10 Mistakes Every Dog Owner Makes

10mistakes every owners makes 

Forgetting to microchip your pup

Priority number one after getting a new dog, whether puppy or rescue, should be making sure they can find their way back home if he or she ever gets lost. Over 10 million pets are lost every year and it happens to even the most responsible dog owners! The best way to protect your pup is to get it microchipped, says Aimee Gilbreath, executive director at the Michelson Found Animals Foundation. These small chips that are implanted in the folds of the skin in your pup’s shoulders hold a unique ID number that connects with your contact info (i.e. your phone number) that you supply online. It’s not  GPS tracker. Many shelters will offer inexpensive microchips or you can ask your vet about        microchipping options, . dont forget to read   19Things Your Dog Actually Wants from You

Not registering the microchip

Microchipping your dog is only half the battle—many owners don’t realize you have to also register the microchip with your name and current contact information for it to work. Many registries charge a yearly fee or you can opt for the free microchip registry by Michelson Found Animals, Gilbreath says. Make sure your information is current every year, she adds.

Dropping the leash and telling your dog to “make friends”

Some dogs are immediately comfortable with other animals but many are not, and throwing your dog into a situation with another dog to “make friends” is a recipe for disaster, Gilbreath says. Start by making a careful introduction, looking for signs of distress in both animals. “Never force an interaction and have a place for each dog to go if they feel threatened—you can slowly bring them back together after they’ve had time to calm down,” she explains.

Expecting all your pets to get along 

perfectly from day one

Introducing a new dog to your existing pets requires planning and patience, Gilbreath says. Make the first introduction on neutral ground (as in, not your home), keep both dogs leashed at first to maintain control, and have plenty of treats on hand to reinforce good behavior, she recommends. The struggle is worth it.

Feeding your dog off your plate

It can be hard to resist Fido’s pleading eyes at the dinner table but letting him eat human food is a risky endeavor, Gilbreath says. “While most fruits and veggies are good for dogs, many aren’t,” she says. “The biggest no-nos are grapes, nuts, onions, and garlic

Putting a vase of flowers on a low table

Lilies, chrysanthemums, and tulips are all beautiful blooms but they are also toxic to dogs, Gilbreath says. “Many of nature’s beauties have ugly side effects that range from stomach issues to death,” she says. “You’d think your pup would be smart enough to not eat your floral arrangement but vets see plenty of these cases every year.” Keep your flowers out of reach and make sure you are familiar with this list of plants that are toxic to dogs.

Decorating for the holidays with poinsettias

Every year you see warnings about not allowing your pets near poinsettias. The hype is a little overblown—they won’t kill your pup — but it’s still good advice as the festive red plant contains a sap that may cause irritation to your dog’s mouth and stomach and may cause vomiting, Gilbreath says.

Not properly vetting your dog sitter

Just because someone is a loving pet owner doesn’t mean they’re qualified to be a pet sitter, says Beth Stultz-Hairston, vice president of Pet Sitters International. People see it as an easy way to earn some quick cash but there’s a lot more that goes into taking care of a pet than just feeding and walking them, she says. Not sure what to look for?

Not learning your dog’s love language

Anything your dog enjoys is a reward, Newman says. This includes praise, pets, belly rubs, going on a walk, sniffing, playing with toys, meeting friends, fetching a ball, and so on. Your dog needs those rewards just as much as (or more than) the edible kind, he says.  

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