are perfectly nutritious, are seen as dangerous. 72% of people incorrectly thought that carrots are dangerous for dogs, when, the truth is, they are a low-calorie alternative to dental sticks! Maybe that’s why a quarter of people have been told that their pet is overweight by a vet, because they aren’t eating their carrots. 

The myths seem to have replaced reality when it comes to pet food and diets but without doubt one of the most important factors in ensuring your pet is healthy includes regular visits to the vet. 

There should be at least one vet trip a year for annual vaccinations and a health check, but over half (54%) of the Brits believe pets should not be taken to the vet this much. 28% also don’t believe a pet owner should regularly check for fleas, with this number substantially higher in London (41%).

Zoe went on to say, 

There are some responsibilities that a pet parent needs to take on, which include ensuring lifestyle and diet are suitable, checking for fleas regularly and making annual trips to the vets for a health check-up. 

However, a dry nose is not one of them!  Despite being untrue, one of the most common pet myths is that a dry nose is an indicator that a dog is poorly, 46% of Brits said they believed this to be a sign of illness. Strangely, people are less likely to be concerned by genuine indicators that a pet could be unwell, such as increased sleeping (45%) or going to the toilet more often (39%).

The most bizarre pet myth they came across showed that 5% of the population believe pet parents should jump in the tub and bathe with their pets! A further 2% claimed that they’ve put their pet’s welfare before their own and slept on the sofa to allow their pet to spread out on the bed.

Meanwhile most Brits wouldn’t think twice about leaving a pet home alone. The average time we as a nation believe it’s acceptable to leave a dog alone is just under 6 hours (5hrs, 47mins), and Londoners leave their dogs alone for the longest, believing three hours over the national average (8hrs, 47 mins) to be fine. Maybe it’s a good thing most of us are currently at home for the long haul.

To delve deeper into the bizarre world of pet myths, visit the Itch website for the full lowdown.

Full information and more stats can be found via the Itch website via the link below.


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