It would be nice if a new puppy came with an owner’s manual, but they don’t. That leaves many new dog owners attempting to care for and train their dog with a trial and error method, which usually leaves both dog and dog owner frustrated. These are some common mistakes dog owners make and how to correct them for a happier pet and pet owner relationship.
Being Inconsistent With Rules
When dog owners are inconsistent with rules, the dog gets confused, frustrated and will eventually ignore any command the owner gives. Dogs are constantly learning, being lax with rules at times then at other times being strict will create a disobedient dog. Follow through when giving a command to the dog, such as a tug on the collar when the dog is told to sit and he doesn’t obey, and always reward the dog for obeying a command.
Constantly Giving the Dog Snacks
Many dog owners think they are showing the dog love by giving him snacks. Too many snacks creates an over weight dog and places the dog at higher risk for a variety of health problems. Showing love and giving rewards to a dog does not have to be in the form of food, a few words of praise and scratch behind the ear suffices. Snacks should be given sparingly and placed inside a specially designed dog toy that requires the dog to work to get at the snack.
Not Giving the Dog Anything To Do
If a dog is home alone all day while the dog owner is at work, what will the dog do? Sleep? Pace the floor? Destroy home furnishings? The answer is all three. Dogs crave mental activity as well as physical activity and will become bored and destructive when left alone to their own devices for hours each day.
Go for a brisk walk with dog before leaving home each morning and provide chew toys that hold kibble for the dog to play with while you’re away from home. As soon as possible after arriving back home, take the dog for another walk or have play a session with him. The consistent activity with the dog will reassure, calm and exercise the dog, preventing separation anxiety and bad behavior.
Not Buying Pet Health Insurance
Veterinary care is not cheap. Becoming a dog owner makes one responsible for the meeting the health care needs of their pet, which can run into thousands of dollars over the course of the dog’s lifetime. Pet health insurance costs about $1 a day and many pet insurance companies will offer a discount for multi-pet insurance policies.