Letting Dogs Eat Spoiled Food from Garbage
Never allow your pet, especially dogs to rummage through the neighbor’s garbage in search of a treat. Spoilt food gone is bad for pets than it is for people. Dogs who eat garbage are at risk for bacterial food poisoning or irritation of the pancreas. Spoiled food may also contain toxic mold, which can cause vomiting, seizures, severe tremors, and death.
READ ALSO: Diseases You Can Get From Your Pets
Allowing Your Dog Walk You
According to the CDC, thousands of people end up in the ER yearly because of pet-related falls which mostly occur during walks, either when a person trips over a dog or is pulled or pushed by one. Obedience training is the best way to ensure your pet remain on track.
Overfeeding your pet
Some people keep their pets’ food bowls full most of the times, with the best intention of not allowing their four-legged friend go hungry for even a minute. This is one of the most common mistakes pet owners make. The problem is that cats and dogs often eat more than they need. If food is constantly available, they will take in too many calories and put on unnecessary weight. Follow the suggestions on the pet food label or ask your vet for guidance to avoid having a fat, lazy pet lying around.
Too Little Attention
Your pets will get bored stiff if you don’t play with them. Boredom can lead to upsetting behaviors like digging, chewing, whining and barking. Bored cats may resort to scratching and excessive meowing. You can help your pet overcome boredom by concealing treats for them to find around the house. Provide toys your cat can chase. Teach dogs to play tug-of-war, hide-and-seek or fetch.
Feeding only Milk to Cats
Most cats can’t properly digest the sugars in milk, so the idea that cats grow well on milk is untrue. Feeding your cat only milk can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. While some cats can digest milk with no problems, they don’t need it. So most vets recommend avoiding the milk occasionally.
Giving Bones to Dogs
Bones aren’t wonderful treats for dogs, prior to what most people would believe. The FDA warns that chewing on bones can injure a dog’s tongue, teeth, or mouth. Bones can also get stuck in the digestive tract, where they will have to be removed with surgery, it can lead to death in most cases. If your dog likes to chew, ask your vet about safer alternatives.
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Feeding Only Dry Food to cats
Naturally, cats have a low thirst drive, so they may not drink enough to stay well hydrated. Chronically under-hydrated cats may be at risk of urinary tract disorders. This can be avoided by encouraging your pet to drink by adding a water fountain designed for cats. Canned food is generally about 78% water and is a good option too, but not needed by every cat. A fluid-rich diet is mostly important for cats with a history of urinary tract problems.
Leaving Pets unsupervised with Young children
Young kids may play too rough by pushing a dog or cat, causing the pet to strike out in self-defense. Be sure to supervise play time when a new pet joins the family. Even old family pets still needs supervision when around the kids. There should be rules for how children should treat the pet and teach them to spot signs that a dog or cat wants to be left alone.
You always check yourself carefully for ticks after a walk in the woods. But what about your pets? Tick bites can cause Lyme and other disease for dogs. They can also cause serious illnesses in cats. Your family may be at risk if your pet has infected ticks. Look for ticks and pull them out carefully using tweezers. Ask the vet about tick control.
Not deworming your pet
The most common parasites in both dogs and cats is roundworm and they cause diarrhea and vomiting and may lead to serious illness and even death. These worms in your pet can be a threat to your family as an infected pet can contaminate soil or sand with tiny eggs. Kids may ingest the eggs by putting dirty fingers in their mouths. When the worms hatch inside people, they can cause blindness and other tissue damage. Ask your vet about regular deworming.
READ ALSO: Should You Have Pets in Your Bed?
Not Spaying or Neutering Your Pet
Millions of cats and dogs live on the street or end up euthanized because of unwanted broods. Still, many people are reluctant to spay or neuter their pets. It is a healthy choice to spray and neuter your pet as it reduces the risk of breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. Neutered males are also less likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors such as marking their territory or running away from home.
Forcing Cats to Be Vegetarian
Most Vegetarians sometimes want their pets to share same lifestyle with them. The trouble is cats, just like their larger family (lion, tiger, cheetah etc), are carnivores in nature. This means they must feed on meat to survive. They depend on nutrients, such as the amino acid taurine, that are only found in animal tissue. Dogs may be able to handle a well-balanced vegetarian diet, but check with your vet first.
Too Little Exercise
Pets need exercise to stay healthy, just like humans. Lack of exercise for pets causes obesity which can raise their risk of respiratory and joint problems. The right amount of exercise for a dog depends on the breed and size, but vets recommend at least a half-hour each day. Taking brisk walks with your dog can help you and your pet get in shape.
Making Your Cats Share a Litter Box
Multiple cats sharing one litter box can lead to quick spread of disease, especially if they pee or poop on the floor. Cats can be very fussy about their litter box. If it’s dirty or smells like other cats, they may not use it. Vets recommend having one litter box for every cat in your home.
Feeding Dogs Table Scraps
You may find it hard to resist the temptation of feeding your dog food from the table, especially when you look into those big soulful eyes. But rewarding your dog’s barks or whines will only encourage more begging in the future. And then you can forget about quiet dinners with your family. If you want to share table scraps as an occasional treat, do it away from the table — and use the food as a reward for good behavior. Also, note that some human foods can be toxic to pets. Click link to find out foods you should never feed your dog.
READ ALSO: List of Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
Setting No Rules
You shouldn’t expect your pets to discern right from wrong without being told. Even humans need rules. Human manners does not come naturally to dogs and cats, you have to make it clear that jumping up on people, scratching the furniture, peeing on the carpet, etc, are improper. Be consistent about the house rules, and reward your pets for good behavior with treats.
Leaving a Dog Alone Too Long
Leaving your pet, especially a dog for too long can lead to destructive behaviors (chewing, soiling, digging, continuous barking or howling), separation anxiety, and in some cases, depression. Leaving your dog alone for up to 8-10 hours in a tiny laundry closet, in a crate, or even outdoors isn’t the best. Better choices are doggie day care, a mid-day visit from a pet sitter, or a canine companion. Adult dogs can go 4-5 hours in a crate but need exercise before and after.
Giving Up a Cat during Pregnancy
Some women are advised to give up their cats during pregnancy. The concern is an illness called toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a parasite found in feline stool. If a woman is infected during pregnancy, her fetus could be affected. But most people who have cats already have antibodies to protect against toxoplasmosis. The CDC advises pregnant women to keep their cats but avoid handling cat litter.
Skipping Flea Medicine
If you skin flea medicine for your pet, you will equally be affected because fleas from untreated pets will fall and fill your house with their eggs and young. Some people end up covered in itchy sores. Fleas can also transmit serious diseases to people including bubonic plague. Ask your vet about long term flea medication and put a routine reminder on your calendar.