Friday, December 11, 2020

Common Mistakes To Avoid As A New Dog Owner


Getting a dog isn’t like getting any other pet. They require a lot more care and attention and there can often be a steep learning curve involved as a new owner. It’s likely you’ll make some mistakes with your first dog, but these can be easily corrected if you identify these mistakes early. Fixing such mistakes could be important for the physical and mental health of your furry friend, as well as reducing costs and stress for yourself. Below are just some of the common mistakes you should try to avoid.

Failing to socialize your dog

Dogs are naturally social creatures. While man may be a dog’s best friend, they still need other canine companions in their life. This could involve simply going out to the park and meeting other dogs and their owners or attending training groups where you’ll meet other dogs. 

You should ideally start socializing your dog when they are young (but ideally not before they’ve had their vaccines). This will help your dog to become comfortable around other dogs. Lack of socialization could cause your dog to become fearful or aggressive towards other dogs (which could mean having to keep your dog on a lead at all times and having to steer clear of other dog owners). By socializing your dog, walks can become a lot more fun for you and your dog. 

Feeding your dog the wrong foods

There are many foods that aren’t good for dogs. Many human foods such as bread or dairy products will cause your dog to have digestive problems or gain weight. Other foods such as chocolate, grapes and onions can meanwhile be toxic.

It’s best to stick to dog food that you know will be good for your furry friend. Human foods like meats and eggs can be healthy for your dog, but you should still refrain from feeding them to your dog in large quantities. Be wary that certain dog food brands are more healthy than others. Portion size also matters - feeding too much of the right foods could still cause your pooch to put on the pounds. Nutritional guidelines for dogs can vary depending on the breed and age of your dog.  

Not walking your dog regularly enough

Just as it’s important to feed your dog the right diet to keep them healthy, it’s also important to give them the right amount of exercise. All dogs need to be exercised - however certain breeds require more than others. Pugs and bulldogs may only require short walks, while german shepherds and huskies often require long walks.

Make sure that you’re taking your dog on walks and not just playing in the backyard. Walking your dog also helps them to stay mentally healthy by allowing them to explore a new environment, while also offering the opportunity for socialization. It can also be a great way of keeping you fit (this can be one of the reasons many of us get a dog). 

Skipping vet check-ups

A lot of new dog owners only go to the vet when there is something wrong with their dog. Frequent vet checkups can often be worthwhile for catching health problems early, possibly preventing expensive treatment and further issues later down the line. Dogs are very good at hiding pain - and so you’ll often not know about health problems until they are severe.

Compare vets in your area to find one that is reputable and affordable. Taking out pet insurance could help to make vet visits more affordable, especially if you take out full life insurance while your dog is still young. Shop around to find the best insurance rates. 

Not looking after your dog’s teeth

A lot of owners don’t realize that cleaning a pet’s teeth is often necessary. By brushing your dog’s teeth, you can reduce the risk of your dog developing tooth decay or gum disease. This could prevent costly dental treatment later down the line as well as keeping your dog happy.

There are toothpastes and toothbrushes designed specifically for dogs that you can use. Dental chew sticks can also help. Vet check-ups will also help you to detect dental problems early so that they can be treated before they get too serious. 

Not trimming your dog’s nails

Along with grooming habits such as brushing your dog’s fur and cleaning your dog’s ears, it’s also important to trim your dog’s nails. If you don’t trim them, they could grow too long, resulting in health problems developing. 

You can buy dog nail clippers and cut your dog’s nails yourself using guides online. However, many owners prefer to hire a professional groomer to avoid cutting past the quick (which will cause pain and bleeding). 

Allowing behavioral problems to get out of control

Just like a child, a dog will develop behavioral problems if you don’t teach your dog right from wrong early. Bad behaviors could include barking, jumping, biting, chewing or not recalling. 

Behavioral problems are easiest to iron out when your dog is young, however you may be able to invest in a professional trainer to get rid of behavioral problems in older dogs. In fact, it’s often worth looking into professional training with young dogs too (there are puppy training classes where you can meet other dog owners and their dogs). Getting rid of these behavioral problems will result in an easier life for you and could also be important for your dog if it affects socializing or going on walks. 

Not picking up your dog’s poop

Picking up your dog’s poop is an unpleasant but necessary part of being a dog owner. This includes poop from your own yard and poop from the sidewalk when taking your dog for a walk.

Picking it up is not just considerate to others, but also important for reducing parasites and keeping everyone healthy. Make sure to always bring some poop bags out with you whenever you go on a walk and dispose of these correctly.


Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts. However, kindly refrain from adding links in your comments because they will be marked as spam and filtered out. Thank you!