We all want a closer relationship with our canine pals. Take a look at the infographic below to avoid these 25 things you should never do to your dog:
Never overfeed them
Dogs, like human beings, need to be kept on a well-regulated diet, because a combination of diet and exercise will keep them healthy for longer. This includes protecting them from weight-related problems such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Never hit them
Never hit your dog. No matter what disciplinary problem your dog has, you can work it out with love and patience. A literal blow could deliver a blow to their confidence, and their relationship with you will be shattered.
Never leave them chained outside for long periods of time
Dogs are pack animals, so they would prefer to spend time with their human family. If you leave them chained outside the house for a long time, you are separating them from their pack- this could lead to anxiety and depression.
Never pat them on the head
Dogs feel vulnerable when a hand comes to pat them from above because they don’t see it coming. It’s better to show your affection in other ways, like gently scratching them under the chin.
Never stare them directly in the eyes
Staring into your furbaby’s eyes isn’t the sign of affection you may think it is. It may be seen as an effort to establish dominance, or as an act of aggression. Please avoid staring, unless you want to get your dog’s hackles up.
Never leave them in a hot car
Dogs don’t regulate their body heat as well as we do. They can’t open a window on their own or open a car door to let themselves out when they feel too hot. What are we really saying here? Don’t leave pets in a hot car. Crack a window open, and return to check on them periodically. They could die!
Leaving them alone in a car for a long time could also run the risk of them getting stolen.
Never forget to take them to the vet
Would you forget to take your child or yourself to the doctor? Why wouldn’t you take your dog to the vet, then? Your pet needs vaccinations, check-ups, and visits when there’s a problem.
Never let them lead you on a walk
Dogs can literally lead you down the garden path, or anywhere she wants to. That’s why it’s necessary to take charge. Left to his own devices, your dog could run into the road, after squirrels, pick fights with strangers, you get the idea. If you lead the walk, you can protect your furry friend from potential harm, and show him new paths he isn’t familiar with.
Never feed them toxic food
Most human food isn’t good for dogs. Some of the most deadly foods include artificial sweeteners, alcohol, bread dough, grapes, raisins, currants, avocado, cocoa, chocolate, caffeine, citrus, bones, salt, most nuts, onions, chives, garlic, etc. It’s always good to check with your vet when in doubt, or read dietary advisories from organizations such as: the ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org, AKC: https://www.akc.org, The Kennel Club, UK: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk.
Never neglect their hygiene or grooming
A dog’s hygiene routine isn’t limited to giving them a bath. It includes massaging powder into their skin, combing, brushing and trimming their coat. You also need to brush and check their teeth regularly and cut their nails. Your furry friend will love the extra attention.
Never use a crate as a punishment
A crate is your dog’s home away from home, in the home (if that makes sense). It’s a place where they can feel safe and secure and have some privacy. It’s the embodiment of their happy place! Don’t contaminate that by making them associate their crate with punishment.
Never go too easy on them
Dogs do cute things all the time. You want them to love you, so you don’t feel like scolding them when they do something naughty. Here’s a secret: they’ll love you even when you lay down a few ground rules. Dogs thrive on order, just like in a pack. They’ll love you for clarifying what’s okay and what’s not.
Never turn their walk into a boring routine
A walk isn’t just the opportunity for your dog to get some exercise, it also gives him the chance to explore his world, and gather new information by enhancing his repertoire of sights, smells and sounds. Don’t take him down the same path every day, change it up! Expose him to new things.
Never confuse them with mixed messages
When you set down the rules for your dog, be consistent with them. For example, if you have taught them that it is wrong to beg for scraps from the table, don’t feed them leftovers whenever you like. Invalidating the rules you enforce with contrary behavior, can make training and enforcing discipline much harder in the long wrong.
Never forget to spay or neuter them
Spaying/neutering your pet may be the key to better health benefits and behavioral benefits. If you don’t have a concrete plan for puppies, you should spay your pet: A lot of unwanted puppies find themselves abandoned in shelters and on the streets.
Never make them wear an ill-fitting collar
A collar should not be so loose that your dog can easily slip out of it, or so tight that it’ll choke him every time he pulls on his leash. You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar once it’s fastened, and that should be just right. Don’t use shock collars or choke chains: they’re cruel.
