Being a dog owner is not only about cuddles and games of fetch, but it comes with various responsibilities. There are certain ways you could unknowingly treat your dog, making his life a bit more difficult and even can cause issues that you may have to handle with your dog’s whole life if you do not adjust them.
Taking a dog before you are ready (or choosing the wrong dog)Taking a dog in a rush is pretty easy to do. It can be so hard to withstand those lovely pet’s eyes, particularly when it is a dog that needs shelter. Nevertheless, there are some important elements to take into consideration before welcoming that dog into your house. To name just a few:
- Do you have some free time to take your dog for training, exercise, or other activities?
- Are you ready to support your dog’s messes, behavior problems and illnesses?
- Can you afford the dog’s needs?
- Is your living space adequate for your dog’s size?
It is very necessary to ask yourself these questions and more, regarding your situation, before taking any decision in order to avoid the risk of getting a dog that will be unhappy, or even that will make you unhappy.
Avoiding the veterinarian
Dog owners usually skip vet visits because they think that their dog is not sick, he is healthy and feeling great so they do not see a reason for a visit. In fact, it is not an adequate way to treat your dog. Veterinarian visits are a crucial key to keep your dog healthy, considering that some dogs hide illness until it becomes unbearable. Regular wellness exams will allow vets to spot minor health issues before becoming something serious. In addition, these constant vet visits make the relationship between the vet and your dog stronger, making it easier to detect and treat illness when it comes along. Besides wellness visits, the vet may give you some important recommendations about your dog's situation.
Risking a lost dogConsider adding an ID tag to your dog collar, or even microchip your dog for an extra layer of protection in order to find your dog easily in case he is lost.
You should know certain basics when it comes to feeding your dog. Actually, there are varieties of dog foods, and it is not equal for each dog. Before purchasing any, examine the labels, read reviews and consult your dog vet or any other dog expert. Also, take into consideration the following:
- Ingredients are important: feeding improperly can over time lead to some serious health issues, as skin problems and malnutrition.
- The amount of food matters: try to not overfeed your dog, give him the amount recommended on the bag and follow up with his weight. Consult your vet about the adequate diet plan for your dog.
- Choose minutely your dog treats and chews: be selective while you are choosing treats and chews, in fact, some of it can be dangerous, and even certain human foods can be toxic to your dog. Pick the appropriate one and feed it to your dog in moderation.
Not taking into consideration a budget for your dog expenses
You need to include all costs associated with dog ownership in your budget, such as food, dog supplies, veterinary care … Besides, it is advisable to add extras, for instance a training class, a pet sitter when you travel, emergency or unexpected injury/illness...
Letting behavior issues get out of control
In general, dog behavior problems may be minor in the beginning, but over time, most will get worse. Neglecting these issues will let them fester, grow and even reinforce bad behavior in your dog. However, search for a solution as soon as possible, you can find it in a book, on a website or simply consult a professional to help your dog before it gets out of control.