Owning a dog can be fun and extremely rewarding, but it’s also a big responsibility. Here are five common mistakes new dog owners make and how to avoid them.
Waiting to train a puppy
Training should start during the puppy stage. Some owners let puppies get away with being naughty, but this encourages them not to have respect for their owner. As they grow up, it then becomes harder to discipline them and you end up with a misbehaved dog for life. It’s okay if you don’t know how to train your dog – there are plenty of puppy training classes out there and guides online that can help.
Setting conflicting rules
It’s important to stick to your principles when setting rules. If you encourage a dog to sit on the sofa with you one day and then shout at it for going on the couch the next day, the dog will get confused and will either disobey all instructions or get overly anxious around you. Conflicting rules can often happen when a couple or family take in a new dog, and different people in the home set different rules. Try to all get on the same page when setting home rules so that your pooch knows where they stand.
Not socializing your dog
Dogs are social creatures that need regular contact with humans and other dogs. Being social is something that should be encouraged from an early age. You may want to hold off socializing a puppy until he or she has its vaccinations. Afterward, you can meet up with other dogs. Introduction to other dogs at a young age can help your dog learn how to behave in certain situations. It’s also essential for your dog’s mental health too.
Not researching the hidden health hazards
There are lots of hidden hazards out there to be mindful of. Certain human foods such as chocolate and grapes, for example, can be toxic to dogs. You may even want to consider changing your cat’s litter as this too could be poisonous. On top of researching these dangers, it’s worth learning a few life-saving tricks to protect your dog against these dangers such as the Heimlich maneuver for dogs in case your pet chokes. Dog trainers and online sources will be able to teach you about these dangers to your new pet.
Not visiting the vet regularly
Dogs are remarkably talented at hiding pain. For this reason, many health problems may not be evident until they have reached a dangerous point, where your dog can no longer hide the fact that it hurts. By booking regular check-ups at the vet, you can catch any health problems early. Not only can you prevent them from getting serious, but treatment is likely to be cheaper and less invasive if you find the problem in its early stages.