What Experts Say You Shouldn’t Do to Your Dog

Do you feed your dog human food, or let it hang its head out of the window? Experts suggest we should avoid these and other common behaviours...

Dogs make great companions and they remain one of the most popular pets in New Zealand. Due to this popularity, our knowledge of what’s good for our pooches (and what’s not!) continues to grow.

To help you make sure you’re doing the best you can to keep your dog safe, happy and healthy, here are five things experts say you should avoid.

1. Leaving your dog unattended in your car

While it’s never recommended to leave your dog unattended in your car, this is especially important as we head into summer. Cars can heat up very quickly, and dogs easily overheat – even if you’ve cracked the window.

2. Letting your dog hang its head out the window while driving

Talking about dogs in cars, experts also advise against you allowing your dog to hang its head out of the window while you’re on the go. While there’s nothing more pleasing than seeing a dog enjoy the wind and outside smells as they fly by, that’s not the only thing flying around outside your car. Wind and dust can cause damage to your dog’s eyes and they may be tempted to jump out if they see another dog or something else exciting.

3. Not exercising your dog regularly

No matter how big or small, all dogs need exercise. While the amount depends on the breed and age, it’s still important that they get out into the fresh air to stretch their legs and get a chance to explore their neighbourhood. Not only will this help keep them at a healthy weight, but it also allows them to burn off extra energy and relieve boredom. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise will not only gain weight but may start displaying destructive behaviours in a bid to relieve stress or boredom.

4. Feeding your dog human food

Dog food has been specially formulated to give your pooch the best balance of nutrients. And while it’s tempting to share some tasty titbits off your plate – especially when they give you those puppy dog eyes – this can be incredibly dangerous. Not only can it cause your dog to eat more than it should and gain weight, but there are also plenty of innocent-seeming foods that have the potential to cause severe illness and even death in dogs (check out this blog post from last month for more detail - https://www.petnsur.co.nz/human-foods-not-safe-for...)

5. Skipping vets visits

Even a seemingly healthy dog should get a regular check-up from their vet. Not only is this a great opportunity to make sure they’re up to date with their vaccinations, it’s also essential as part of their preventative care regime. Your vet will take the opportunity to check your pet’s vitals and make sure they’re still happy and healthy. And, if there is something wrong, they’ll be able to catch it early to give your dog the best chance at recovery.

Outside of these annual visits, it’s also good to check in with your vet if your dog is acting out of sorts or not eating properly. They’ll either be able to reassure you that everything is fine or provide early diagnosis and treatment if something’s wrong.