8 Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make

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Researchers state there are 62.5 million dogs in America and this number continues to grow at a rapid pace. More and more families in America and across the planet are beginning to bring dogs into their lives.

While this is wonderful, a lot of these homes have inexperienced dog owners making needless mistakes.

These mistakes can have a troubling influence on the dog’s development leading to major behavioral issues as the dog ages.

Here are some of the common mistakes dog owners make that you should look to avoid.

Holding Back on Dog Training

To the surprise of many dog owners, a dog becomes an adult at the age of one.

Golden puppy running in the grass

First-time dog owners often assume it’s okay to wait for a dog to grow up before going through rigorous training sessions. Unfortunately, dogs will quickly develop habits and become increasingly difficult to re-train later on.

It’s best to start as soon as possible with your puppy.

In general, it’s recommended to start purposeful dog training at the age of 8 weeks old.

Assuming Bad Behavior Will Magically Disappear

Bad behavior doesn’t go away.

Dogs will continue to do as they please if you allow them to do so. This is a common misunderstanding dog owners have about their puppies. It’s assumed the dog is adjusting and will get better with time.

While this sounds wonderful, it won’t happen!

Instead, the dog’s behavior will worsen to the point they become difficult to manage at home. This is why it’s critical to set ground rules quickly and begin training them around those guidelines.

Using Harsh Punishments

This is a sign of bad dog ownership and is frowned upon.

Using harsh punishments never works and will create fear in the dog. This fear will make them go into a shell and not act like a healthy dog should. Remember, discipline should never turn into aggression or worse torture, as that’s when you end up crossing the line.

Golden small dog standing in the grass

It’s important to use a sharp “No!” and then divert the dog’s attention. This is a lot better and more effective when combined with regular dog training sessions.

If you feel the dog is difficult to reel in, please take the time to go through dog training classes with professionals. It’s a worthy investment and will go a long way in setting the foundation for a well-behaved dog.

Rarely Visiting the Vet

How often do you go to the vet during the year?

Most dog owners will skip annual vet visits until something goes wrong. Indeed, you’re going to save money by doing this, but it can lead to long-term medical costs that are far worse than anything you’ll pay right now!

As a result, it’s important to visit the vet every 4-6 months depending on the dog’s health.

A healthy dog will be fine with a semi-annual visit.

Not Dog-Proofing the Home

This is a mistake that’s made because dog owners assume their house is safe.

While it may be safe from a human’s perspective, the same doesn’t apply to dogs. They can get into things you couldn’t possibly imagine, which is why it’s important to dog-proof the house immediately.

This includes finding a safe dog gate to block off certain rooms, keeping medicines/chemicals in locked cabinets, covering the trashcans, and hiding all types of wires that could be chewed on.

Forgetting to Socialize the Dog

The Animal Humane Society states socializing a dog is one of the most important parts of dog ownership.

An unsocialized dog will show unwarranted signs of aggression towards humans, pets, and even moving cars. This can be dangerous and make the dog almost uncontrollable in certain situations.

With bigger dogs, this can become a safety risk while going on walks around the neighborhood.

This is why it’s important to socialize your dog as much as possible. This can include taking time out to go to a local dog park or visiting friends with dogs in a more controlled environment.

There are several options but it’s imperative to focus on this from a young age.

Refusing to Build Routines

Dogs prefer routines as it keeps them under control.

This includes when they go for a walk, when they eat specific meals, and/or when you wake up in the morning.

Everything should be orderly and structured for a dog to thrive. If not, you are going to see the dog become confused, not eat well, and show signs of fatigue. It’s essential to think about this when planning to live with a dog.

Just doing things as you please during the week doesn’t work. It’s dangerous and will create health issues in the dog over time!

Randomized Feedings

Just like building routines, it’s also essential to have a structured feeding schedule including the amount of dog food put in the bowl.

You can’t go by feeling when giving food to a dog.

The dog food needs to be measured and hopefully weighed beforehand. This will ensure the dog isn’t under or overeating during the day and can maintain a healthy weight for its breed.  

If you are not taking the time to schedule regular feedings, the dog won’t eat well. There will come a time when the dog isn’t going to eat at all!

This is why vets highly recommend taking the time to flesh out a detailed dietary plan for your dog immediately. It will save time and allow you to follow the plan without thinking twice.

Final Thoughts

These are the most common mistakes dog owners make from time to time.

If you have a young dog, it’s important to get started with building routines and adding structure to their life immediately.

The more you delay this, the worse it’s going to get. Even some of the most calm, easy-going dogs can spiral out of control when given too much freedom.

Some will even try to assert their dominance in the house to become the “pack leader,” which isn’t something you want to deal with!

Get on top of this right now and ensure your dog leads a healthy, fun-filled life by your side.

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Veterinary Disclaimer: travellingwithadog.com is not a substitute for veterinary advice and does not intend to provide any type of veterinary advice for your animals. Please consult your vet for any questions you have regarding your pets health.