Never feed them scraps from the table
Most human food is unsuitable for dogs. Nip their begging for table scraps at the bud. They can have doggie treats, and quality dog food instead. Ignoring those pleading, puppy dog eyes won’t make them love you any less.
Never make them walk on hot concrete
You wouldn’t dream of walking on concrete barefoot, so why would you make your dog do it? They have no protection for their feet, so if you have to take your dog for a walk, wait till the weather cools down a bit.
Never leave them with kids unsupervised
While kids and dogs are both cute and cuddly, the similarity ends there. They don’t necessarily have a lot of affinity for each other. You need to teach them to respect each other. This can help prevent nasty incidents like dogs biting children, and children kicking/hurting dogs. It’s much better to supervise their interactions, no matter how sweet-natured they may seem.
Never forget to hydrate them or feed them
Dogs can’t pour themselves water, or make their own food. That’s your responsibility as their owner, friend, and parent. Give them clean water in a fresh bowl thrice a day, at least, and feed them nutritiously balanced meals. They’ll live longer.
Never shave them in Summer
Dogs have fur for many reasons. One important one is that it protects them from sunburn in summer. Need a way to cool your pup down? Give her a bath!
Never exercise them too much or too little
If you love your dog, add exercise to her daily life. There is no one correct exercise routine.
Take your dog’s age, size, and physical condition into consideration.
Exercise could be anywhere between a boisterous indoors play session to a romp in the park.
It should be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.
Never forget to check them for fleas, ticks, and other pests
Fleas, ticks, and mites are only some of the pests that can cause problems for your canine ranging from itching to hair loss, to skin infections. While a trip to the vet can help, you can help prevent a lot of problems by sitting down with your pet, and physically inspecting their coats and going through them with a fine-toothed comb, as you would for lice. A few pre-emptive steps would include applying flea powder, and tick collars (if necessary). The whole pest-hunting exercise involves more together time for you and your dog. Fewer pests, more hugs. It’s all good.
Never leave your dog in the truck bed of your SUV
It’s not smart to leave your dog in the truck bed of your SUV without securing it or leaving it unsupervised. They can get knocked around, overheated or choked if their leash is too short.
If you absolutely must do this, make sure your dog likes riding in cars, that it’s not too hot outside, and that there is a comfortable crate for them to snuggle in. Also, stop the car at regular intervals, and check on them when you can, which effectively includes offering them water, and taking them to do their business.
Never forget to trim their nails
Taking your dog for a walk is a way to naturally shorten their nails, which wear down when they walk on a hard surface.
There are times when this is not always possible, so the responsibility falls on the owners.
Most owners shy away from trimming their dogs’ nails because most dogs generally don’t like it, and will do everything to get out of it.
Long nails are a hazard to your dog because they can hurt themselves by scratching themselves, and walking will be difficult on long nails. Additionally, long nails (especially dew claws) can curl into the skin and cause your dog great pain. Back to the problem of getting your dog to enjoy nail cutting (yes, it’s possible!). Have lots of treats ready, sit in a quiet comfortable room, maybe play something calm on the tv or music system. If this doesn’t work, and your pup is still skittish, try talking to him. Be patient and persist (because resistance is futile 😉). Remember, no getting angry, irritated or impatient. If none of this works, try the Elizabethan collar (lampshade/’cone of shame’) and collar and leash, but maintain all the other conditions above. Don’t get too ambitious, start with one or two nails, and work your way up, until it becomes routine. Eventually, your dog will most likely calm down.
If you force this activity on your dog (ignoring signs like barking, growling, eyes rolling back, etc.), you might just get bitten for your troubles. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. The clippers you need for nail cutting are guillotine clippers, but you could also try filing the nails with an emery board or Dremel. Whatever you do, be careful not to nick the ‘quick’ of the nail, but since accidents can happen, keep corn-starch or styptic powder to stop any bleeding. Whatever you do, don’t panic! As long as you love your dog, and do everything in your power to protect his best interests, he’ll be okay! If everything else fails, take him to the vet.
Well, there you have it: 25 things you should never do to your dog. If you’re reading this article here, chances are high that you’re already a loving and concerned dog owner, which is wonderful news for your dog! Keep the lines of communication open with your furry friend, try to keep the points in this article in mind, and both of you are guaranteed to have a beautiful and fulfilling life together.