14 Mistakes Every Pet Owner Should Stop Making
Pet owners are capable of showing their love and affection like nobody else. And not just to animals. However, not all the things we do to our animals are good for them.
Bright Side wants to tell you about the most popular mistakes many pet owners make.
14. Cuddling and kissing
Every time we pass by our cat or dog, we have a desire to grab them and hug them. Unfortunately, for them this is a stressful situation because it doesn't ever happen in the animal world, so your pet probably feels confused.
Our advice: You can simply teach your pet to respond to the command "up" so they can expect to be picked up and hugged.
13. Waking up a pet whenever we want to
Just as you try to be quiet when a family member is taking a nap, you should respect your pet's right to sleep comfortably. Always remember that sudden awakenings are stressful for our pets.
Our advice: You don't have to tuck in your cat or dog like a baby. It's enough to just not disturb them without a reason.
12. Constant staring
When somebody is staring at us, we tend to feel uncomfortable. In the animal world, it means that you're in danger and have to be prepared for a fight.
Our advice: While admiring your pet, do it unobtrusively. Avoid looking directly into their eyes so as not to make your cat or dog nervous.
11. Scolding a pet for stealing food that we left out
Just remember how many times you left something tasty on the kitchen table, just to come back and see that it's gone. The first reaction is obviously to punish a little thief, but think again. Animals have natural instincts which they can't resist because they don't have a self-control mechanism.
Our advice: Don't tempt or provoke your pet, hoping it will manage to resist. Put all "human" food in the fridge or in cupboards before you go away.
10. Using different words for the same command
"Bring the ball!" and "Where is your toy?" register as 2 completely different things in your pet's brain. Most likely he will get confused, and the game will be ruined.
Our advice: Use one word/phrase for one command only.
9. Allowing your pet to be lazy all day long
Animals need physical activity just as much as humans do. Even if your cat or dog is small enough to use a tray, you should still bring them outside for a walk. A lack of exercise can lead to obesity or joint problems.
Our advice: Try to find time to go outside with your pet at least once a day. You can play or simply run together.
8. "It's okay."
Our pets always feel when something "bad" is coming. If your cat or dog is scared of taking a bath, they might run and hide as soon as you turn on the water. We try to reason with them as if they were humans, but it's useless to calm them down with simple phrases like "It's okay!" and "Don't worry!" On the contrary, for them these words will be forever associated with unpleasant procedures.
Our advice: Don't try to use any "comforting" words. Act naturally – it will help your pet feel less anxious.
7. Sharing your food
It is incredibly difficult to resist sharing your meal with a pet. However, it is necessary. Unfortunately, our food is not suitable for animals. If you want your little friend to be in good health, the best option is to go to a vet, and he will provide you with different meal plans.
Our advice: Don't ever allow your pet to eat processed or fast food. If you have any questions, always contact a specialist to avoid any health problems for your pet.
6. Using one tray for all your pets
It would be really convenient if your cats could share one tray with each other. But, in reality, every creature needs its personal space, especially proud-by-nature cats. Buy a separate tray for each of your pets. Better yet, put them around the perimeter of the house.
Our advice: Before taking on a pet, make sure you are able to create all the conditions for its happy life.
5. Yelling at your pet for every mistake and disobedient action
Our pets have feelings too. They can perfectly understand when they did something wrong and can even feel guilty or ashamed. Remember that it is your job to raise a pet properly, and you can't blame it for your mistakes. They misbehave only when you didn't explain yourself correctly.
Our advice: No matter how upsetting it is for you when your pet is misbehaving, try to be calm and consistent about teaching it what it should and shouldn't do. If you just yell in anger all the time, animals get confused and scared, which makes the situation worse.
4. Leaving an excessive amount of food
Many people make the mistake of leaving more food for their pet than is needed, just in case he gets hungry when they're not home. It may seem like a thoughtful solution, but it leads to weight gain and health problems. This happens because our pets eat every time they see food, even if they are not actually hungry.
Our advice: Always put out the correct portions according to your pet's breed, weight, and age. It's usually written on the packaging. If you have any doubts, contact the vet.
3. Late training
Being tough and consistent with a puppy or kitten is hard. We think that the time for training will always be there, but it's completely the opposite. The sooner you start training your pet and explaining to them what is right and what is wrong, the easier it will be for them to learn and understand.
Our advice: You need to explain your pet's mistake immediately. If you come home and see a puddle, don't even waste your time. Your pet won't understand why you're angry. Also, don't forget to praise your 4-legged friend every time he does something right. This will create positive associations with good behavior.
2. Leaving them alone for a long time
We think that when we are away, a pet can entertain itself or sleep. This is not entirely true. When dogs and cats are by themselves for more than a few hours, they become nervous and sad. Never leave your pet alone for more than 1-2 days, and always make sure they have everything they may need before you go away.
Our advice: If you have to leave for the night, invite a relative or a friend to stay. You may also consider getting another pet friend for your pet.
1. Forgetting that their world revolves around us
Just like babies, your pets need attention. In addition to feeding them and taking them for a walk, you should always find time for games and loving your pet. Both cats and dogs love spending time with people.
Our advice: Never forget or underestimate how important you are to your pet.
Bonus: Pay attention to the behavior of your pet
If you look closely at your pet, you will see that its behavior can tell you a lot. For example, if your dog starts chasing its tail, this might mean that it has a lot of extra energy and that you need to walk it more and play more active games together.
Another interesting thing about dogs’ behavior is when they tilt their heads when you’re talking to them. It’s not exactly known why they do it, but some experts claim that by tilting their head, dogs are trying to make sense of what you are saying.
If you are not sure what your pets’ behavior means, or if it has changed for no obvious reason, you should consult a specialist and make sure they are okay.
Do you make any of these mistakes? Tell us in the comment section below.
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for BrightSide.me