Ten Common Dog Owner Mistakes

Puppy playing with tennis ball

People like their dogs, but caring for them isn't all cuddling and fetch games. It entails a great deal of responsibility. New and seasoned dog owners alike should brush up on etiquette to prevent developing negative habits. Are you doing any of these typical blunders?

Picking the Wrong Dog (Or Getting a Dog Before You're Ready)

Getting a dog on the spur of the moment is rather simple. It's difficult to ignore those puppy-dog eyes, especially when the dog is in desperate need of a home. However, there are other practical considerations to be made before deciding on a dog. Here are a few examples:

  • Can and will you take the necessary time for dog training, exercise, other activities, , etc.?
  • Are you willing to put up with shedding, messes, illnesses, behavior problems, and more?
  • Can you  the dog?
  • Is the dog's size appropriate for your living space?
  • Are you even ready to own a dog? Or, to own another dog (if you already have a dog)?
  • Will your current pets tolerate the addition?

Ask yourself these questions and more before you  (or that will make you unhappy).​

Dismissing Training and Socialization

Every dog need basic socializing and training. Some require more than others, but all require some. You are putting your dog at a disadvantage if you do not train it. What method will it use to determine the rules? What type of organization and direction do you offer? Do not consider training to be a chore. Training is enjoyable and enlightening for dogs when done correctly.

Children, other adults, other animals, items, settings, and diverse scenarios can all be introduced to a dog through socialization. Dogs might acquire anxieties and phobias if they are not properly socialized. Worse, a lack of sociability can result in a variety of behavioral issues. Puppy socialization isn't limited to pups. You can also socialize your older dog.

Do you want to take your dog out for a walk? In public settings that accept pets, such as parks, restaurant patios, and even certain businesses, a well-trained, well-socialized dog will be more welcome. Also, if your dog is well-behaved and adjusted, your friends and family are more likely to ask you to activities with it.

Not Offering Enough Exercise and Activity

Every dog need regular exercise. Lack of exercise can cause physical difficulties as well as behavioral ones. Some dogs require more activity than others, but the majority require more than basic walks.

Examine your dog's exercise requirements. Is your dog bored and restless? Is your dog constantly energetic and ecstatic? Is your dog too fat? All of them indicate that it need additional activity.

Dogs, too, require mental stimulation. To give your dog a well-rounded workout, try a game-based exercise. Many dogs will benefit from participating in one of the several available. Agility is a sport for physically active dogs. Hounds and other interested sniffers like tracking and nose work.

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Avoiding the Veterinarian

Do you put off visiting the veterinarian until your dog becomes ill? You're not alone, though. Many dog owners avoid or postpone routine veterinarian appointments unless their canines are sick. "My dog is healthy and happy, so why should I stress him out with a vet visit?" you might think. Many dog owners want to forgo the expense and bother of a veterinarian visit.

The truth is that this isn't the ideal approach to treat your dog. Your dog's veterinarian is an important component of keeping him healthy. The majority of dogs will conceal their condition until it becomes uncomfortable. Routine wellness checkups can help veterinarians catch minor health issues before they become major difficulties. These vet appointments also assist to strengthen your and your dog's connection with your veterinarian, making it simpler to identify and treat sickness when it occurs. In addition to health appointments, you should follow your veterinarian's advice on topics like heartworm prevention.

Don't wait for your dog to exhibit signals that something is wrong before taking action. Before it becomes worse, get guidance from your veterinarian.

Skipping Heartworm Prevention

All dogs in all 50 states should be protected against heartworm year-round, according to the American Heartworm Society. Your veterinarian will offer the same advise, but not for financial gain. This is due to the fact that heartworm illness is a dangerous and sometimes deadly infection. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and can infect any dog in the United States. They are caused by an infestation of the parasite Dirofilaria immitis.

"If heartworm illness can be cured, why bother with the pricey prevention?" you might ask. If you think heartworm prevention is costly, you've probably never had to pay for heartworm treatment. Heartworm treatment can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, and your dog can quickly become sick again. Depending on the size of the dog and the kind of heartworm prevention, monthly heartworm prophylaxis will cost between $35 and $250 per year.

Heartworm therapy is harmful for dogs, especially those that are older or have other health problems. Consult your veterinarian, and you'll discover that heartworm prevention is the superior option.

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Neglecting Dental Health

Many individuals appear to believe that "doggie breath" is normal. In reality, halitosis is a symptom of a dental problem. It might just be a case of tartar accumulation in your dog's mouth. If left untreated, this can develop into periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss as well as systemic problems including renal failure and heart disease.

