10 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make - Pet Hub USA

10 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make

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A dog is a huge responsibility. No canine deserves to suffer because an owner failed to provide what the animal needs. These 10 tips will make it easy for first-time dog owners to avoid common mistakes.

10. Getting a Dog Before You’re Ready

smiling woman in white crew neck t-shirt holding brown and white short coated puppy
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

Don’t get a dog before understanding the commitment and the breed. Different breeds have specific needs, so make sure you can do what’s right. Ensure your lifestyle and time will permit you to handle the responsibility consistently. Ensure you have adequate space. Make sure you can afford the cost of food, toys, treats, vaccination, grooming, vet bills, and more.

9. Not Having a House Training Plan

a small brown and white puppy on a leash
Photo by anotherxlife on Unsplash

New puppy owners or those adopting younger dogs need a potty training plan before the dog arrives. Make sure you know how to potty train a dog using positive reinforcement. Have an understanding of crate training. The dog cannot be left alone, even for short periods, so have a backup person. Prepare to get up every 2-3 hours during the night. 

8. Skipping Basic Obedience Training

Obedience Classes and Teaching Them Tricks - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

All dogs benefit from basic obedience training. Proper training keeps your dog safe. Training also protects other people and pets around your dog. Some breeds are easier to train than others, but all can be trained. All it takes is consistency, repetition, patience, and positive reinforcement. No matter where you live, dog training classes are affordable and easy to find.

7. Not Properly Socializing the Dog

Group of people outdoors with a dog

Many dogs are prone to becoming anxious in unfamiliar situations or environments. This can lead to aggressive behavior. When your dog is still a pup, it’s important to socialize them with different positive experiences such as new places, sounds, sights, smells, and people. This will inhibit anxiety. Before interacting with other dogs, make sure your dog is vaccinated.

6. Overfeeding

white and brown english bulldog on brown wooden table
Photo by Kabo on Unsplash

Certain breeds will eat themselves to death if allowed. Table scraps and constant treats in addition to their food can make your dog gain weight. In the US, 56 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. Overweight dogs can suffer from the same health issues and diseases as humans. Since you control the food, you control your dog’s weight.

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5. Not Giving the Dog Enough Exercise

dog jumping on lawn during daytime
Photo by Ron Fung on Unsplash

Certain dog breeds require more exercise than others, which gives them both physical and mental stimulation. Some dogs can gain too much weight without regular exercise. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can also have behavioral issues. To expel extra energy, dogs may engage in barking, chewing, and destructive behaviors. Most dogs need a minimum of thirty minutes of vigorous exercise daily.

4. Overlooking Behavioral Issues 

Shih Tzu wearing a harness yapping

Behavioral issues may be a sign your dog is trying to communicate something to you. They might have anxiety, be upset, or have an underlying health issue that needs veterinary care. This might include barking, growling, or biting. Sometimes a change in routine or environment can cause your dog to act out. Seek help from a vet or professional trainer.

3. Not Making Regular Vet Visits

Husky at the vet

Veterinary care for your dog doesn’t end with puppy shots and spaying or neutering. Your dog needs an annual checkup with a vet. These visits ensure vaccine boosters and an examination of their overall health. Your vet may recommend prevention against pests and parasites such as heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Regular visits can prevent serious issues and early death.

Read More: Strange Dog Behaviors and Warning Signs to Watch For

2. Not Getting the Dog Comfortable With Grooming

Dog groomer

Grooming is an essential part of pet care and some dog breeds need more frequent grooming than others. Not trimming your dog’s nails can cause health and mobility issues. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly prevents dental disease. Introducing your dog to these routines early prevents anxiety and injury to caregivers. Start slowly and use positive reinforcement.

Read More: 9 Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds for Busy or First-Time Owners

1. Not Preparing for Emergencies

Lost Dog poster in a pole during daytime
Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash

At a minimum: Have your dog microchipped in case your pet becomes lost. Prepare an emergency kit containing everything your dog would need if you had to evacuate your home immediately. Consider getting pet insurance. Have the number and address of one or more animal hospitals written down in case your phone, Internet, or power is out.

Read More: Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Park Etiquette

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