All pet parents desire to give their dogs a good life. But, regrettably, none of these owners gives perfect guardianship. As pawrents, we all commit unintentional mistakes that any other dog owners will make and it can complicate the quality of our dogs’ life. From hurting them psychologically to clipping their animal rights, there are endless ways we mess up.
15 common mistakes dog owners make
In view of that, we’ve highlighted the 15 common mistakes dog owners make to help you improve your dog care skills. Hopefully, these tips will get you to become more conscious of the mistakes and thus stop making them!
1. Not letting Fido hang out with other dogs
Many pet parents believe that keeping their canines away from others keeps several problems at bay. Sure, separation can protect your pup from the anxiety of staying around new dogs. Also, separation can reduce the chances of your dog getting communicable diseases.
Nevertheless, vets claim that it is wrong to separate your pup from others completely. Why? Your dog will find it hard to get along with other dogs should you need to take it to a daycare or a dog boarding one day.
So, if you have been confining your dog, it is time to let it go out, and hang around with other furry friends. That way, your canine will develop self-confidence, learn new socialization skills, as well as enjoy dog-to-dog fun.
The benefits of your dog hanging out with others outweigh those of keeping it confined.
2. Not trimming your dog’s nails
Our canine friends spend their time walking on soft surfaces. As such, their nails will keep growing longer and perhaps sharper. The nails will not wear out naturally, unlike animals that live in the wild.
When overgrown, the nails will break or chip, thereby causing your pup pain, bleeding, and difficulty in walking. Also, chipped nails could pave the way to serious infections that need expensive veterinary care.
The solution? Clip your dog’s nails every 2-6 weeks. You can do this task at home, or remind your dog groomer to do it. Do not make the same mistakes that dog owners generally make – which is to leave their nails alone.
Supposing you opt to do it by yourself, here are the best dog nail clippers that will simplify the process. They have sharp blades, ergonomic handles, and plenty of innovative features that minimize over-clipping.
Rated five stars by 70% of dog guardians who’ve tried it, BOSHEL’s dog nail clippers will never disappoint. They have sharp blades to cut through your dog’s fingernails effortlessly, and a safety stop to prevent over-clipping.
The BOSHEL dog nail clippers’ ergonomic handles will let you clip your dog’s nails without straining. The clippers also come with a nail file to smoothen the cut nails so that your furkid will not scratch you accidentally.
Powered by a two-speed motor, Razoo’s dog nail grinder will save you from the hassle of cutting your dog’s nails manually. It comes equipped with a diamond bit grinder that trims thick and hard nails with little effort. The nail grinder’s rechargeable battery provides enough power to trim all your dog’s nails in one sitting. The best part? Tthe Razoo dog nail grinder’s handle is comfy enough to provide enhanced control during the clipping process.
The Pawsibility nail clipper comes with plenty of features to streamline nail clipping. It features a powerful LED light to let you clip nails without touching the bloodline, a strong cutting blade that cuts smoothly, and a built-in file to smoothen your dog’s nails. Moreover, this nail clipper has a nail storage box to hold cut nails so you’ll not mess up the place, and ergonomic handles to give you a comfy, secure grip.
The Epica professional nail clipper is another highly recommended option for pawrents who are looking to trim their dog’s nails at home. This clipper has ultra-sharp, semi-circular blades that cut effortlessly through thick and thin nails. Its rubberized handles offer a non-slip grip, and the blades’ safety edge minimizes over-trimming.
Suppose you dread over-clipping your dog’s fingers, Allstar designed this nail clipper for you. It has four super-bright LED lights and a 5X magnification trapper to eliminate chances of over-clipping your dog’s nails. Made of hardened steel, this clipper’s blades will cut effortlessly and smoothly. The blades will also not dull too quickly.
My personal favorite is the Razoo Dog Nail Grinder because of it’s super easy to use and it’s also approved by over 37k satisfied customers. I especially like that it has a safety stop feature to prevent over-cutting nails. However, if you prefer to get a nail clipper that is more affordable, then the Epica Professional Dog Nail Clipper will be the best choice at less than $10. It also has a very favorable review of 4.6 stars.
3. Not carrying poop bags when going out
Taking a walk with your furry friends is therapeutic. Such a trip helps both of you to enjoy beautiful views, get fit, break the monotony of staying at home, as well as meet and make new friends.
However, many pet parents often forget one important thing when going out with their furry friend—poop bags. When their dogs relieve themselves, these pet parents leave the waste behind, thereby exposing other canines to giardia, E. coli, Salmonella, and other infections!
Assuming you are a culprit of this mistake, here are some great poop bags that would help you manage your dog’s waste conveniently. Remember to carry them along the next time you go out.
People dislike picking their dog’s waste simply because of its disagreeable smell. Well, if you are among those pet parents who cannot stand that smell, Earth Rated made these poop bags for you.
