Harmful Things You Might Be Doing To Your Dog Without Knowing

By Juliet S 6 months ago
Welcome to the eye-opening exploration of our furry friend relationships. It's easy to assume that we're providing the best for our dogs, but the truth is, sometimes our actions might not be as beneficial as we think. Picture this: you shower your dog with love, treats, and playtime, thinking you're the epitome of the ultimate dog parent. However, the nuances of doggy language and needs are complex, and there's a chance that some of our well-intentioned gestures may be causing more harm than good.

1. Treats are a staple in their diet

While showering our dogs with treats is an expression of love, it's crucial to be mindful of potential consequences. Overindulgence can lead to behavioral issues, where dogs may refuse to obey without a treat incentive, become more demanding, or even exhibit aggression.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Additionally, the extra calories from excessive treats can contribute to weight gain and related health issues. Striking a balance between affection and moderation in treat-giving is key to maintaining a healthy, well-behaved canine companion.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. Moving is not a priority

Insufficient exercise doesn't just risk obesity; it transforms your once-happy dog into a bored and frustrated companion. Signs of lethargy and boredom become evident, and if left unaddressed, this surplus energy might manifest in destructive behaviors like chewing furniture or incessant barking.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Recognizing these signs is crucial, emphasizing the need for increased playtime and walks to ensure your dog remains both physically and mentally fulfilled. After all, a well-exercised pup is a content and harmonious member of the household.

3. Dog parks are a regular day out

Contrary to the notion of dog parks being a haven of fun, experts often caution against taking your beloved pet to these off-leash spaces. While the idea of canine camaraderie is appealing, the reality is that the unleashed environment can pose significant risks, especially for smaller dogs.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Scuffles, even if initiated playfully, can quickly escalate, leading to serious injuries or, tragically, even fatalities, particularly when smaller dogs interact with larger counterparts. It's a reminder that careful consideration are essential to ensure the safety and well-being of our dog!

4. The doggy dentist is not a regular day out

Doggy dentistry is an absolute must in your pet's care, and neglecting a regular appointment can have devastating effects and cause irreversible damage.  Your dog will suffer the consequences of skipping the dentist, including tooth decay and loss, severe pain, and bad breath.
Image Source: Reddit.com
And if that's not enough, fatal bacteria from your dog's mouth may spread to their organs, causing them serious health problems or even premature death. Certain chew toys and regular visits to the dentist are a great way to stay on top of your dog's teeth health.

5. Punishing them is a normality

Using punishments in dog training is often ineffective and potentially harmful, as dogs may not associate the consequences with their behavior, leading to confusion and anxiety. Punishments can create a fearful environment, hinder the learning process, and erode the bond between the dog and its owner.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Inconsistency in applying punishments further complicates the situation, and harsh measures may provoke aggression or defensive reactions. Positive reinforcement, emphasizing rewards for desirable behaviors, is considered a more effective and humane approach.

6. Their healthy diet has fallen by the wayside

Ensuring proper nutrition for dogs is crucial as poor dietary choices can have severe consequences. Imbalances in a dog's diet, such as excessive consumption of high-calorie, high-carb foods or insufficient nutritional intake, can result in a range of health issues.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Low-quality dog foods commonly found on store shelves should be avoided, as they often lack essential nutrients. Awareness of toxic foods for dogs is equally important, as certain human foods, such as chocolate and grapes, can pose serious threats to their health.

7. Not enough water

Dogs, like humans, cannot survive without an adequate water supply, and insufficient hydration can lead to various health issues. Dehydration in dogs can result in a deterioration of their well-being, potentially necessitating trips to the vet.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Dehydration can increase the risk of bladder and kidney infections, as the body's ability to flush out toxins becomes compromised. Regular access to clean and fresh water is crucial to prevent dehydration in dogs, supporting their physiological functions and promoting proper digestion.

