Taking care of a dog is hands down one of the most rewarding experiences out there, but only as long as you do it right.
There are a lot of ways to go wrong when training and taking care of a pooch, and even the best, most well-intentioned dog owners make some serious errors. It’s safe to say that the pups make a fair share of their own mistakes, too.
Let’s face it, no one is perfect, and some mistakes are forgivable. The bond that you and your dog have is strong enough to withstand a misstep here and there.
However, there are some things that even the strongest bond won’t fix. There are even some mistakes that you might make that put your pooch in mortal danger.
These are 10 things that you should never, ever do to your dog. Some may seem harmless, but each time you do them, you put your pup’s emotional or physical health at risk.
1. Leave Your Pup Alone In The Car
Any time of the year, leaving your dog alone in the car puts him or her at risk of getting stolen, not to mention the deadly consequences of an overheating car in seemingly mild temperatures, even with the windows cracked. If you can’t bring your dog with you wherever you’re going, leave him or her at home!
2. Give Affection At The Wrong Times
Your dog will never learn what is right and wrong if you smother them with affection even when they have done something terribly wrong. Yes, guilty puppies are adorable, but they still need to learn right from wrong, especially when it comes to nipping or biting.
3. Overfeed Them
Treats are a great way to motivate good behavior, but if you overdo it, you could be putting your dog’s health at risk. Make sure you keep an eye on the scale and look for healthier options when it comes to treats.
4. Forget About Their Teeth
It’s recommended that dogs get their teeth brushed daily. Many dogs suffer from diseases and tooth infections that go untreated, so at the very least, make sure that your veterinarian checks your dog’s teeth once a year.
5. Use The Wrong Collar
Each dog breed has its own specific needs for a collar. Dogs with shorter snouts can be seriously injured with a collar that only goes around the neck and needs to be controlled by a harness instead. Ask your veterinarian and do your research before purchasing a collar.
6. Let Your Dog Lead You
When you take your dog for a walk, don’t let yourself become the one being walked. This can lead to them accidentally running into traffic or a number of other dangerous or unruly behaviors. If you notice this happening, get a short leash and discourage your pup’s bossy behavior.
7. Neglect To Spay Or Neuter
This one is so important. An unspeakable amount of dogs get euthanized in shelters every day as a result of unexpected pregnancies. Don’t let your dog contribute to this sad trend.
8. Share Dangerous Food
Sharing food with your canine companion can be OK on some occasions, but make sure that what you’re feeding him or her isn’t dangerous or deadly, like chocolate or meat on the bone. Do your research before sharing your leftovers!
9. Hit Your Dog
A newspaper to the nose will only diminish the bond between you and your dog. Hitting a dog in any way as a form of punishment will lower his or her confidence and make the poor pup more likely to lash out later.
10. Use A Crate As Punishment
You want your dog to associate the crate with being safe and sound, not with being in trouble. If you want your dog to be obedient about getting into the crate when it’s bedtime or when you have to step out, never, ever use it as punishment.
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