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Stephanie BrownHealth / Wellness

Vet Q&A: Dr. Katy Nelson Debunks Common Cat and Dog Myths and Misconceptions

Getting a new pet comes with a lot of questions. You might be wondering what’s normal behavior for your new kitten or puppy. You probably heard they need shots, but which ones and how often? Maybe you just want to know a little more about what makes your new furbaby so unique. Like, is it true dogs can’t see color?

You’re not alone. That’s why we sat down with Chewy’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM, of Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, to ask her questions about pet health and common cat and dog myths.


Is it true that dogs can’t see color?


So, dogs can see some color, but they only have about a 10th of the color capturing cones that we as humans have. So, they can see some shades of yellow and a blue violet, but mostly everything is just shades of gray.

Learn more about your puppy's ability to see, hear and smell.


What shots do puppies need?


There are two categories of vaccines that puppies need, and the two buckets are basically core and non-core vaccines. So, the core vaccines are distemper, parvo and rabies, and that's recommended for all dogs. The other vaccines are more dependent on their geography, their exposure level, and that would be, for example, leptospirosis, Lyme or kennel cough.

Read our guide on dog vaccinations.


Why does my kitten bite me?


Kittens bite as a natural part of play and because they're predators. So, the best thing that we can do to prevent them from biting us is prevent playing with them with our hands and give them something appropriate to bite, like a moving toy or something that makes a noise.

If they do bite you, make a sort of squeaking sound that lets them know "Ow! That hurt, I don't like that!” Or maybe just get them a friend that'll teach them the proper way to play.

Get more advice on how to stop your kitten from biting.


Why does my dog’s nose feel dry? I heard it’s a sign of sickness. Is that true?


A dry nose is not necessarily a sign of illness, but if it becomes a chronic problem, then it might be a reason for you to talk with your veterinarian to see if treatment is necessary.

Learn more about a dog's dry nose and what it could mean.


Is it normal for my puppy to eat poop?


While it is gross, it can be normal for your puppy to eat poop. Have your puppy evaluated by your veterinarian and parasite tested. But mostly remove all access to poop immediately, and that's how you stop the behavior.

Learn more about why dogs eat poop.

There’s a lot to learn about our new pets, isn’t there? Have more questions?

Check out:

Why Do Dogs: Strange Dog Behavior Explained

11 Strange Cat Behaviors (And What They Mean)

Is This Normal: Why Do Dogs Follow You Into the Bathroom?

And you can always shoot us a question on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

By: Chewy Editorial