10 Normal Habits That Could Endanger Your Dog
Not very many people get pets with the intention of putting them in harm’s way on a regular basis. We all do our best to care for and love our pups, but we’re not experts on dogs, dog health, or dog behavior.
If you’re wanting to make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep your pooch happy and healthy, you’ll want to avoid these 10 everyday things.
10. You’re overfeeding them.
According to veterinarian at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital in Michigan, this is a big issue.
“We see a very large percentage of overweight and obese pets…and most of it is attributed to overfeeding.”
This can cause problems like back and joint pain, arthritis, and serious digestive issues to boot.
To mitigate those risks make sure you’re following the recommended feeding amounts on the package, and when it comes to treats, try offering fresh fruits and vegetables instead of something more calorie-dense.
9. Trimming their nails the wrong way.
Dr. Hinks of NorthStar VETS in New Jersey also says that nail trimming is tricky, and it’s best if you ask your vet or vet tech to show you the right technique before you try it at home.
“By the time your dog is 70 or 80 pounds and it has never had a nail trimming at home, it’s not going to be very happy about it when you try.”
Basically, if you can afford it, they recommend you leave the nail trimming to a professional.
8. Giving them people food.
If you love your pet, you’ve got to find a way to say no to those big puppy dog eyes. People food in general is not recommended fr your dog, though like we said earlier, things like carrot sticks can be great rewards.
7. Bathing them wrong.
Dr. Hinks acknowledges that we all want our pets to smell better than, well, a dog, but that you want to make sure you’re using a mild shampoo.
Also your water should be no warmer than lukewarm, and when it comes to drying them with a blowdryer, keep that setting on low, too.
“Blow dryers can cause burns to their skin, which is sensitive when it’s wet. Short-nosed breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs are even more sensitive to heat.”
6. Smoking around them.
Dr. Cappel states the obvious when it comes to this habit.
“We all know smoking is bad for our lungs and causes health problems for us. It’s very similar with dogs – they can get lung cancer, too.”
5. Neglecting their teeth.
The best thing you can do is to get your puppy used to having their teeth brushed a couple of times a week. You’ll want to use a soft toothbrush with flexible bristles and a piece of gauze or soft cloth.
Dr. Cappel says that brushing your dog’s teeth puts you ahead in the game.
“I think most people don’t even look in their dog’s mouths, much less brush their teeth. That’s a huge mistake because if they get periodontal disease and the bacteria builds up in their mouths…it’s hard on their kidneys, swallowing all that bacteria.”
4. Not playing with them enough.
It’s not only about exercise, says Dr. Cappel, but about mental stimulation.
“When people don’t spend enough time challenging their dogs mentally and physically, it often leads to either destructive or repetitive behaviors. If you don’t keep your pet busy and challenged, they can end up being destructive or developing behavior problems.”
If you want a happy dog, make sure you’re stimulating them and not leaving them to their own devices.
3. Using the wrong brush.
Dr. Andrea Pace of NorthStarVETS says that you don’t want to use a metal brush, particularly if you have a short-haired dog.
“These brushes make micro-abrasions in their skin, which makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections.”
Choose softer bristles instead.
2. Not letting them out often enough.
Just because your dog can stay home for 12 hours without having an accident doesn’t mean it’s really good for him, says Dr. Cappel.
“Delayed urination can cause bladder infections and, occasionally, behavior problems. We tell people not to make their dog wait more than seven or eight hours between walks.”
1. Grooming them yourself.
Even though we can trim our hair (or our kids’ hair) at home, most of us choose to leave that chore up to an expert whenever possible.
Pace says the same consideration should be put on whether or not to give your dog a trim, too.
“If your dog’s temperament is relaxed and chilled out, he might tolerate home trimmings well. Other dogs will bite you at times. It really depends on knowing your dog before approaching them with scissors.”
A good rule of thumb for most people or animals, I’d reckon.
It’s always good to know, right?
So you can stop doing things that are bad and pick up better habits instead!
Tags: · dog, dogs, pet, things you shouldn't do with your dog, things you're doing that could hurt your dog, top, training dogs