We love our dogs and want to always keep them safe. However, there are some things that I have found that I have done through the years that I did not even realize were harmful to them. Cyrus found these on -line from Bright Side of Light and we thought they were worth sharing…
#12- Choosing the Wrong Collar– A collar should fit the dog (not just in size but also in personality). If you have a puller—which we do–never hook a leash to their collar. Use a harness instead. Do you know the right fit? For a little dog you should be able to get 1 finger between the harness and the dog. On a big dog you should be able to fit 2 fingers.
#11- NEVER Leave a Dog Alone in the Car. Yes most of us hear the stories of dogs and kids in cars on hot days. But this says NEVER. The temperature can raise in a car 20 degrees in 10 minutes. What seems like a nice day can still get too hot in the car for your dog. A 60 degree sunny day can turn your car into 110 degrees inside. Your dog can easily overheat even on what we think is a cool day.
#10- Neglecting Your Dogs Teeth-Its best to start when they are puppies but it is never too late to start. Daily is best but even 3 days a week is better than nothing. Chew sticks don’t replace brushing but does help. Always make sure you use dog products and not anything made for us.
#9- Letting Your Dog Eat Everything-Our food is not made for dogs. It is too salty, spicy and fatty and some are even toxic. There is a sugar substitute called Xyaltol that will kill your dogs. It is found in a lot of food so always check. I don’t even buy food with it in just in case they get into the pantry by accident. Other food that can be dangerous for your dogs (there is a long list..this is just a partial one): avocados, alcohol, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, tea, grapes/raisons, dairy, and peaches.
#8-Bringing Puppies to the Dog Park–Yes it is important to socialize your pets when they are little but the dog park contains too many diseases for little puppies and the bigger dogs might be too rough. Find a better controlled environment for puppies. Also watch with little puppies who are not yet fully vaccinated for Parvo. When Piper was little our vet told Cheri to not let her on the ground anywhere except at home. It can track on your shoes too.
#7- Using Physical Punishment- It is never ok to hit your dog. Animal abuse actually creates the exact opposite of what you are trying to teach them. It also makes them scared of you. Instead use reward based training and then they learn the behavior you are looking for them to.
#6- Providing too Little Stimulation- Dogs love to go on walks and get exercise, play in the backyard and have toys around the house. Some toys even keep them busy by hiding treats in them.
#5- Not Securing Your Dog in the Car- You wear a seatbelt (or should). So should your dog. There are many carriers and seatbelts on the market (and yes we sell them) that work great. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need to find the right one for your dog and lifestyle.
#4-Yelling When Your Dog Does Something Wrong- I know I do this one. It makes them scared and confused instead of what we want them to do. Even though it is hard it is best to stay calm and not raise your voice.
#3-Skipping flea, tick, heartworm meds and deworming. Talk to your vet on the appropriate medication for your region.
#2-Leaving harmful objects around- magnets, batteries, nails and bolts. Some dogs really will eat these. It is hard with kids sometimes and toys with batteries around the house. We had it once with Lucy and weren’t sure if she ate a little battery so we took her to our vet for x-rays. She was fine but better to check.
#1 Neglecting breed specific health issues.–again talk to your vet and do a little research on your breed.