Having a healthy, well-trained, lovable pet is every pet owners goal when the decision is made to make a dog or cat a member of the family. Did you know there are quite a few mistakes that pet owners make that can interfere with their health and desired lifestyle? Here are 10 common mistakes that pet owners should avoid.
5. Not Pet-Proofing Your Home
No matter the age of the pet, it is important to make sure you are providing a safe environment for them, including things like putting dangerous house plants out of reach and keeping their food in tight containers. When it comes to cats, keep the home pet-friendly by making sure the litter box has a specific place so the cat knows where its bathroom is. With dogs, they should have a specific bed or comfortable spot they can call their own.
4. Lack of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Again, no matter the age of the pet, getting the proper amount of exercise is important in keeping them as healthy as possible. For dogs, each breed requires a different amount of daily exercise, as well as mental stimulation. This could range from twenty minutes of walking to an hour of jogging with you. Cats also require a certain amount of playtime each day in order to stay mentally active and happy.
3. Giving Too Many Treats
Treats will lose their training and reward value if given too often and for no reason. When raising a pet, using treats to train and teach behavior is the best way for them to learn, but the treats must be given in a consistent manner. Pets will start to lose the ability to follow your direction if you are constantly handing out goodies.
2. Leaving Your Pet Alone for Too Long
Many pet owners may feel that as long as the pet has a crate or safe place to be when you have to leave, that the pet will be just fine. That is only true to a certain point. A few hours is okay, but any longer than that puts the pet at risk for things like developing separation anxiety, as well as other health problems relevant to not going to the bathroom, not to mention the lack of exercise and mental stimulation.
1. Punishing Your Pet
Believe it or not, punishing your pet is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you punish your pet, you are teaching them to fear you instead of teaching them that the action was wrong. Dogs and cats do not correlate you punishing them with what they did that upsets you. If you actually catch your pet in the wrong action, try startling them in order to get them to stop their behavior. This way they will connect something from the environment as the punishment instead of teaching them to fear you.