Vet reveals the truth behind five common pet myths — and the last one really surprised us!

Cat and dog standing together on the grass
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When it comes to our pets, there is so much information out there. So how do you know if what you're hearing is fact or fiction?

Whether you're struggling with trying to figure out which of the longest lasting dog chews is best for your pup or you're not sure about the best kitten food to dish up to your little feline friend, the Internet is a bit of a minefield when it comes to all thing pet-related.

Thankfully, there are always trusted vets on hand to clear things up for us, and that's exactly what Dr. Katy Nelson has done in a recent Instagram post for petMD. Read on as she busts five common myths that we've likely all fallen for at one time or another! 

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1. I don't see any fleas on my pet, so they don't have fleas: "This is incorrect," says Dr. Nelson. "Cats and dogs are really adept at finding the fleas on their skin and biting them and sometimes even swallowing them, so just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not there. 

If your pet is itchy, if they have any black, sandy stuff on their skin, that can be flea poop, so make sure you have them on their preventatives year round." Check out our guides to the best flea treatments for cats and the best flea treatments for dogs for some effective parasite prevention products. 

2. My pet only needs to go to the vet when they're sick: This is another myth that's not true. "They typically need to go at least once a year as they get older, even twice a year is better," explains Dr. Nelson. Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure you get your pet checked out on a regular basis. 

3. Pets destroy things and pee on things out of spite: "They destroy things typically because of anxiety, so talk to your vet about anxiety and find a great trainer," Dr. Nelson advises. 

4. Feeding table scraps is okay: "It can be okay for some, but for most pets it's best to avoid that as the high fat, high sugar foods that we eat typically can cause some gastrointestinal upset in our pets," explains Dr. Nelson. Instead, stick to the best dry cat food and the best dry dog food, or a wet food option if your pet prefers this. 

5. Short-haired pets shed less: If you have a short-haired dog or cat, you probably already know that this is most definitely not the case! "The reason they have short hair is because it falls out before it gets too long," says Dr. Nelson. Cats and dogs with long hair need to be groomed frequently, meaning a lot of their shedding is caught on the brush, whereas short-haired pets don't require regular grooming, and so their fur typically ends up all over the floor. 

If you're ever unsure of what pet information to believe, always speak to your vet who will be able to offer you accurate guidance and advice specific to your fur friend. 

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Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.