We always want to do what’s best for our dogs, yet sometimes we unintentionally cause undue stress, thinking we’re doing the right thing. Want to make sure you’re on the right path with how to take care of a dog?
Taking care of a dog isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Dogs are a lot of work, but they give back a whole lot of love. Providing proper care will make a dog happier and help the two of you bond. That means knowing the do’s and don’ts of pet ownership.
Dog lovers know many of the right things to do with their pets like give them love, food, and shelter. However, there are some things you don’t want to do with your dogs. Here are a few things you should avoid if you own a dog.
Check out these big things you should know to never do when it comes to how to take care of a dog.
1. Teether them
People tie their dogs up to a post in a public area when going to the store, coffee shop or even a park. This may seem like it’s one of those things that seems pretty benign.
However, dogs can get their legs wrapped up in the leash — and being unable to free themselves — chew the leash, trying to get free and, once free, they can be hit by a car, get lost, stolen or bite someone out of fear.
Also, many dogs are anxious when left alone in public. People often think, especially children, if a dog is tied up in public, she must be friendly and try to pet the dog. This leaves the dog vulnerable to strangers, making her more anxious, which is an opening for a potential dog bite.
There is also tying your dog up (tethering) at home. You might think it more humane and fun to leave your dog in the yard while you do errands for a couple of hours, rather than tucked away safely in your home. After all, fresh air and room to frolic would be great for a pup, right? Think again! Even if your yard is safely and securely fenced, dogs are vulnerable to things that can frighten them.
They’re vulnerable to wildlife, unfamiliar sounds and strangers passing by and, if frightened and no one is there to help, they may try to dig out of the yard or try to get back in the house, causing damage to your property and to themselves.
A pup who’s suffered a traumatic event while left alone can develop behavioral issues, like barking, separation anxiety, fear of noises and people, etc., later in life.
Dogs left out in the yard are also exposed to the weather, especially when it’s too hot or too cold. There are now laws against tethering your dog for any length of time in some cities, counties and states.
Also, dogs tethered outside may bark at other dogs, neighbors and all sorts of neighborhood noise. The pet guardian is accountable for this and there are many nuisance pet ordinances in neighborhoods, which can leave you open to being fined or having Animal Control pay you a visit.
2. Please do not give them a ride at the back of your pick up truck
There’s nothing that makes me crazier than when I see a dog in the back of a pickup truck. Tethered or not, the open bed of a pickup truck is dangerous, no matter what. We wouldn’t put our children back there, why would we put our dogs back there?
If you have to stop short or swerve out of the way, the dog will be catapulted out of the truck into traffic, which will most likely cause another accident and the probable death of the dog. If the dog is tethered, she will then be hanging over the side of the truck.
Either way, it’s wrong and illegal in many states — as it should be. As our dogs’ advocate, we are responsible for making wise choices, and this one is not a wise choice.
3. Stop giving them any toy to chew
Does your dog destroy every toy you give her, so you’ve just stopped giving her dog toys? Dogs get through life by their noses and their mouths, especially puppies. They need to chew, and every dog has different chewing habits.
We can’t just stop giving them toys — we must still meet their chewing needs without being destructive. Many dogs become destructive chewers because we aren’t offering an interactive routine of mental and physical stimulation. Leaving them to their own devices creates boredom, and bored dogs generally develop unwanted behaviors like destructive chewing.
4. Do not Wrestle with them
If you play-wrestle with your pooch, you’re showing him that rough or physical interaction is acceptable, says Michael Baugh, a Houston-based dog trainer and certified behavior consultant.
Some dogs handle this well and understand it’s a game that only happens when you initiate it. But others can get overexcited or take things too far.
They may try to jump on you, knock you down, or even bite you or other people at unpredictable times, says Baugh
5. Do Not Send them confusing messages
Maybe you tell your dog you’re going to the park when you’re really headed to the vet. Or you train him to jump and hug you when you come in the house, but then scold him when he does the same thing to your guests.
Bad idea: “Your dog needs to be able to rely on you,” says Baugh. “If you’re unreliable, he’s going to be unreliable, too.”
That doesn’t mean he’ll suddenly start acting aggressively, but he may be anxious or seem out of sorts.
6. Stop Shouting or Arguing with someone in front of them
When you’re upset, so is your dog, Baugh says. If he isn’t used to seeing you pissed off, your shouting or angry gestures will put him on edge—and that could lead to barking, nipping, or trying to settle the fight himself.
In some cases, your dog may even start to associate your angry or aggressive mood with your partner’s presence. If that happens, your pooch may consider your girl threatening and may bite her, says Baugh.
7.Stop Putting your dog on a retractable leash
Michelle Szydlowski, veterinarian and anthrozoology instructor at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, told Insider that pet owners should never use retractable leashes on their dogs.
"These leashes can cause friction burns in the event it gets twisted around your hand. They are also hard to retract in an emergency and your dog may be injured or injure someone else," said Szydlowski.
Many retractable leashes extend up to 10 feet or more and may be made out of thinner cord than a traditional leash — and grabbing a dog's retractable leash in an attempt to stop them from running can lead to serious lacerations and even amputations, reported ABC News.
8.Stop Using Medications without a vet prescription
It's natural to want to take care of your dogs when they cut or scrape themselves, but Barrack warned that antibiotic ointments meant for human use should never be applied to dogs.
Medications formulated for people, even topical ones, are not necessarily safe for use on pets.
"One of the ingredients in popular antibiotic ointments is neomycin, which has been linked to loss of hearing. Don't administer neomycin or antibiotic ointment topically to your dog without first consulting your veterinarian," said Barrack.