What can you do to avoid this? Dental hygiene at home is crucial. Everyone would wash their pets' teeth every day in an ideal world. Many of us have problems keeping up with it in real life. Our best option is to stick to a tooth-brushing program if at all feasible. A decent dental home care product (ask your veterinarian for advice) can be be used, but it will not replace brushing. Veterinary dental cleanings should be scheduled on a regular basis in any case.

If you decide that home care is not for you, be aware that you will need a professional veterinary dental cleaning. Even with great home care, most dogs will require veterinarian dental cleaning at some point (maybe every few years or less). The necessity for veterinarian cleaning will be a bit more often without teeth brushing, but with another sort of home care. Your dog will need a veterinarian dental cleaning once or twice a year if no home care is provided.

Feeding Improperly

Do you have a basic understanding of how to feed your dog? Not all dog meals are the same. Check labels and read reviews before purchasing dog food. Consult your veterinarian and other dog specialists. Remember these things:

  • Ingredients matter. Over a lifetime, improper feeding can lead to health issues, including and malnutrition.
  • Don't overfeed. Food is not love. Canine obesity is a problem, and it's partly due to overfeeding. If your dog is overweight and you are feeding the amount recommended on the bag, then you probably need to reduce it. Talk to your vet about the best diet plan for your dog.
  • Be selective with treats and chews. Some can be dangerous, and some are to dogs. Choose appropriate  that your dog loves, but feed them in moderation. Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily intake.

Failing to Budget for Dog Expenses

Dog ownership is costly. It may be rather costly at times. Make sure your budget accounts for all of the regular expenses that come with owning a dog, such as food, dog supplies, and veterinary care. Don't forget about things like the expense of a training class or hiring a pet sitter while you're away. You may save money on dog expenditures if money is limited, but you still need a budget.

Allow for the unexpected next. Are you prepared in the event of an or a sudden injury or illness? Emergency veterinarians are much more expensive than ordinary veterinarians, yet this is how they can open at 3 a.m. Even conventional veterinarians must charge a high fee for coping with medical crises and significant medical procedures. Veterinary offices require payment at the time of service to continue in business. As a result, it's critical to have the cash or a plan in place in case you require veterinarian treatment.

Letting Behavior Problems Get out of Control

Dog behavior issues may begin mildly, but most will worsen. Ignoring the problems will allow them to fester and spread. Worse, you can unknowingly reinforce your dog's negative behavior. Giving a reward to an aggressive dog reassures it that it is acting appropriately.

Fear and phobias are frequently ignored or dismissed. Phobias tend to worsen with time, leading to additional behavioral disorders and even health concerns. These concerns can be addressed through behavior change rather than punishment.

Don't allow this happen again. You may be able to solve concerns promptly when they first arise. Sometimes the answer can be found in a book or on a website (but make sure it's a reputable source; consult your veterinarian and do your homework). If the situation worsens, get expert assistance before your dog becomes uncontrollable.

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Risking a Lost Dog

Every day, dogs go missing. Some of them are even taken. Are you doing everything you can to keep your dog safe? Some things are self-evident, like keeping your dog on a leash and never letting it alone. Do you know if your dog gets lost?

One of the most common mistakes dog owners make is forgetting to attach an ID tag on their dog's collar. Your dog should always be wearing a collar with current identification. Consider microchipping your dog as an extra layer of security. If your dog goes missing, this can help you find it. Otherwise, your dog might end up as just another homeless animal in an overcrowded shelter.

CITATION

"Howell TJ, King T, Bennett PC. Puppy Parties and Beyond: The Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog BehaviorVet Med (Auckl). 2015;6:143-153. doi:10.2147/VMRR.S62081", "Healthy Exercise for Dogs. VCA Hospitals.", "Walking with your pet. American Veterinary Medical Foundation.", "Heartworm Disease in Dogs. Merck Veterinary Manual.", "Pet Dental Care. American Veterinary Medical Foundation.", "Food Hazards. Merck Veterinary Manual.", "How Many Treats Are OK? Cummings Veterinary Medical Centerat Tufts University.", "Monteny J, Moons CPH. A Treatment Plan for Dogs (Canis familiaris) That Show Impaired Social Functioning towards Their OwnersAnimals (Basel). 2020;10(1):161. doi:10.3390/ani10010161" ;

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