Common Dog Owner Mistakes

Dogs are wonderful companions who can deliver a variety of challenges, even to the best prepared of owners!

Here are some common dog owner mistakes that may be making your life a little more challenging. Let us know if any of these sound familiar!

1. Fido isn’t fat, he’s just big boned!

Actually, he probably is overweight, along with a significant number of pets in New Zealand homes. With such a large number of dogs (and cats) packing on extra pounds these days, our minds are often tricked into thinking this is normal. Your vet can assess your pet and give you an accurate idea of what your dog’s weight should be, as well as a tailored diet plan to get you and Fido to that healthy goal.

2. I only visit the Vet when Fido is sick.

Our pets are wondrous masters of disguise; they don’t often let us know they feel ill. Often by the time we notice signs of illness, a pet has been sick for quite some time or is in a more serious condition. Preventive care check-ups with your veterinarian allow you to catch diseases like arthritis and renal disease much earlier in the process, saving you money and your pet pain and stress. A regular appointment with your vet should be on the calendar every 6 or 12 months, regardless of whether Fido is sick or not!

3. Someone told me to change Fido’s diet.

Choosing a diet can be confusing. The person at the pet store, your neighbour or that well-meaning person on Facebook don’t know Fido’s medical history the way your vet does. If your vet recommends a specific diet for your pet, there’s usually a great reason for this. Diet plays a key role in your pet’s health, so make sure to include their number one health advocate in that decision.

4. Don’t be scared Fido, have a treat!

When Fido is exhibiting fearful behaviour such as growling or snapping, it can be tempting to try and calm them down with attention. However, rewarding a fearful pet with well-meaning hugs and consolation can actually exacerbate the behaviour by reinforcing it. If your pet shows concerning signs of fear or aggression, talk to a certified behaviourist or your vet ASAP!

5. My dog doesn’t need a leash, he’s friendly.

Be a good dog ambassador by obeying local dog by-laws about leashes and cleaning up after Fido. Where leashes are required, you should obey that law without fail. Many people and even some dogs are frightened of other dogs. They can be highly anxious when approached by any dog - even one as sweet as yours! Many areas have designated areas where dogs can run off leash, so if your dog is feeling the call of the wild find an off-leash dog park and let loose.

We’ve no doubt all been guilty of some of these at one point or another, however learning to be a better fur-parent is something all of us dog lovers will continue to strive for!

Are you a proud fur-parent? Share your favourite pics with us on our Facebook page!