No matter how much you love your dog, it can be easy to slip and make a bad dog owner decision once and a while. But acknowledging your mistakes means becoming an even better pet owner - strengthening that human and furry best friend bond. Here are some common "ruh-roh"s that you should not make as a dog owner.
This might be one of the most common "bad" owner mistakes. Obviously, you love you pup, and that means that you want them to be happy. Food makes them happy, so you give them food. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Continuously giving your dog table scraps or giving them however much dog food they desire can cause excessive weight gain, which can lead to tons of health problems. To stop this from happening, focus on portioning their food correctly and giving them healthy snacks.
Lack of Exercise
We're all busy. That can make it hard to get our dogs out for exercise. But one of the biggest commitments you make as a dog owner is the commitment to walk your dog. Even if your dog is small or lazy, they still need some amount of exercise. If you find yourself wanting to just snuggle up with your pup on the couch, motivate yourself by making yourself a cup of coffee, putting on your favorite music, and taking your pup for a walk! The average goal is 20 - 30 minutes of exercise daily, depending on the size and breed of your dog.
Lack of Training
Everybody benefits from a well-trained dog, including the owners, friends, and the dog itself! One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a pet owner is inconsistent dog training. Sure, you dog might know what "sit" means, but there's a lot more to training than just basic commands. Instilling good habits in them (like when to stay off the couch, when to calm down) will make them a happier dog and you a happier owner. If you missed out on puppy-training time or you have let the training slip, no worries. While it's a little more difficult to train adult dogs, it just takes a little time and commitment to get them where they need to be.
Too Much Alone Time
While we do all have jobs and busy lives, it's important not to forget about our pets. Leaving a pup alone for an entire eight-hour work day can cause issues like separation anxiety and can even lead your dog to destructive behaviors. Plus, they'll be lonely! If you do have a busy day, consider taking them to doggie daycare or hiring a dog walker to come spend some time with them midday. If you work close, consider coming home for lunch instead of spending your lunchtime at work.
No matter what, make sure everything you do for your dog is out of love. Avoid these mistakes and don't ever hesitate to ask for advice or help.