8. You give them mixed signals

Behavioral issues in dogs can often stem from mixed messages, as these animals are highly attuned to human emotions and subtle cues. For instance, if a dog is repeatedly called inside and the owner expresses frustration, even if the dog eventually obeys, it can lead to confusion.
Image Source: Reddit.com
When messages are inconsistent or emotions are mixed, dogs can become unsure about what is expected of them, leading to behavioral problems. Remaining calm during training and avoiding mixed signals can contribute to a more harmonious relationship.

9. They don't know when to expect you home

Dogs waiting eagerly by the door when their owners return shows the strong bond between humans and their pups. The behavior, though possibly influenced by cues like car sounds, primarily stems from a profound emotional connection—they genuinely miss their owners and eagerly await their return.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Studies suggest that dogs form strong emotional attachments to their human caregivers, and their ability to sense time passing may contribute to their anticipation. The joyous and affectionate welcome received upon returning home shows the unique emotional connection between dogs and their owner.

10. Your home isn't safe enough

Dogs will eat anything, so it's important to know that many household items are actually dangerous and toxic for dogs, including cleaning products and food! Common food items such as alcohol, raisins, grapes, chocolate, and coffee can pose serious risks and lead to food poisoning in dogs.
Image Source: DogTime.com
Vigilance and knowledge about these potential hazards are essential to safeguarding a dog's health, necessitating responsible management of their environment and diet to prevent accidental ingestion of harmful substances.

11. You leave dangerous objects around

And it's not just edible hazards and cleaning chemicals you might leave lying around! Items like batteries, coins, plants, and small Lego pieces can lead to veterinary visits if ingested. Even leaving favorite dog chews around is not without risk..
Image Source: Reddit.com
This is because they can harbor harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, posing health threats to both the dog and its owner. Maintaining a pet-safe environment involves being mindful of seemingly harmless items that can be potential hazards.

12. You're not clued up on breed-specific behaviors

Understanding how to train a dog, and how to maintain their health are essential components of responsible pet ownership. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with breed-specific behaviors is crucial to ensure that your pet integrates well into your home environment!
Image Source: Reddit.com
This comprehensive approach helps create a harmonious relationship between the dog and its owner, fostering a positive living experience for both. Regular education and a commitment to meeting the specific needs of the dog contribute to a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted canine companion.

13. You let them get away with things

The endearing gaze of a dog can be irresistible, making it challenging to resist their charms and say no to their requests. However, giving in to undesirable behaviors can lead to a loss of control, with the pup potentially taking charge of the household.
Image Source: Reddit.com
It's crucial for dog owners to strike a balance between affection and discipline, setting clear expectations and consistently enforcing them. This not only ensures a well-behaved pet but also maintains a harmonious relationship where both the owner and the dog feel content.

14. You don't know about common health problems in the breed

Being aware of breed-specific issues, not only applies to behavior, but it also stretches to the overall health of your pet. Certain breeds, especially pedigrees, may be genetically predisposed to specific health concerns, such as increased risks of blindness or certain types of cancers.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Regular veterinary check-ups, breed-specific health screenings, and a tailored approach to their well-being can help detect and manage potential health issues early on. This knowledge empowers dog owners to provide targeted support and care for their furry friend!

15. Fleas and ticks have made themselves home with your pooch

Dealing with fleas and ticks is an inevitable aspect of dog ownership, and effective treatment is crucial to prevent further health issues for your pet. Neglecting proper treatment can result in considerable discomfort for your dog!
Image Source: Reddit.com
These infestations not only affect the dog's well-being but can also lead to more severe complications if left unaddressed. Regular preventative measures, such as using vet-recommended flea and tick treatments are essential in safeguarding your dog's health and ensuring their overall comfort and happiness.

16. Leaving them in your car

Leaving your dog alone in a car, even for a short time, is a firm and crucial no-no. In warmer weather, cars can quickly become dangerously hot, reaching temperatures that can be fatal for your dog. Factors like parking in the shade or leaving windows open may not provide adequate protection.
Image Source: Reddit.com
The risk of heat-related issues for your pooch is significant, making it imperative to avoid this practice entirely, regardless of the circumstances or the duration of your absence. Ensuring your dog's safety and well-being means finding alternative solutions and never leaving them unattended in a car.

