Pets have a huge positive impact on our lives, providing companionship and blurring the sense of loneliness that can sometimes take hold of us. They quickly become a fundamental part of our family structure and can even contribute to our personal and emotional development no matter what stage of life we are at.
That is why it is so important for our society as a whole to treat pets with due respect. If you are not sure that you have the financial and personal availability to become a pet owner, you should wait a little longer and then reevaluate your situation. Most pets require extensive hygiene care, high costs in food and medical care, and above all… love and attention.
But even the best-intentioned pet owners commit some common mistakes when it comes to caring for their pets.
This usually happens when the owner is not properly informed about the specific needs of the pet – doing everything right requires a lot of effort and research. Fortunately, we are here to help you. Here, you can find what some of those mistakes are!
1. Neglecting a dog’s dental health
We know that brushing a dog’s teeth every day is not an easy task, but you should absolutely do it every once in a while (at least twice a week). Bad breath is the first sign of periodontal disease, a health problem that can be very dangerous if left unchecked and potentially lead to tooth loss, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Buy a good pet toothbrush (or a finger brush if you own a small dog) and use a tiny bit of dog toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth in a circular motion. After some time, you will master this technique and your dog will get used to it.
If you don’t have the time to do it every single day, there are some alternative products such as dental chews that can help you keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
Oh, and don’t forget the occasional veterinary dental cleaning!
2. Pet food mistakes
Learning how to properly feed your future pet can be overwhelming. There’s lots of conflicting information – a friend of yours says you should do it one way and you read on the internet the complete opposite – there are specific recommendations for each breed, and it gets difficult to find the right products within your budget.
In this regard, you should talk to a veterinarian or do thorough research yourself. Don’t forget to confirm the legitimacy of the sources you are collecting information from.
Most feeding problems are related to three common areas: poor nutrition, overfeeding, and dangerous treats or chews. So when you talk to an expert ask him what ingredients your pet can and cannot ingest, how much food you should give him, and ask which treats and chews are considered healthy (and how many your pet can eat on a daily basis).
3. Skipping preventive medicine
It is important not to skip any vaccine or booster shot. Preventive medicine is the cheapest and most effective way to keep your pet safe from common health issues such as flea and heartworm – treatment for these complications can be very expensive and risky for older dogs.
We know that there are many types of pet vaccines and it’s hard to keep up with all those scheduled vet appointments, but your beloved pet’s well-being depends on it, so make sure you keep them safe.
4. Dog training mistakes
Training your dog from a young age is the best way to assure you won’t have any major obedience problem in the future. There’s always some level of unpredictability in their behavior, so it is important to develop communication tools to guarantee that your dog knows when you feel like they are pushing the line.
Some dog breeds might even require you to hire a certified pet trainer. Anybody can learn how to train a dog, but these professionals have a deep understanding of the different needs of each breed and have the right tools to establish trust and successfully teach proper behavior.
5. Not giving cats enough litter boxes
Your cat probably needs more litter boxes than you think. Veterinarians recommend that you have a different litter box for each one of your cats, plus an additional one for emergencies.
Cats are very clean pets and they refuse to do their business in a soiled box.
They can even go as far as peeing on your couch if you don’t keep their litter box properly cleaned. And that’s something you definitely want to avoid, as once that bad cat behavior turns into a habit, it is extremely difficult to get them back on track.
6. Not checking your dog’s nails
It is hard enough to remember to clip our own nails, let alone the nails of our pet. But jokes aside, overgrown nails can be painful for your dog and lead to health complications such as infections, excessive bleeding, or even arthritis if your dog changes its standing position to alleviate the pain caused by overgrown nails.
Check your dog’s nails regularly and trim whenever needed. This is a simple procedure and you just need to be careful not to cut the quick, but if you are not comfortable doing it yourself you can ask a veterinarian or groomer to teach you.
7. Skipping vet appointments
Are you one of those owners who only call a veterinarian when they notice that something’s off with your pet? Well, you’re doing it wrong: if you think about it, you don’t go to your doctor only when you are sick. Regular check-ups are crucial to avoid a wide range of health problems.
You should consider taking out pet health insurance if you want to make sure that your pet receives the best medical care possible if something bad happens. These pet health plans usually don’t cover for the regular check-ups we have mentioned, but if your pet has an accident or a serious illness, you won’t have to worry about your vet bill.