They have a lavender scent to mask your dog poo’s displeasing odor. The Earth Rated poop bags are completely leakproof. They come in a pack of 270 units, which are enough to serve you for several trips.
With 1080 poo bags, this pack from PET N PET stands as a great pick for dog owners who wouldn’t want to keep buying after each short period. A single purchase will last for several months.
Though unscented, these poop bags are thick enough to minimize leakage, as well as conceal the fecal odor. PET N PET made them from recycled materials to minimize environmental waste.
Amazon Basics’ poop bags come in a pack of 900 units with a free dispenser. The poop bags are made from a thick polyethylene material that protects your hands, and holds your dog’s poop without leaking or letting out the odor. The bag dispenser has a carabineer-style clip that attaches securely on your dog’s leash.
Made from a biodegradable material, the Green Walker Poop bags will not only help you to dispose of your dog’s poop safely, but they will minimize environmental pollution as well. Green Walker made them from a chemical-free, corn starch blend that is highly biodegradable. Furthermore, this material is thick enough to contain your dog’s poo without leaking.
Made from 100% compostable material, the Planet Poop bags are another excellent fit for environmentally-conscious dog owners. Planet Poop made these bags from a material derived from cornstarch and cassava. This material breaks down completely within 90 days to leave the environment clean. Like any great poo bag, these compostable bags won’t leak or let out odor. They come in a pack of 60 units.
4. Providing little exercise
Regular exercising is the core of your dog’s health. It slows aging, burns excess calories, reduces the risk of long-term conditions, flushes toxins out of the body, and boosts mental well-being. This fourth tip is one of the common mistakes that many dog owners tend to commit.
Despite the benefits, many people do not help their dogs get enough exercise. In fact, a majority think that walking their dog around the neighborhood or to the grocery shop is enough activity to keep their pooch in top shape.
They forget that some dogs need more than walks. For example, puppies and high-energy breeds like Belgian Malinois need regular and heavy exercises. They need additional exercising from lure coursing, fly ball, fetch, swimming, or skating.
Seniors and low energy dogs like a bulldog can get enough workouts from regular walks and a little bit of play.
If your dog cannot exercise due to an injury, long-term ailments, or a deformity, don’t let it stay inactive. Ask your vet to recommend appropriate exercise for it. Seasoned vets will certainly have some work out plans for such dogs.
5. Avoiding vet visits
Many dog owners visit their veterinary only when their pooch falls sick. They rarely attend routine checkups as a way to bypass vet fees, or save the time they would have “wasted” visiting the vet.
If you are one of these pet parents, it is time to change that habit. Visiting your vet regularly could help identify and prevent some diseases before it progresses to hard-to-treat situations.
The frequency of vet visits depends on your dog’s general health and age. For instance, those living with a long-term disorder, seniors, and puppies will need more vet visits than healthy adult dogs. On average, a healthy dog should have one annual wellness exam.
6. Neglecting your dog’s oral hygiene
Like human beings, you ought to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day. Otherwise, your Fido will stand a chance of nursing severe dental issues like periodontitis, tooth loss, halitosis, gingivitis, and endodontic.
Although many pet parents might understand the risk associated with poor oral hygiene, their busy work schedules rob the time that they would have spent brushing their dog’s teeth. As such, they end up skipping a few days, thinking that it isn’t harmful.
If you are guilty of this negligence, make sure you start setting aside five to ten minutes a day for brushing. Otherwise, it’ll only be a matter of time when your dog will start to suffer from dental issues, while you will be spending your time and money in a vet clinic.
Apart from the regular brushing of your dog’s teeth, it would help if you took your dog for professional oral checkups, and teeth cleaning once a year.
7. Dismissing regular professional training
Training is necessary for all dogs. It helps your canine to adhere to your rules. Even so, many pet guardians ignore extra training as long as their dog learns to obey basic commands like sit, stop, come, and wait.
Well, basic training is enough for all dogs. But, dog trainers recommend training your dog extra skills like socializing, greeting other dogs, playing games, memorizing object names, treating visitors with respect, and many more.
Unlike basic training, additional training reinforces better behavior, improves obedience, boosts intelligence, and fosters better communication. We bet, with specialized training, your dog will be more likable.
8. Not Micro-chipping your pup
With over 10 million canines getting lost each year, fitting yours with a microchip isn’t optional anymore. It is a necessity. The chip will save you from that tricky situation of sticking “lost dog” posters around your neighborhood.
Even though you might consider yourself a keen dog owner, unfortunate events can happen. Someone can leave your door opened, or your dog can dig its way out through the fence. In other situations, your canine can even stray while they are at the dog park.
How will a microchip help? A microchip carries your contact information. Shelters and other authorities will use it to reconnect you with your furry friend.
Unlike a collar, micro-chips cannot get lost. They will stick under your dog’s subcutaneous tissue for as long as 25 years. You will have to spend a little more dollar to get the microchip implanted and registered.
