The 7 Most Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make: Avoid Emergency Vet Visits
Being a pet parent is incredibly rewarding, but doesn’t mean having a dog is all fun and games. Getting a pet means you are making a commitment to your furry friend- that you will love and care for them for the rest of their life. Dog owners, both new and veteran, should learn the essentials of pet care before committing to another animal.
Do you make any of these mistakes? Get in touch with a vet clinic if you need more guidance, as they can offer medical advice and veterinary services.
1. Picking the wrong dog (or getting a dog before you're ready)
It's easy to get a dog out of sheer impulse. When an animal is in desperate need of a home, it can be hard to resist the puppy-dog eyes. There are many practical things to consider before you make the decision that a dog is right for you. These are just a few of the many:
Can and will you take the necessary time for dog training, exercise, other activities, bonding, etc. What are you doing?
Do you have the will to endure shedding, messes and illnesses?
Can you afford the dog?
Is your dog's size suitable for your living space?
Can your pets handle the new addition?
Ask yourself these questions and more before you risk getting a dog that will be unhappy.
2. Neglecting training and socialization
Each dog requires basic training and socialization. You are placing your dog at risk if you don't train it. When done positively, training is fun and enriching for dogs. Dog training doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
Socialization helps dogs become more comfortable with their environment. Dogs can have fears and phobias if they are not socialized properly. Dogs can develop fears and phobias if they are not socialized properly. You can socialize your adult dog, too.
If your dog is well-socialized and trained, you will be more likely to bring it along to public places such as restaurants patios or parks. If your dog is well-behaved and well-adjusted, it will be able to live a healthy, comfortable life with you and your family.
3. Insufficient exercise and activity
Exercise is a basic need for every dog. Lack of exercise can cause behavior problems and health issues in dogs.
Examine your dog's needs for activity. Are your dog's activity levels high? Is your dog hyperactive or excited? Is your dog overweight? These are all signs your dog might need more exercise.
Dogs also need mental stimulation. You can give your dog a variety of games and exercise to keep them occupied. Many dogs will benefit from involvement in dog sports, of which there are plenty to choose from. Physically active dogs might enjoy agility. Tracking and nose-work are a favorite pastime for hounds and other curious sniffers. Your local vet clinic will have more specific exercise tips for your furry companion.
4. Infrequent vet visits
Do you wait until your dog gets sick before taking him to the vet? You're not the only one. Many dog owners neglect to schedule routine vet visits, or delay them if their dog is sick. It is easy to think that your dog is in good health and should not be stressed out by a vet visit. Dog owners want to avoid the expense and inconvenience that comes with a vet visit.
Reality check: This is not the best method to treat your dog. Your local vet clinic is a key part of keeping your dog healthy. Dogs will often hide signs of illness until they become unbearable. This can cause major issues and require an emergency vet or urgent care vet. This escalation is often unnecessary when routine veterinary services are provided.
Routine wellness examinations can help vets detect minor health problems before they become major issues. These visits can also foster a relationship between you and your vet that will make it easier to diagnose illness and treat it when it occurs. In addition to wellness visits, you should listen to your vet's recommendation about things such as heartworm prevention.
5. Heartworm prevention
The American Heartworm Society strongly advocates year-round prevention of heartworms for all dogs in all 50 US states. The same recommendation will be made by your vet, but not to make a profit. Heartworm disease can be fatal and serious. It is transmitted by mosquitoes to all dogs in the United States.
Some may argue that heartworm disease is treatable and preventable. If you think heartworm prevention is expensive, then you have never needed to pay for heartworm treatment. Heartworm treatment can cost between $1,000 and $1500. Your dog could be infected again at any time. Depending on the breed of prevention and size of your dog, monthly heartworm prevention costs between $35-$250 per month.
Heartworm treatment can be costly and risky for dogs. This is especially true for older dogs or dogs with other health problems. Heartworm prevention is better than treatment. Talk to your local vet clinic to make sure heartworm preveention is a regular part of your dog’s wellness routine.
6. Neglecting dental health
Many people believe that "doggie breath" can be normal. Halitosis can be a sign that your dog has a dental problem. Sometimes it is as simple as tartar buildup in your dog’s mouth. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease which can cause tooth loss, kidney disease, and other serious conditions.
How can you stop this? Home dental care is key. If everything were perfect, everyone would brush their dog's teeth every day. Many of us struggle to keep up with this in real life. It is best to stick to a regular tooth-brushing schedule. A good home care product for your teeth can be used, but it will not replace brushing. You should schedule regular veterinary dental cleanings.
If you feel that home care is not right for you, a professional vet clinic cleaning may be necessary. Even with the best home care, dogs may need to have their teeth cleaned every couple of years. The frequency of veterinary cleanings will increase if your dog does not have regular tooth brushing. However, he or she may need to have another form of home care. Your dog will require a veterinary dental cleaning approximately one to two times per calendar year if they don't have any home care.
7. Risking a lost dog
Every day, dogs are lost. Some dogs are even stolen. Are you taking the necessary steps to protect your dog? There are some things that are obvious like keeping your dog on a lead and not leaving it unattended. In the worst case scenario- losing your dog- do you know which steps to take first?
One of the most serious mistakes dog owners make is to put a collar on their dog, but not to attach an ID tag. A collar should be worn by your dog at all times. Also, consider micro-chipping your dog for an added layer of protection. If your dog is lost, this can help you reunite with it. Your dog could become another homeless pet in an overcrowded shelter.
Do you need more personalized primary or emergency vet care for your dog? Get in touch with us today.