Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make And How To Avoid Them
Photo via Pixabay by Winsker
For many pet owners, finding ways to keep their dog safe, healthy, and happy can be tricky. You may work long hours, making it difficult to spend as much time with him as you like, or you might realize that your home is full of safety hazards for a curious pup who likes to chew on things. A lack of attention, exercise, and pet-proofing can lead to accidents, behavioral issues, and damage to your home, so it’s a good idea to have a solid plan once you become a pet owner.
The first step is to pet-proof your home, both for his safety and to avoid messes and destruction. Younger dogs and pups who don’t feel they’re getting enough attention from their masters can lash out and chew up your belongings or destroy items like window treatments and pillows, and they are also curious animals who can find themselves in trouble if things like toxic plants, steep stairwells, and human food like chocolate are around.
Keep reading for more info on common mistakes many pet owners make and how to prevent them.
Not using baby gates
Baby gates can really come in handy when you have a curious pet who likes to wander. Not only will they keep him safe, they’ll prevent him from going into rooms that need to stay closed off, such as a toy room full of small things he could ingest, or a pantry that contains human food that might be toxic to him. Place these gates strategically around your home and keep your pup from getting into trouble when you’re not there. Go here for some great tips on how to leave your dog home alone without returning to find a mess.
Keeping clutter and clothing up off the floor will prevent your dog from chewing on things he shouldn’t and will help you avoid bathroom messes. Having wide-open spaces in your home will help your dog feel like he can easily move around to play and rest, rather than having to hunt for a spot to sit, and it will also prevent him from losing toys and treats, which could draw insects.
Not creating a routine
Pets, much like children, crave routines and structure. It helps them learn how to behave--both when you’re home and when you’re away--and gives them a sense of comfort because they know what to expect. Without a routine, you may find that your pet has a hard time listening to commands or settling down for the night. Create a schedule that works for everyone, including setting a time for feeding and playing.
A daily workout is a must for your dog, no matter how old he is. Puppies may need more than one walk per day, while older dogs can get away with short walks and perhaps some playtime in the backyard. Allowing your dog to get out all his excess energy will help him behave and stick to his schedule, and when you’re not home he won’t feel the need to get active around the house--which could cause damage to your furniture.
Making sure your pet is healthy and happy is important, but it’s just as important to make sure he’s safe whether you’re home or not. Look around your house for potential hazards, and consider training him so he can respond to at least basic commands. Being a pet owner can be a big job, but it’s well worth it when you receive all the love and loyalty that a dog can give.