9. Sharing human food with your canine
Very often, we find it hard to enjoy delicacies as Fido watches with pleading eyes. Naturally, we find ourselves sharing the food without knowing the danger we could be putting our canine friends into.
If you have been doing this, it is time to reconsider your generosity. Experts from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty claim that alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee, onions, garlic, yeast dough, almonds, cashews, cinnamon, coconut, raw eggs, and ice cream are potentially harmful to dogs.
Some of these human foods will not harm your dog immediately. But, they will slowly compromise its health. In view of that, never assume that your dog is tolerant to human food simply because it has never exhibited signs of toxicity.
10. Leaving your dog in a parked car
Ideally, almost all pet guardians know that leaving a dog in a parked car is dangerous. Despite this fact, leaving dogs in a parked car is one of the most common mistakes that dog owners make.
The majority of guardians, who commit this mistake, assume that leaving a canine in the car for just a minute or two is safe. But it almost always never end well.
Temperatures in a parked car can soar to deadly levels in that single minute you leave your furry friend behind. If you don’t show up quickly, your dog will suffer from heatstroke, suffocation, or brain damage. Sadly, there have been many cases of doggies which died because they were left locked up in a hot car!
11. Ignoring minor behavioral problems
Even the best-trained dog won’t be obedient forever. Sometimes you will find it chewing the wrong objects, begging, disobeying orders, barking for no reason, pulling the leash, biting, and jumping on visitors.
While you can ignore most of these misbehaviors, Fido will think that it is okay to keep doing so. So, within a short time, your once good dog will turn to be a disobedient, bad-mannered pooch.
That’s why we suggest that you take action immediately when your dog misbehaves. Retrain them, exercise them more to release excess energy, and reward good behavior. That way, you will avoid the future stress of keeping a dog that cannot take orders.
12. Excluding your dog from your emergency funds
Life with your dog is unpredictable. Your healthy-looking furry friend can fall sick or sustain injuries any time. Also, you could lose your job, get too sick to keep working, or your business’ returns can dwindle unexpectedly.
That’s the time your emergency funds will come in handy. They help you cater to your dog’s needs as you look for alternative ways to regain your financial normalcy.
Financial experts recommend that you save at least three times your dog’s monthly expenses. Such an amount would be enough to buy food, visit the vet, as well as keep your dog groomed for a pretty long period.
13. Letting your dog greet other dogs nose to nose
Getting your dog out to meet and greet other dogs is great. The greetings will boost your pooch’ self-confidence, stimulate their mind, as well as discharge pent-up energy.
But, there is one thing that many pet parents get wrong, allowing their four-legged family to greet every other dog nose-to-nose! is the one of the most common mistakes that dog owners tend to make. The nose-to-nose greetings can pave the way to infectious diseases like Bordetella, distemper, canine influenza, and canine parvovirus.
Besides, some less trained dogs, or those that are naturally unfriendly can interpret the nose-to-nose approach as offensive. In return, they could end up biting your Fido in defense.
Therefore, before you allow your dog to greet any other dog, it would matter to ask the owner if it is okay and safe for your dog to greet theirs. Proceed with the greetings only if the other dog owner gives an okay.
14. Using human medications to treat your dog
Some human medications like antihistamines, antidiarrheal, steroid sprays, topical ointments, and mineral oils work for dogs as well. But, not all human medications are safe. Some are toxic. For instance, ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers, kidney toxicity, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Therefore, when your furry friend falls sick unexpectedly, don’t use any human medication to manage symptoms, unless your vet permits it. You could end up harming your sick dog instead.
15. Using punishment in place of positive reinforcement
Dogs aren’t always good to be around with. They can sometimes scratch your seats, jump on visitors who fear dogs, bark excessively, soil your home with poop, or even disobey your commands.
Naturally, such misbehavior will piss you off to the point of considering physicals or mental punishment as a form of correction. This is one of the worst mistakes dog owners can make because you’re causing mental or physical abuses to the dog. Nonetheless, dog trainers say that punishment isn’t a form of correction.
Rather, punishment can induce excessive fear, anxiety, trauma, and stress. In addition, punishment can aggravate the existing bad habits or even interrupt your dog’s learning process.
For that reason, you should avoid punishments as a form of dog correction. Instead, use positive reinforcement to correct your dog’s misbehavior. This corrective method is tried, tested, and proven to work.
The Bottom Line
We all make dog parenting mistakes unknowingly. But, fortunately, we can be better dog guardians as long as we are willing to spot and fix our mistakes. Hopefully, his pet parenting crash course has shed some light on the common mistakes that dog owners make.
Having a pet dog can greatly change your life and you can have lots of fun with your new family member. However, it’s vital that you rectify these mistakes so that both you and your furkid can enjoy each other’s company always.