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We all want what’s best for our dogs. But sometimes, in our quest to love them fully and give them the best life possible, we do harmful things. If you’re guilty of any of the following 15 things, it’s time to stop—for your dog’s sake.
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1- Pay attention to their exercise needs.
Dogs are active creatures and need regular exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. A lack of exercise can lead to obesity, joint problems, and behavioral issues. Ensure you’re giving your dog the opportunity to run, play, and burn off energy daily.
2- Don’t leave them alone for too long.
Dogs are social animals, and they thrive on companionship. They can become bored, anxious, and even depressed when left alone for extended periods. If you can’t be there for your dog during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or taking them to doggy daycare.
3- Don’t feed them table scraps.
Sharing your food with your furry friend may be tempting, but many human foods are toxic to dogs. Furthermore, feeding your dog table scraps can lead to begging behaviors and weight gain. Stick to their regular food and treats—their bodies will thank you.
4- Don’t overdo the baths.
Dogs don’t need to be bathed as often as humans do—typically, every few months is sufficient (unless they’ve gotten filthy). Bathing them too often can strip away their natural oils, leading to dry skin and other problems. When you clean them, ensure you’re using a gentle shampoo specifically for dogs.
5- Don’t use harsh punishments.
Yelling at or hitting your dog is not an effective way to train them or stop unwanted behaviors. It will likely only make things worse by damaging the bond between you and inciting fear or anxiety in your dog. Suppose you need help training your dog or stopping problem behaviors; consult a professional trainer or behaviorist. In that case, they have the tools and knowledge necessary to help you (and your dog) succeed.
6- Don’t skip vet appointments.
Like humans, dogs need regular check-ups and vaccinations to stay healthy. Skipping vet appointments can put your dog at risk for serious health problems. Make sure you’re taking them to the vet at least once a year—more often if they’re elderly or have existing health conditions.
7- Don’t ignore their dental health.
Dogs must have their teeth brushed regularly to prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. If you’re not already brushing your dog’s teeth, start today—it’s essential to keeping them healthy.
8- Don’t let them get too hot—or too cold.
Dogs can’t regulate their body temperature as efficiently as we can, so it’s essential to ensure they’re neither too hot nor too cold. During the summer months, keep them cool with air conditioning or fans and provide them with plenty of shade and fresh water; in the winter, make sure they have a warm place to sleep and access to de-icing salt (but not too much, as it can be harmful if ingested).
9- Don’t skimp on the grooming.
Brushing your dog’s fur regularly helps to remove dirt, debris, and dead hair—plus, it feels good! Depending on the length and type of coat, you may need to brush them daily or weekly; consult your groomer or vet for specific recommendations. In addition to brushing, dogs also need their nails trimmed regularly; again, how often will depend on the individual dog.
10- Don’t forget the mental stimulation.
In addition to exercise, dogs also need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy; This can come from training, puzzle toys, and interactive games. Take the time to engage your dog’s mind, and it’ll be all the better.
11- Don’t forget about the exercise.
Dogs must exercise daily to stay healthy and happy—a simple walk around the block won’t cut it. Depending on their age, breed, and overall health, dogs may need anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise daily. If you’re unsure how much exercise your dog needs, consult your vet or a professional trainer.
12- Don’t neglect their coat.
A dog’s coat is more than just a fashion statement—it helps to protect them from the elements and regulate their body temperature. That’s why it’s important to brush it regularly (see above) and take them to the groomer for regular trimmings or baths.
13- Don’t feed them table scraps.
While it may be tempting to let your dog indulge in the occasional scrap from the dinner table, it’s important to remember that their digestive systems are not designed to process human food. In addition to being unhealthy, feeding your dog table scraps can also lead to begging behaviors—so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
14- Remember the treats!
In addition to their regular meals, dogs also need healthy snacks and treat—just like humans! When choosing treats for your dog, look for products that are low in calories and high in protein or fiber. And, of course, always make sure they have fresh water available.
15- Don’t forget to love them.
Above all, dogs need love and attention from their humans. Take the time to cuddle, play, and spend with your furry friend—they’ll love you.
Dogs are a huge part of many families; we must ensure we care for them properly. This blog post has outlined 15 things you should stop doing to your dog—something that may be harmful or unnecessary. If you’re guilty of these behaviors, now is the time to change them! For more information on proper dog care, please leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.