At least half of all Americans consider dogs part of the family. It is especially troubling, then, that many owners are also endangering their pets’ lives — and without even knowing it. From walking pets incorrectly to misinterpreting telling behavior, it is relatively easy to mistakenly imperil your beloved canine. What are some of the most common missteps?
Treating Spaying or Neutering as an Option Only
It can be a critical mistake not to spay or neuter your pet, WebMD reports. Overpopulation is a serious problem. Failing to get pets fixed, however, can result in other serious consequences. “The fact is, spaying and neutering is a healthy choice for your pet. It reduces the risk of breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. Neutered males are also less likely to run away from home, mark their territory, or exhibit aggressive behaviors,” WebMD explains. Talk to a veterinarian about all of the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet.
Walking and/or Exercising Dogs Improperly
Animal clinics and vet hospitals warn dog owners not to let dogs pull them along during walks. “Tens of thousands of people end up in the ER every year because of pet-related falls,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns. How do most pet-related falls happen? Most owners trip when dogs push ahead — or pull on leashes — or get entangled in dogs’ leashes and fall down. Animal doctors recommend obedience school if dogs insist on tugging or pulling owners along.
Assuming That You Know It All
Dogs’ behavior can be surprisingly complicated. Don’t assume what your dog means by a particular action or expression. WebMD reveals one common misconception: “If you think a wagging tail is always a good sign, you could be in for a nasty surprise. When a dog wants to threaten someone, he may hold his tail high and wave it stiffly back and forth.” Read up about your pet, or ask an animal care specialist for more information.
You may be mistreating your beloved pet through no fault of your own. Talk to a veterinarian about common pet care mistakes and misconceptions, and stay as informed as possible to keep your pet healthy and safe. Great references here.