18 Things to Stop Doing If You Have a Pet

Our beloved pets hold a special place in our hearts and can bring us enormous contentment, friendship, and steadfast love. For most pet owners, it’s vital to ensure our pets’ well-being by providing them with food and shelter and being mindful of our actions and habits. Here are 18 things to avoid if you have a pet.

Feeding them human food

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Pet owners tend to offer their pets human foods, which can be toxic or harmful to them. This includes anything from certain fruits high in sugar to chocolate, foods with onions in them, and more. Medical News Today says some foods, such as apples, carrots, and blueberries, as well as cooked meats like chicken and turkey, provide health benefits for dogs. However, it’s always essential to check with your veterinarian about your pet’s diet, and always make sure to do your research depending on what kind of pet you have.

Avoiding scheduled vet visits

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Regular checkups with your pet’s vet are crucial visits that no pet owner should miss. They help to maintain your animal’s health and vitality and pick up on things you may not have noticed before. If you skip any of these appointments, your pet could get worse over time.

Avoiding discipline methods

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Discipline for your pet is important, but employing ways to try and punish them, unless you’re a pet trainer, can instill anxiety and fear. Instead, choose practices that reinforce a more effective means of strengthening the bond between you and them. If you have a dog, consider enrolling in puppy classes to learn positive discipline methods that work for you and your pet.

Overlooking care

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Pets can get affected by common ailments and diseases, which, if they’re not looked at, can be detrimental to their health and lifespan. Some of the most common illnesses dogs can suffer from are canine influenza, distemper, or intestinal parasites, as mentioned on the American Veterinary Medical Association website. Simple things, such as tooth decay, can exacerbate if not looked at.

Preventing unsupervised access

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Another thing to stop doing is leaving your pet unsupervised. When you allow your furry friends to roam freely outdoors, it can expose them to all kinds of dangers. Traffic, toxic substances, and predators are just a few things they’re exposed to. Make sure to use leashes or secure enclosures when taking your pet outside, so they don’t run away, chase things, or become a victim to someone who might want to take them.

Overlooking fleas and ticks

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It’s important not to overlook the importance of flea and tick prevention. These pesky pests can cause health issues, and it’s crucial to regularly apply preventive treatments to keep them away.

Leaving your pet in the car

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Leaving a dog or cat in the car while they go about running errands is a very common thing that pet owners tend to do. Cars can heat up fast if you don’t have proper ventilation, which can lead to heatstroke and organ failure. The RSPCA says that “it takes as little as six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car,” so it’s best not to leave your dog alone.

Neglecting their information

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Pets should always be tagged and microchipped to keep them safe. All relevant information must be included in case they get lost or abandoned somewhere. These pet ID tags are vital for their safety and security, and it’s a good idea to invest in them when you adopt your pet.

Leaving them alone

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Proper socialization is essential for the adjustment of a new pet. Make sure they’re exposed to other animals, people, and different environments from a young age for their healthy development, as well as their confidence.

Overfeeding them

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We know you care for your pet and would love to give them food every time they approach you with their cute faces, but it’s best to refrain from doing this. Avoid overfeeding your pets, as obesity can lead to health problems. Follow feeding guidelines, and make sure you or your vet closely monitors their weight regularly.

Neglecting grooming

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When you adopt a pet, it comes with some crucial responsibilities, and grooming is at the top of that list. Many pets need to be shampooed regularly to keep ticks or fleas at bay. Regular brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are important for preventing skin problems and ensuring their comfort.

Using toxic cleaning products

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Another vital thing to do once you adopt a pet is to stop using household cleaning products or other products that may be toxic to your pet. Many cleaning liquids have harmful chemicals that could make them sick or even kill them. House Beautiful says to avoid using bleach, ammonia, and phthalates, but if you do, make sure any product residue is gone before allowing your pet to return to the room. It’s a good idea to use products with natural ingredients instead.

Loud noises near your pet

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Things such as fireworks or loud music can scare pets and give them anxiety. Make sure you keep them away from this and create a more peaceful environment so you don’t end up frightening your pet. If you’re around noisy events, make sure you don’t have any pets nearby.

Using harmful products on them

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Not only can household products be toxic to them, but some brands of pet products are also harmful to certain dogs. Make sure to use flea and tick products that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or recommended by your veterinarian. Using products can be risky, as they might not be effective or could even be toxic.

Skipping heartworm prevention

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Don’t skip heartworm prevention for your pets. Heartworm disease is transmitted through mosquito bites. It’s crucial to administer preventatives to all pets, especially if they live in areas with a high prevalence of heartworm.

Leaving objects lying around the house

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Pets are naturally curious creatures, which makes them adorable up to a point. But when you leave harmful, sharp, or delicate things around the house, they can get injured or swallow toxic substances. Anything inedible, from small toys to toxic plants, can be dangerous for your pets.

Being lazy with your pet

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Exercise is essential for your pet. Even if it means a half-hour walk around the block, don’t be a lazy pet owner; it will cost you. A lack of activity can lead to obesity and behavioral issues. Tailor their exercise routine based on their age, breed, and overall health condition.

Ignoring the laws

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Always comply with rules and regulations when taking your pets out in certain areas, such as public footpaths, parks, or malls, and unless you’re specifically in an off-leash designated zone, stick to the laws. These are put in place to protect not only the safety of your pet but also wildlife and other people.

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