MSN Lifestyle recently released a list of the top mistakes made by pet owners. Here is the list, and my interpretation of each.
1. Buying a Pet Spontaneously
This is especially important during the holidays. Many families get caught up in the holiday spirit and purchase the first cute dog they see. Once the novelty wears off, the family realizes how much work the new puppy is, and gets a crash course in the traits and expense associated with the dog breed. While it’s wonderful to give a pet a home for the holidays, it’s always best to do ample reseach first.
2. Skipping Obedience Training
It’s understandable to believe that you can train your dog all the tricks in the book, but sometimes it’s necessary to train yourself first. A course in obedience from a professional can give you the tools you need for future lessons, and will make your pooch a much happier member of society.
3. Being Inconsistent with the Rules
I’m guilty of this one. It’s hard to stay strict when your dog is looking up at you with those sweet puppy eyes, just begging to snuggle in bed with you. But I know that if I allow a few instances of ‘breaking the rules’, I am confusing my pet and creating a frustrating situation long-term.
4. Dispensing Too Many Free Treats
Treats should be a reward. If you give treats for your pet doing nothing at all, you are reinforcing… nothing. Plus, too many treats can lead to issues with health and weight.
5. Neglecting to Socialize Your Pet
Dogs are pack animals, which means they are social animals. Not only do they need the mental stimulation that comes from being around other pets, but socialization will decrease their chance of becoming fearful of other animals or people in the future.
What do you think? Are you guilty of any of these ‘mistakes’? What other ‘mistakes’ do you think pet owners make?
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.