According to recent statics, there are 75 million pet dogs in the US alone and they are amongst the most desired pets in the world. Owning and training a dog is one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences anyone can go through. There are however a few major mistakes that most dog owners make and some important things that they neglect which can put their dog’s health at risk.
Here at More Shout, we decided to share with you some professional dog care tips that will change both your and your pets life.
1. Neglect their teeth
According to a recent study, 5 in 6 dog owners don’t brush their pet’s teeth which results in vets treating more than 50 cases of teeth and gum disease a day. Unfortunately, 65% of dogs who experience any type of periodontal disease usually go untreated because their owners neglect the symptoms of this illnesses.
One of the main reason’s dog owners don’t brush their pet’s teeth is because dogs dislike it and it takes a lot of time to do so. In addition, some pet owners believe that because they feed their dogs dried dog food, there is no need for brushing, which is a myth. Not brushing a dog’s teeth can lead to some serious inflammation like gingivitis.
It is recommended for all dog owners to brush their pet’s teeth at least 3 times a week.
2. Leave them on a chain
© darforce / imgur
Sometimes leaving dogs outside for a small period of time is healthy for them, especially when they enjoy being outdoors. But a chain isn’t always the answer. Dogs are naturally territorial animals and when they are left in a confined space for long periods of time their instinctive territorial behavior becomes more enhanced,so when someone approaches them they become very aggressive.
In addition, chained dogs become detached from their owners because they feel like their owners do not love them and they stop spending time with their owners when they are constantly left outside. They will then begin to look for ways to escape, and once they do, they will not come back.
It is important to leave your dog outside for short periods of time and only put them on a chain when it is absolutely necessary for safety reasons.
3. Leave them in the car
No matter how nice and cool the weather is outside, the greenhouse effect can heat up a car within minutes and the least that could happen to the poor thing is that they could become overheated and ill. The longer they wait in an overheated car, the worse the consequences are for their health and they could potentially die.
This happens because dogs have limited sweat glands, which causes them to feel the heat and sweat a lot more than humans. In some countries it is illegal to leave a dog in the car because it is a life-threatening situation and it is considered animal neglect and cruelty.
So, if you need to be someplace, always take your dog with you if dogs are allowed because leaving your dog in the car shouldn’t be an option. If you see a dog in someone’s car, try to locate the owner, get the license plate number of the car, and notify the authorities immediately.
4. Skip regular vet visits
© jayraybae / imgur
Even if your pet seems pretty healthy and behaves normally, you should make a vet visit at least every 6 months. Remember we’re all healthy before getting ill and this applies to all living things. Vets can detect symptoms in animals that we don’t even notice.
Some pet owners neglect their pet’s health because they believe they can diagnose their dogs’ health problems with a quick google search. However, a vet is able to see underlying symptoms of medical conditions or untreated diseases before they become life-threatening.
If you notice your dog’s appetite has changed, or that they have difficulty breathing, or that their drinking habits have changed, it is vital to take them to the vet. See here for additional symptoms you should keep an eye out for.
5. Overfeed them
© Beethoven / Universal Studios
Even though you might adore the look and feel of your little dog because they look like a chubby teddy bear, overfeeding your dog can have a serious impact on their health in the long run and limit their lifespan. It is also considered animal abuse to overfeed your dog. It’s important to always keep an eye on your dog’s weight and always talk to a veterinarian about your dog’s food requirements and diet. This way your pet will be able to stay healthy and you can enjoy each other’s company for as long as possible.
It is important to estimate the number of calories your dog requires in a day and your dog’s base resting energy requirement. Give your pet healthy treats and take into account the amount of exercise they get. Here we have found some interesting tips on how to prevent obesity.
6. Hit them
No matter what kind of training, mess, or whatever explanation you have for hitting your dog, it is NEVER appropriate, constructive, or even legal to hit your pet. This will cause the poor thing to become traumatized by the experience and petrified of you.
Not only that, but they will also become distant and unable to communicate with you because they will be too scared that whatever they are doing is wrong. This will then make their training impossible! According to research, dogs respond better to positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement.
Always reward their welcomed behavior instead of bashing their unwelcomed actions.
7. Put their dog in a crate as a form of punishment
Some dog owners see the crate as a form of punishment when training their dog. But as we mentioned above, this is considered negative reinforcement, which dogs do not respond very well to.
No matter how well thought the idea of putting a dog in a crate might appear, it has the opposite results than you would expect. In the dog owner’s mind, a crate is a comfortable and safe space for the dog. In the dog’s mind it is a depressing confined space that will make them feel ashamed for something that they don’t even understand, and this will cause them anxiety.
Instead of placing a dog into a crate, if it is absolutely necessary to isolate them, it’s better to put them in a room for a few minutes with their toys to help them calm down.
8. Share their food
© puglife3011 / reddit
There is a very good reason why specialized dog foods exist, and this is to balance all the necessary nutrients that your dog needs without putting their health at risk. It might seem like an act of kindness from your part when they look at you with their big sparkling eyes, waiting to get a bite from your dish, but this can impact their digestive system and their health in the long run. For the sake of your pet’s health, stick to the food which is specifically designed for them.
Foods like grapes, raisins, and yeast can be deadly for dogs. Please see here for a list of human foods that can be deadly for dogs
Do you ever do any of these things? What advice would you give to other dog owners? Please let us know in the comments below.
Illustrated by Leonid Khan for More Shout
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