Some would argue there is very little difference between pets and children. For their mental and physical well-being, pets require the same kind of attention you would give a baby. Every aspect of their upbringing - diet, obedience training, grooming, and socializing - needs to be considered carefully. Here are some mistakes people make in bringing up their pets leading to a number of behavioral problems and adjustment issues. Be sure to avoid these top pet owner mistakes, if you are looking to have a healthy and happy pet in your house.
1. Impulsive Buying
Impulsive buys top the list of top pet owner mistakes. They might make you feel good now but most people regret the buy after the initial euphoria wears out. Besides, you’ll find yourself grossly under-equipped to deal with this sudden responsibility. Therefore, think through your decision and do your homework before you bring home a pet.
2. Not Having Consistent Rules
One of the biggest pet owners mistakes is not having consistent rules for your pet. You allow the dog on the bed but your husband scolds him for it. Of course the animal is going to be really confused and won’t have a clear idea of how he is expected to behave. That’s why it’s important to sit down with the entire family and lay down some ground rules for your pet that the entire family will work together to reinforce.
3. Ignoring Obedience Training
The best time to start training pups is when they are 8 weeks old and definitely before 12 weeks. Skipping training sessions for your dog is a bad idea and once they pick up bad habits, it become even more difficult to un-train them. If you know how to, undertake the training yourself, otherwise, it’s best to let the pros do their job.
4. Handing out Free Treats
Treats are an essential part of obedience training but too many treats is definitely a top pet owners mistake! They aid in positive reinforcement and encourage a dog to do better and learn faster. Too many treats for no apparent reason causes them to lose their value. Reserve treats only to reward good behavior.
5. Too Less Exercise
Exercise is essential for more than just the obvious physical reasons. They serve as an outlet for the animal’s pent up energy. Skimping on his daily exercise will only cause your pet to become overactive, fidgety, destructive, and even hostile at home. Dogs need at least two walks a day, each lasting at least 30 minutes. As for cats, while you may not be able to walk them, you should make an attempt to play with them for 10-20 minutes every day.
6. Prolonged Isolation
Your pet needs companionship and while it may be okay to leave it alone for a couple of hours, being gone for entire mornings can cause separation anxiety, not to mention destructive behavior. Crate train your puppy to survive without you for a few hours. If you have to be away from home for a considerable period of time arrange for a dog walker or your neighbor to drop in every few hours. Cats and kittens are more capable of staying home alone, but you need to leave out toys or visual stimuli.
7. Resorting to Physical Punishment
This one counts among the top pet owner mistakes which a lot of people make without sparing thought to the consequences. If you don’t catch him in the act, there’s no point in shouting at him or beating him. He is only going to develop a fear of you which can become counter-productive in your future training sessions. A firm “No!” or “Bad Boy!” will convey your displeasure far better than taking a stick to him.
8. Not Socializing Your Pet
Unless your pet is friendly with a variety of people and animals, he might develop aggression or fear. Therefore between 3 and 12 weeks, it’s important to help them socialize with different people and pets in the neighborhood.
Hopefully this article has helped you change your perspective a little bit towards adopting a pet and you won’t end up making these very same top pet owner mistakes as countless other people in the world. Animals are just about as sensitive as humans and if you want to be a good master, you have to wake up to your responsibilities. You agree with me on that, don’t you?
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