Dogs Need Your Time
It’s important to ensure that your dog remains well looked after throughout their lifespan. Dogs demand a lot of attention, time, and often research, too! Knowing how you can give your pup a healthy life can really make a difference.
And yet, so many dog owners aren’t aware of the dangers of these seemingly small mistakes.
Here’s the top five mistakes that dog owners make with their dogs, and how to avoid them…
Not socializing your puppy early
Socialization is one of the most important things when it comes to puppy care. Unfortunately, it is also something that a lot of dogs miss out on in their early stages of development.
It’s sometimes hard knowing when the right time to get your puppy out there and meeting people and other dogs. But the perfect time really is after your puppy has had all the necessary vaccinations. Puppies, much like babies, should be experiencing as many new things as possible during their early years.
So, consider letting your puppy meet new friends at the park, attending puppy training classes, or just experiencing the world around them. You’ll see a huge difference in your puppy’s development.
However, make sure to keep an eye on your dog while doing so! These new experiences should be on the pup’s terms… So don’t force it, as they may become overwhelmed.
Missing annual vaccinations
While the immune system of dogs and humans differs greatly, it’s still true that dogs need to keep up with their annual vaccinations. In fact, due to this difference, it’s even more crucial that your dog receives certain vaccines on a regular basis to maintain good immunity against certain diseases.
There are vaccines that will offer longer immunity. For example, the rabies vaccines offers up to three years. However, many other vaccines don’t have quite the same lifespan. For this reason, it’s always good to make those annual appointments with the vet to ensure your pup remains fighting fit.
Not only does doing this help your dog, but it also helps the other animals in your local area stay protected! This means any animals that don’t have access to the same vaccines your dog does.
Dogs need exercise – a lot of it! For most dogs, walk or playtime is one of the most exciting parts of the day. Not only does it help get your dog out and about, but it also increases your pup’s serotonin and dopamine levels (as well as plenty of other health benefits). This is incredibly important as lack of exercise can lead to a very unhappy life for your dog.
To combat this, try and schedule in 10-20 minutes of play twice a day. Whether that’s just throwing the ball around in the garden or playing tug-of-war with their favourite toy, it will make the difference!
Long walks are also some of the best ways to inject exercise into your dog’s routine. Some dogs will need longer than others, but just be aware of the breed you have and the exercise requirements and you’ll do fine. If your schedule doesn’t permit daily walks, then consider hiring a dog walker or even asking a friend or neighbour if they’d like to spend some quality time with your pup. You might be surprised by the answers.
Dog parks or doggie daycare are also a fantastic alternative – so check your area and see what you can do!
Not paying attention to oral health
Perhaps one of the easiest things to overlook when taking care of your dog is their oral hygiene. But it’s also one of the most important things to keep in mind! After all, your dog uses their mouth for a lot more than we do! From food to play and just general utility – the mouth does a lot for your pup.
There’s a chance that if you neglect to care for your dog’s oral health, they will develop diseases, infections and be generally in pain as a result. Periodontal disease is extremely common within dogs, yet only 46% of Canadians are aware of the pain these diseases can cause pets.
It’s advised that you brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week – and ideally daily. However, if you’ve not ensured your dog is used to brushing, this can be extremely difficult. If your dog isn’t comfortable with brushing, you can use oral rinses and dental chews to help remove plaque and tartar.
You can also visit the vet annually for dental prophylaxes, which will help remove plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line. Ultimately, this will help your pup’s teeth and mouth stay healthy.
In our lifetime, we’ve all known a dog that was just a little bit overweight from overfeeding. And it’s incredibly easy to fall into that trap! From feeding them treats, sneaking them bits from our own plates, to simply giving them a larger portion than necessary at dinner time – this can all lead to weight gain.
Dogs need significantly less calories per day than humans. In fact, large dogs can rely on half of a human’s 2,000 calorie diet. Smaller breeds may only need to consume 150 calories a day. So you can see how sneaking them meat from your take out meal might cause some problems. Instead, give them a healthy treat!
Health problems, such as diabetes, heart diseases and arthritis, are more common for overweight dogs, so it’s important to avoid overfeeding. If your dog is overweight, consider helping them lose weight through exercise and good nutrition.