You've probably thought about it for a long time and now it is time for you to bring home a furry friend for the first time. Owning a dog is one of the most exciting yet perplexing experiences because it is an entirely new feeling for you as you've never owned a dog before.
Dogs today are dying younger than they used to. They get more cancers and chronic diseases than ever before. Ever wonder why it is happening? This is due to the mistakes new dog owners make that may harm their dogs.
If you know what mistakes to avoid, they'll improve their chances of living longer, healthier lives.
So let's have a look at the 10 beginner mistakes new dog owners make.
Getting a Dog on Impulse
If you got a dog just because you think they're cute, then you're on the wrong track. Many people can't resist a puppy's charming personality when they visit shelters, pet shops, and rescue homes. As a result, they find themselves getting a pet that they are not ready for. Before you make this mistake, make sure that the dog you choose is right for you and your family.
Buying instead of adopting
Adopting is preferable to buying from pet stores because when you are adopting from a public shelter, you are saving a dog's life and freeing up space for another dog. Sure the process is far more rigorous than buying a pet, but this also makes sure that you are ready to own one.
Dogs that are commercially sold are often sold in extremely poor conditions and when you buy from them, it is like rewarding them for their bad behavior.
People often think that just because they brought in a puppy that they are too young and delicate that they pamper them too much. This is common especially to small breed dogs and those rescued from rescue centers. The sooner your pet knows that they are not the pack leader and begin training them to know how to behave, the better it will be for you.
Feeding human food
It may seem harmless to feed them a portion of what you are eating or scraps from the table, but this can cause huge problems. Most human foods can make them sick or even kill them. It is also not good for them to eat many of the spices we add to our foods. You'll need to consult your veterinarian first before you add human food to their diet.
Failing to Provide Sufficient Exercise
This is a common mistake of first-time dog owners. This usually happens because of our busy schedules or a mismatch of the activity level of the dog and its owner. If you have a busy schedule, it will be difficult to adopt a highly energetic dog as you'll only often leave them at home without company or exercise.
Take note that the dog you choose should match your physical activity. If you fail to do so, it will leave them unhappy, bored, and restless. Your pup will also likely develop obesity or behavioral problems such as excessive barking, obesity, chewing, and digging.
Dogs will need to learn how to fit into your world, and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to help them to cope up. You will need to teach your pet respect, discipline, and various commands to let them know the rules and regulations. Training also lets them know who is the leader and the follower in this relationship.
Training your dog nowadays is easy as there are plenty of videos and books that help you get started with training exercises. If you want to achieve faster results, seeking help from a professional trainer is the best route.
Not Letting Your Dog Socialize
Don't assume that new pets are naturally friendly and can get along with other dogs they need without socialization. Dogs need socialization the same way they need food and exercise.
When they are deprived of socialization, they are fearful, depressed, territorial, protective, and violent. Lack of proper socialization can also cause a wide range of health and behavioral problems in dogs.
Leaving Them All Alone
Dogs are happier when they are in the company of other dogs and humans as they are naturally social. Imagine how they feel when they are left alone at home for several hours. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes new dog owners make.
Avoiding the Veterinarian
A lot of new dog owners skip or even put off routine visits to the vet unless there is something wrong with their pet. In reality, visiting your vet only when your dog is sick is not the best way to treat your dog. Most dogs hide their sickness until it becomes unbearable. Routine wellness exams will allow vets to detect, diagnose, and treat problems before it becomes worse.