Harmful Things You Might Be Doing To Your Dog Without Realizing

By Nick Hadji 4 months ago

1. Treats are a staple in their diet





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We all love our dogs, right?  But giving them too many treats has the potential to alter your pup's behavior.  In fact, your dog may not obey without their favorite treat, they might become more demanding, or even aggressive.  Not to mention perhaps causing your pooch to pile on the pounds!

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2. Moving is not a priority





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Your dog might also become obese if they don't move enough.  A dog without enough exercise is a miserable one, and you'll be able to tell if your pet seems bored or lethargic.  They might also feel pretty frustrated and that energy has got to go somewhere!  Like, say, on ripping up your favorite cushion?  Or barking endlessly?!

3. Dog parks are a regular day out





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Dog parks sound like fun, right?  Wrong!  Experts generally advise against taking your beloved pet to these parks because they are places where dogs tend to be off-leash.  Scuffles with bigger dogs have the potential to cause serious injuries or even kill smaller dogs - even if they are just playing!

4. The doggy dentist is not a regular day out





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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.  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.

5. Punishing them is a normality





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It is said that punishments do absolutely nothing to help your dog to learn how to behave appropriately.  All they do is cause fear and anxiety because the dog doesn't understand why they're being punished, and this has the potential to make them feel insecure.  This might turn into aggression, which is bad news for everyone!

6. Their healthy diet has fallen by the wayside





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Poor nutrition can be fatal for dogs.  And if they're consuming too many high-calorie, high-carb foods (or not enough!), they may be faced with obesity, rickets, diabetes, allergies, and emaciation to name a few!  It's useful to also know that low-quality dog food that exists on store shelves, should be avoided, and you should also be clued up on the foods that are toxic to dogs!

7. Not enough water





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We all know that we can't survive without water.  And dogs are no different!  If they don't get enough to drink, they will begin to dehydrate, causing their health to deteriorate.  This means more trips to the vet with potential bladder and kidney infections.

8. You give them mixed signals





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Behavior issues can arise from giving mixed messages.  Dogs are highly intuitive to our emotions.  So if you seem frustrated after calling them in from outside for like the 100th time, they sense it and wonder why you're frustrated.  After all, they DID obey your command... eventually!  You see, when communication is blurred, they get confused!

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





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As a dog owner, you've probably experienced getting home and your pet sitting and waiting for you by the door.  And although it is believed that there are several reasons that speculate how dogs predict their owner's arrival, including the sound of your car and their body clock, the truth is, they do seem to actually miss you and wait for you all day!

10. Your home isn't safe enough





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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!  In fact, some really common food poisonings have been related to booze, raisins, grapes, chocolate, and even coffee!

11. You leave dangerous objects around





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And it's not just edible hazards and cleaning chemicals you might leave lying around!  Things like batteries, coins, plants, and tiny bits of lego can also mean a trip to the vet.  You're even advised to not leave their favorite chews around because they can be hosts to harmful bacteria, including Salmonella.  Which is not good for either of you!

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





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When you're a dog owner, you have to educate yourself on all sorts, including how to train them, what to feed them, how to keep them healthy,  and you have to work to understand their breed-specific behaviors!  This will help you to ensure that your pet will get on well in your home, with your children, your schedule, and expectations.

13. You let them get away with things





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Those eyes; the way they look at you.  It's difficult not to just melt when you see them, and it feels impossible to say no to them.  But if you let your pup get away with undesirable behaviors, they will rule the roost!  You will completely lose control and find that your home is no longer yours!

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





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Being aware of breed-specific issues, not only applies to behavior, but it also stretches to the overall health of your pet.  Some breeds, particularly pedigree breeds, for example, have increased risks of blindness and cancers that they tend to inherit genetically.  It's important for you to know what might be in store for your dog so you can support them well.

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





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Fleas and ticks are just part of life when you own a dog.  But making sure you treat them effectively is key to avoiding further problems with your dog's health.  Not treating them can cause lots of discomfort for your dog including skin irritation, infection scabs, and soreness.

16. Leaving them in your car





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Leaving your dog alone in your car is an absolute no-no.  In warmer weather, cars can become as hot as an oven and have the potential to literally bake your pooch alive.  Even if you're just popping to the store for just a few minutes, or you've parked in the shade or left the windows open.  Just don't do it.

17. Not updating their ID





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Now, when is the last time you checked that your dog's ID and microchip were up-to-date and accurate?  We thought so.  Checking this cannot be overstated.  It is so important because how will you find your pet if it went missing?  And how would rescue centers know who to contact if they were found?  Take this as your reminder to check it today!

18. Not getting insurance





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Unfortunately, an emergency treatment for our best buddies is occasionally needed.  In fact, a study found that 1 in 3 dogs need it each year.  And it can be completely unexpected.  It might be a sudden illness or injury, but you're left with a whopping vet bill that you didn't expect to shell out for.  And this is where insurance can help.

19. Hemlock grows in your garden





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Poisonous water hemlock can pop up in your garden or you can come across it when you're out on a walk.  It's highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to have an upset stomach.  In the worst cases, you'll notice significant respiratory distress, and it can even cause death.  So keep your eyes peeled for this deadly plant!

20. Yelling at your dog





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There are so many reasons you shouldn't yell at your dog.  You can make them feel fearful, anxious, and even excited.  Emotions that we can all agree on as being potentially quite intense!  And feeling these emotions can affect your dog's behavior significantly, and may make it worse than before!

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





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Dogs love sticks.  They just find so much joy in a game of fetch.  But have you ever thought about the dangers of letting them run with one in their mouths?  Thought not!  Well, injuries like splinters, cuts, and scrapes in their mouth can occur, and this can lead to some nasty infections!

22. Yanking on their choke collar





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Many people think that using a choke collar is an effective way to stop their dog from pulling on its leash.  But the thing is, by using a choke collar, you are actually inflicting pain on your dog.  They don't make the connection between the collar tightening around their neck and you pulling on the leash, so you're never going to be able to correct this behavior like this!

23. Using the wrong collar and leash





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A lot of people aren't aware that when used incorrectly, collars and leashes can cause quite a lot of damage to a dog's neck and throat.  Not only this, but collars may cause damage to the nerves in their front legs, thyroid injuries, and even ear and eye injuries!

24. Applying sunscreen





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It's clear that you want to protect your precious pooch as much as you can.  And it's wonderful that you've thought about the sun.  And yes, you should apply sunscreen to your dog to avoid sunburn but beware!  Lots of brands contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs so the advice is to always read the label and do your research!

25. Leaving your bathroom door open





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There are so many dangerous objects that we leave in our bathroom.  From cleaning products, to what's actually in the toilet bowl.  Yep, if you don't clean it often, you're putting your dog at risk of infection, including E.coli, and they can also catch other nasty illnesses from us when we are sick!

26. Giving your dog ice to play with





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Ice is amazing at cooling us down, and relieving pain, such as from teething.  But is it safe to give to dogs?  Well, in short, yes!  But experts advise dog owners to make sure it's an appropriate size to minimize the risk of choking and to not give ice, but give water, to your dog if they're suffering from heatstroke.

27. You let them finish off your table scraps





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Giving your table scraps to your dog seems like a great way to avoid food waste, but by doing this, you might be risking their health.  Not only because some human food is toxic to dogs but you might be giving them the green light to eat off your plate.  And nobody wants that!

28. Feeding them booze





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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!





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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





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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





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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





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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. Remove
them calmly from the situation.

46. Leaving them for hours and hours





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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





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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





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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





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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





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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.