Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Dogs depend on us to make the best decisions for them on everything from what they eat to how their fur is trimmed. In this video, we will talk about 14 common mistakes that can chop years off your dog’s life.
Bathing Your Pet Incorrectly
Every dog needs a bath occasionally. But bathing your dog too often when they aren’t actually dirty can dry out their skin, which removes the healthy protective oils that protect them from the environment. It can also damage hair follicles, and increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Pushing Certain Dogs Too Hard
Although exercise is very important for your pet’s health, it’s also crucial that you know your dog’s limits. Pushed-in face breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus and Pekingese have respiratory issues and are more likely to develop heat stroke than their longer muzzled cousins.
Obese and senior dogs are more likely to have health conditions that might limit how much they can exercise.
Not giving heartworm medication
Heartworms are internal parasites that live in the hearts of dogs. Dogs can get heartworms from being bitten by infected mosquitoes. The worms live in the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels of the dog and can cause heart failure and lung disease.
Heartworm disease is preventable by giving the dog a monthly medication.
Constantly pulling on the leash
Pressure on a dog’s neck from a tight leash can interrupt the flow of blood and air, leading to a number of health problems, such as thyroid damage, choking, and brain damage. In fact, high rates of thyroid issues have been observed in large dogs that frequently pull on the leash.
Allowing them to run free
According to the data from National Institute of Health, dogs are the number one animal species involved in animal-related traffic accidents.
Keep in mind that if your dog is running loose, they may run into traffic, get into fights with other dogs, or chase a prey animal like a squirrel and disappear entirely.
Exposing your pet to second-hand smoke
Just like humans, pet’s lungs can’t handle smoke being blown at them all day. Second-hand smoke can be extremely harmful to pets, causing all sorts of problems, such as respiratory issues or an increased cancer risk.
On that note, remember that marijuana, even in small amount, is toxic to dogs.
Fear of strangers
Research has shown that fear and anxiety can shave months off your pooch’s life.
When dogs do not have opportunities to meet other people, dogs, and socialize, they often develop fear or even aggression toward other canines or humans.
One study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science found that fear of strangers has been related to a significantly shortened lifespan in dogs.
Socializing your dog with other canines teaches your pup how to react to the world around them in a healthy way.
Forgetting Essential care
Like humans, dogs need regular dental care. According to the American Humane Society, 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from periodontal disease. This disease may cause chronic pain, gum erosion and loss of teeth and structures supporting teeth.
Grooming is also important. It prevents matting or skin diseases, and helps maintain a healthy coat. And remember, almost all dogs need to have their nails clipped. Regular nail trims helps reinforce healthy posture and foot structure, and reduces the risk of infection.
Not being picky about their food
Poor quality dog foods can cause allergies, skin irritations, oily coat, runny eyes, sore ears, and overall poor health. Pets who receive inadequate nutrition may develop other health conditions, such as joint issues.
Several studies have found that dry dog food that has been opened and stored in non-sealed containers for six weeks often grows storage mites.
Not Providing Daily Exercise
Dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds need time outside. This time allows them to burn off energy, get exercise, and to tap into their instinct to explore. Dogs who don’t get enough time outdoors tend to lack the proper mental stimulation they need to be happy.
Allowing your dog to eat too much is a habit that can shed years off your pet’s life.
Recent reports indicate that over half the pet population is overweight. Obesity can bring with it a number of health issues such as joint problems, diabetes and an increase risk of getting cancer.
Taking your pet to the vet less often than once a year
Vet bills can be expensive but taking your pet to the vet on a regular basis is simply part of being a good, compassionate pet owner.
Taking them to the vet for a checkup is the only way to ensure that your pet is as healthy as they can be.
Feeding unhealthy table scraps
Many foods that humans consume are extremely high in fats and sugars, compared to what our pets should be exposed to. In addition, certain human foods—such as garlic and chocolate—can be toxic to pets if consumed.
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