Most of us have pets at some point in our lives and though we utterly dote on them, we might not be caring for them in all of the ways that we should. There are a number of common mistakes that many pet owners are making on a daily basis; perhaps not even realising where they are going wrong. Here are some of those very pitfalls so you know how to avoid them and keep your furry friend healthy and happy.
Lack of training
Puppies can begin to learn basic commands from as early as eight weeks old and kittens also need to be housetrained before they get into bad habits. From toilet training to obeying instructions and from being gentle with people to not scratching or chewing the furniture; if you don’t teach them while they are young and susceptible to change, they will become set in their ways with bad behaviour that is much harder to break once they are older. This is doubly important, as a violent dog for example will result in punishment for the owner as well as the animal itself.
It’s not fair for animals to receive mixed messages; they need clear and consistent boundaries that always remain the same. If for example one person were to encourage a dog to sit on the sofa beside them but another were to later reprimand them for trying to do so, it will serve to merely confuse them as to what they are doing wrong. Whatever they may be for your household, make the rules and then stick to them.
We all like giving out pets a treat every now and then to reward good behaviour but given too often and they can cause obesity and a lack of appetite for their normal food. Another common mistake is to give animals food that is meant for humans. Their digestive systems are completely different to ours and are not built to handle such rich food; stick to well known, reliable names like Iams cat food and you can rest assured that they are getting all the nutrients they require.
Lack of attention
Most types of animals that are commonly kept as pets are done so because of their love for social interaction. You can’t simply ignore a pet because you are no longer interested or in a bad mood; animals are very susceptible to the effects of neglect and those that do not receive enough exposure to humans and other animals will often become fearful, aggressive and be untrusting of even their owner let alone other people.
Not enough exercise
Just like humans, animals need to keep active in order to maintain good health. Be sure to take your dog for plenty of walks; let birds fly around to stretch their wings; provide hamsters with wheels or rabbits with a run and even cats – as lazy as they can seem at times – need to have toys or just a good old fashioned ball of string to play with from time to time. Without proper exercise, more and more animals are becoming overweight and this is very detrimental to their overall health and life expectancy. An active pet is a healthy one and healthy equals happy.