17. Not updating their ID

Ensuring that your dog's ID and microchip information is current and accurate is a crucial responsibility for pet owners. It's easy to overlook, but the significance cannot be overstated. In the unfortunate event that your pet goes missing, up-to-date identification is vital for a swift reunion.
Image Source: Reddit.com
This information is equally essential for rescue centers to contact you promptly if your pet is found. Consider this a reminder to check and update your dog's ID and microchip details today, providing an added layer of security and increasing the chances of a successful reunion.

18. Not getting insurance

Emergency veterinary treatment for our beloved dogs is sometimes unavoidable, with studies indicating that 1 in 3 dogs may require it each year. These emergencies can arise unexpectedly, whether from sudden illness or injury, resulting in substantial vet bills that catch owners off guard.
Image Source: Reddit.com
This is where pet insurance proves invaluable. Having coverage can alleviate the financial strain associated with unexpected medical expenses, allowing pet owners to provide necessary and immediate care for their furry companions without compromising their financial well-being.

19. Hemlock grows in your garden

Water hemlock, a highly toxic plant, can unexpectedly emerge in your garden or during walks and poses a significant threat to dogs. Ingesting this plant can lead to various symptoms, starting with an upset stomach and potentially escalating to severe respiratory distress.
Image Source: Reddit.com
In the most severe cases, water hemlock poisoning can be fatal for dogs. It is crucial for dog owners to be vigilant and keep a close eye on their surroundings, both at home and during outdoor activities, to prevent their pets from encountering this deadly plant.

20. Yelling at your dog

Yelling at your dog can have a range of detrimental effects, making it an approach with numerous drawbacks. The emotional impact includes instilling fear, anxiety, and even excitement in your dog, emotions that are universally recognized as potentially intense.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Rather than fostering a positive learning environment, yelling may create confusion and stress for your dog, hindering effective communication. Opting for positive reinforcement techniques is generally considered more effective in building a trusting relationship.

21. You let your dog run with a stick in their mouth

While dogs find immense joy in playing fetch with sticks, it's essential to consider the potential dangers associated with letting them run with one in their mouths. Injuries such as splinters, cuts, and scrapes in their mouth can occur, posing risks of infections.
Image Source: Reddit.com
It's important for dog owners to be aware of the potential hazards and exercise caution when allowing dogs to play with sticks. Opting for safer alternatives, such as dog-safe toys, can provide the same enjoyment without exposing them to the risks associated with stick-related injuries.

22. Yanking on their choke collar

While some people believe that using a choke collar is an effective means to curb a dog's pulling on a leash, it's important to recognize the potential drawbacks of this method. Choke collars can inflict pain on dogs, and the tightening sensation around the neck may not effectively convey the intended message to the dog.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Dogs may not make the connection between the collar's constriction and the owner's attempt to correct their behavior, making it less likely to be an effective training tool. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats or praise to reward desired behaviors, is better.

23. Using the wrong collar and leash

Many people may not realize that incorrectly using collars and leashes can lead to significant damage to a dog's neck and throat. Improper use may cause harm, including injuries to the nerves in their front legs, thyroid issues, and even damage to the ears and eyes.
Image Source: Reddit.com
It's crucial for dog owners to be educated on the appropriate use of collars and leashes, ensuring they are properly fitted and used to avoid unnecessary strain on the dog's delicate anatomy. Exploring alternative walking tools like harnesses, which distribute pressure more evenly, can be safer.

24. Applying sunscreen

Protecting your beloved dog from the sun is a thoughtful consideration, and applying sunscreen is a good practice to prevent sunburn. However, it's crucial to exercise caution, as many sunscreen brands may contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs.
Image Source: Reddit.com
You should carefully read the label before selecting a sunscreen for your pet. Opting for pet-safe sunscreen can help ensure that your dog is protected from the harmful effects of the sun without exposing them to potentially harmful substances.

