6 Popular Dog Myths, Debunked

iStock.com/Groomee
iStock.com/Groomee

You know that your dog is the cutest, funniest, most lovable pooch on the planet, but there's probably a lot you don't know about man's best friend. Over the years, a surprising amount of misinformation has been repeated enough about these furry little creatures to make it seem like fact. Petful took some time to debunk several popular myths about dogs that are just that—myths.

1. Dogs are completely color blind.

While many movies have tried to convince us that dogs are completely color blind, that actually isn't true. Dogs are partially color blind, but have the ability to see yellow, green, and blue or combinations of those colors. As motion and brightness are more important for dogs, their partial color blindness does not affect them much.

2. A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth.

While most germs in a dog's mouth are dog-specific and harmless to a human being, that doesn't mean that a dog's mouth is actually cleaner than a human's. They're both filled with a fairly equal amount of bacteria—not all of which can be transmitted between species. But a dog licks many things that most people would not want on or near their face (especially those puppers who like to go digging through the trash), so it's always a good idea to keep any smooching sessions with your dog to a minimum—especially because a dog can transfer bacteria to a human that could result in an infection.

3. One human year equals seven dog years.

A dog celebrates its 1st birthday
iStock.com/DaniloAndjus

Many dog owners automatically give two ages when asked how old their dog is: human years and "dog years" (the latter of which they calculate as human years times seven). According to Jesse Grady, clinical instructor of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University, the best way to describe a dog's age is to sort it into a category.

The American Animal Hospital Association Canine Life Stages Guidelines [PDF] is what many veterinarians use to treat their patients. This list divides a dog's lifespan into six stages: puppy, junior, adult, mature, senior, and geriatric. And rate of maturation looks a lot different in dogs than it does in people. It takes a less than a year for a dog to reach the adult stage, and after that it takes nearly six years for it to move on to the mature stage of its life. In other words: "Dog years" depend on the dog itself.

4. A dry or warm nose means a dog is sick.

Dryness or discoloration of a dog's nose doesn't necessarily mean a dog is sick. A dog's nose actually naturally dries out in its sleep, but is right back to normal about 10 minutes after it wakes up. Dryness can also be due to allergies, sunburn, or dehydration, and some dogs' noses tend to get dryer as they age.

5. Indoor dogs don't get heartworm.

Just because a dog stays indoors most of the time doesn't mean it can't come into contact with a mosquito. And it takes just one mosquito bite for a dog to contract heartworm, which can be fatal. At the very least, the treatment process will be expensive to the pet owner. Heartworm prevention is important for both indoor and outdoor dogs.

6. Only male dogs hump.

Mounting, or humping, is a sign of both dominance and insecurity and can be performed by either a male or female dog. Some dogs hump when they become excited or stressed by a situation. A female dog may even hump to get attention.

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Study: Women Are Less Attracted to Men Who Have Cats In Their Dating Profile Pics

Cats can ruin a relationship before it even gets started, according to science.
Cats can ruin a relationship before it even gets started, according to science.
Arx0nt/iStock via Getty Images

Numerous strategies and tips exist for putting your best foot forward in an online dating profile. You should be seen with friends, enjoying the outdoors, and maybe in a snapshot with your beloved pooch. But if you’re a man seeking a woman, it might be inadvisable to post a picture of you and your cat.

That’s the conclusion of researchers at Colorado State University and Boise State University, who published their findings in the journal Animals. In two surveys, more than 1300 heterosexual women aged 18 to 24 were shown photos of two men, aged 20 and 21, who posed for photos with and without a cat in their arms. In a questionnaire, the women assessed the men on perceived attributes like personality, masculinity, femininity, and “dateability.”

Cradling a cat had a negative impact across the board. In the first survey, when one of the men was feline-free, 38 percent of 708 respondents said they were likely or very likely to be receptive to a casual dating dynamic. A serious relationship was on the table for 37 percent. But with the cat in the picture, those warm feelings dropped to just 33 percent. Women who responded they would never be interested rose from 9 percent after viewing non-cat images to 14 percent when a furry friend appeared.

The man in the other survey fared no better, with 40 percent of 680 respondents uninterested in a date when he was alone compared to 45 percent when he was holding his pet. A serious relationship was a no-go for 41 percent of women, with the number rising to 45 percent when presented with the man and his cat.

Ultimately, the women found the photos of men with cats to signal the men were more neurotic, less masculine, and less desirable from a dating standpoint. But nearly half of respondents self-identified as dog lovers, which might indicate some pet biases are at work.

A photo of a man posing with cat, of course, does not exclude a love of dogs, nor does the absence of a pet indicate a preference for either cats or dogs. But the survey does seem to provide evidence that the very presence of a cat will lead to some unfavorable assumptions. If you've been unlucky in online love, it may not be you. It might be your fluffball.

[h/t CNN]