Avoid These Most Common Dog Owner Mistakes
Living with a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Pooches really are man’s best friend and their love knows no limits. Though the benefits of owning a dog are numerous, many dog owners tend to believe that taking care of a pooch is rather simple: you feed them, you play with them and you take them for walks. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth since being a responsible pet owner demands a lot of time, patience and money.
Owning a dog can be somewhat challenging, even to the most experienced of owners. Here are the top 5 common mistakes dog owners make:
Obesity in pets has become a serious problem in recent years, especially among American pets. It seems that owners believe that having obese dogs is not that big of a deal because, hey, many people are overweight and nothing’s wrong with them. Well, the problem is that obese dogs are more prone to various health issues that pooches that non-obese pooches. The worst part of it is that overfeeding may lead to a premature death, so talk to your vet about what foods to feed your pooch and how often.
2. NOT GOING TO THE VET FOR REGULAR CHECK-UPS
Unlike humans, dogs won’t complain if something’s wrong. To make things worse, by the time the owner notices their dog is feeling ill, the pooch has probably been sick for a long time. In order to prevent all sorts of diseases, take your dog for regular check-ups and make sure never to miss scheduled vaccines.
3. REINFORCING NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS
When your dog exhibits a negative behavior, don’t reinforce that behavior with attention or rewards. Though it may seem to you like you should comfort your pooch when they are afraid or aggressive, you won’t do them a favor by rewarding that kind of behavior. As a matter of fact, that behavior can just worsen over time and you could end up with an impossible, disobedient pet.
4. WALKING YOUR DOG WITHOUT A LEASH
Even if you don’t live in a place where leashes are required by law, make sure that you walk your dog with a leash. Keep in mind that many people are scared of dogs, especially the larger breeds, and your dog might get confused or agitated if someone starts screaming or running away from them. The best option would be to find a dog park or other place where dogs can run around without leashes and play with your pet there.
5. CHANGING THEIR DIET
Unless your vet told you to change your pooch’s diet, stick to the dog food you already use. Your dog’s stomach could be sensitive to some foods and there’s no reason to purchase a different type of food if your pooch is satisfied with the one he’s currently eating.