25. Leaving your bathroom door open

Bathrooms can harbor various hazardous items for dogs, ranging from cleaning products to the contents of the toilet bowl. Infrequent cleaning of the toilet can expose dogs to the risk of infections, including E. coli. Additionally, dogs may contract other illnesses from their owners when they are sick.
Image Source: Reddit.com
It's crucial for pet owners to be mindful of the potential dangers present in the bathroom and take steps to secure cleaning products and maintain a clean environment. Regular cleaning practices, safe storage of cleaning supplies, and hygiene precautions can help.

26. Giving your dog ice to play with

Ice can be a safe and beneficial option for dogs, offering cooling relief and soothing pain, such as during teething. It's important, however, to ensure that the ice is an appropriate size to minimize the risk of choking. While ice is generally safe, experts recommend opting for water instead.
Image Source: Reddit.com
Water helps in regulating the dog's body temperature more effectively. As with any new addition to a dog's diet or routine, it's advisable for pet owners to monitor their pets for any adverse reactions and consult with a veterinarian if there are concerns about their health or well-being.

27. You let them finish off your table scraps

While the idea of reducing food waste by giving table scraps to your dog may seem eco-friendly, it can pose risks to their health. Some human foods are toxic to dogs. Moreover, giving your dog table scraps may encourage undesirable behavior.
Image Source: BestFriendsKitchen.org
Establishing clear boundaries around feeding habits helps prevent these issues and maintains a healthy diet for your pet. It's essential for dog owners to be informed about which human foods are safe for dogs and to avoid sharing potentially harmful items.

28. Feeding them booze

Image Source: Twitter
This goes without saying really, doesn't it? Beer is very toxic to dogs, and even a little amount can cause alcohol poisoning, particularly in smaller dogs. And if you've ever had a hangover, you'll know that it can feel like torture! Well, believe it or not, dogs will also feel the same negative effects as we do.

29. You lack consistency

Image Source: Reddit.com
Dogs act like dogs, and, inevitably, there are going to be some undesirable behaviors that you will want to correct.  But they will never modify their behaviors without consistency from you.  If your routine is lacking predictability, and you let some stuff slide, your dog isn't going to ever know which way is up and how to behave.

30. Expecting too much from your dog

Image Source: Reddit.com
Dogs have forever been described as man's best friend.  And there are many reasons why!  They're incredibly loyal, intuitive, loving, entertaining, energetic, and smart, to name a few of the amazing traits our lovable pooches have.  It's important to give them a break!  Be patient with them and try to not have so many expectations - they do so much for us already!

31. Washing them TOO regularly

Image Source: Reddit.com
Let's not ruin the natural balance of our precious pet's fur. Washing them too often is as bad as not washing them enough. Their skin is super sensitive and you will upset the chemical balance of their skin and fir if you wash them too often which can irritate their skin.

32. Using human soaps and products

Image Source: Reddit.com
Human soaps and products should not be used on your dogs skin. They are way too harsh. If you've ran out of special dog shampoo do not use your own. It will strip off their sensitive oils and it will highly irritate or damage their skin which can cause them pain.

33. Changing their routine too suddenly

Image Source: Reddit.com
For example, if you've never left your dog before it's cruel to just drop them off at the dog hotel for two week - this could really emotionally traumatise them. Instead you need to work up to this point, introducing them to the place and leaving them for small periods of time to get them comfortable with the environment.

34. Never letting them sniff around

Image Source: Crimson Hound
Did you know that a dog sniffing around tires them out as much as walking/running? This is because when they are sniffing, their brains are in full use and they are super stimulated and interested. A dog can gain so much information from one sniff, it's important that we don't always drag them away because we can't be bothered to wait.,

35. Not praising their actions

Image Source: Reddit.com
A praised dog is a happy dog. And when we want to continue certain behaviours - we must praise them! You should never teach your dog through negatives or shouting. Instead, we don't respond to the bad behaviours but when your dog does something great, praise it and they will know to do it again!

36. You don't talk to them enough

Image Source: Reddit.com
Of course, our little fur babies can't talk back (well, with words anyway) but they are stimulated by our voices and love to listen to us speaking to them. It's super important to talk to your dog to give them the interaction that they crave from you, their beloved owner!

37. Not being outside often

Image Source: Reddit.com
It's not just all about the long walks, ball throwing and tiring out your dog. It's also about being out in the open air with those new and exciting smells and the new stimulation that your dog can't get from being stuck inside all day, every day. We can leave when we want - your fur baby relies on you.

38. Not investing enough time into them

Image Source: Reddit.com
Sometimes people get a dog, and then they resume their usual schedule while the pup stays home alone all day. Then, someone gets cranky when he/she pees all over the floor. Your new fur baby needs love, time and a lot of attention to learn and grow. They are a new member of the family who require a LOT of time into them.

39. OVER-exercising them

Image Source: Reddit.com
Yes, we've already listen not enough exercise. And it's super important that your dog gets the required exercise it needs. But do your research. Each dog breed and each individual dog has different requirements. Some can have a lot of exercise, while others shouldn't be over worked as it can affect their joints in the future and cause serious problems.

40. Not providing them the right diet

Image Source: Reddit.com
We've covered the do's and don'ts on treats. But in their day to day diet are you feeding them the right foods. Dogs of different ages and breeds and medical conditions may all require different kinds of foods/ vitamins/ amounts. It's important to know your stuff. After all, you want to put the right things into the body of your precious pup in order to look after them the best.

41. You don't give them enough love

Image Source: Reddit.com
We are our dogs entire world, their universe literally revolve around us. What more can you ask for? And all they want in return is out love. One of the worst things you can do to your dog is not give them enough love and affection. Next time they come for a pat and a stroke - don't reject them. It will truly hurt their feelings.

42. Play time is important!

Image Source: Reddit.com
Dogs LOVE games and it is so good for their mental well being. It could be ten minutes of playing a game each day and it will do your dog the world of good. Play time really shouldn't be a special or occasional thing. You should be making sure that your dog has play time each and every day.

43. Not socialising them enough

Image Source: Reddit.com
So when we get a dog, it is tempting to stay wrapped in your new bubble of fur baby love. But the thing is, the sooner (once they are safe and ready) they get exposed to new people and dogs and children, the more confident and safe they will be around them later on.

44. Not realising that your dog picks up on your fears

Image Source: Reddit.com
Dogs are so in tune with us, and they are much more aware of how we are feeling than most humans, and even sometimes ourselves. So if you are nervous and your dog reacts badly to that person/thing - don't blame them. They are naturally responding to your fears and trying to protect you.

45. Punishing your dog when they are fearful

Image Source: Reddit.com
The thing is, a dog's fear can sometimes be seen as aggression. If your dog is experiencing fear their behaviour will change. It is so important not to punish them for this, as this will escalate their fear and inform them that they were right to fear this situation. Removethem calmly from the situation.

46. Leaving them for hours and hours

Image Source: Reddit.com
Your dog has needs, just like a human does. You should not get a dog, knowing that you are unable to look after them for the majority of the day. Dogs are social beings and are so attached to their human. Leaving them for hours and hours will only case them a lot of distress.

47. Purchasing a breed you aren't capable of looking after adequately

Image Source: Reddit.com
One mistake some dog buyers make is buying a dog because they like the look of them, without having thoroughly researched their needs, behaviours and requirements. Breeds vary drastically in terms of maintaining their needs. For example, certain dogs would not be suitable for a person living in a small place with no land around them.

48. Using a crate as punishment

Image Source: Reddit.com
A crate is a place of safety for your dog. If you use a crate it should be a place where your dog can go to to rest, and escape the surrounding for some peace and quite. If you use the crate as a punishment and lock your dog in when they've been naught this is the worst thing to do. Your dog will fear this and every time they go here they will be in distress.

49. Using a retractable leash

Image Source: Reddit.com
Some dog experts do not approve of retractable leashes because of the fact that when they are retracted quickly they can cause friction burns. And, sometimes they jam, meaning that in some situations you may not be able to get your dog close to you quickly enough.

50. Never use a choke collar

Image Source: Reddit.com
Making your dog walk better on a leash by choking them if they pull is not something you should do. One, it may hurt your dog. And two, it is not teaching your dog it is just making them respond to the pain or inability to breathe which is not solving the problem.