Good dog care goes beyond just feeding your pup the right stuff and giving them some exercise now and again.
It’s about being responsible for your pet’s health at every stage of life. That means ensuring that you understand how to identify signs of illness in dogs and prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are five common mistakes that might end up hurting your pup.
Walking Your Dog in the Freezing Cold
Cold weather can be dangerous for your dog, even if he’s dressed for winter. Only walk him when it’s not below freezing, and make sure his paws are dry before you head out.
If it’s too cold to go for a walk, consider taking them to a dog park instead of leaving him at home alone in the cold. If you see a dog shivering or lying on their back, this is likely an indication that they’re too cold—you should take them to the vet immediately.
Feeding Your Dog Scraps From Your Plate
While it can be tempting to let your dog lick up what’s left on your plate, it’s important to remember that dogs have unique digestive systems and cannot digest human food.
In fact, feeding scraps to your pup can cause several health problems, including:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Behavioral issues (such as aggression)
Only feed your dog organic food and treats specially formulated for them. You can find them at any online pet supplies store.
Leaving Your Dog in the Car for Just a Few Minutes
Leaving your dog in the car can be dangerous, even if you’re just running into the grocery store for a minute.
Even on cool days, the temperature inside of a car can rise quickly. Dogs don’t sweat as humans do—they pant to cool down. If they’re left in a hot environment without access to water, they could suffer from heatstroke or even die.
If you do have to leave your dog alone in the car for more than about 10 minutes, make sure that they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade from the sun.
Using Human Toothpaste on Your Pup’s Teeth
Now, you might be thinking: what’s the big deal? Human toothpaste is good for our teeth, making them shiny, so it’s fine to use some on our pups, right?
While human toothpaste does help keep our teeth clean and fresh-smelling, it can actually be harmful to dogs due to its high fluoride content. This is because dogs have a different pH level than humans.
Their mouths are slightly more acidic than ours—and fluoride is known as an alkali (a base). This means that when dogs consume fluoride from their toothpaste or water bowl, their stomachs could get upset and even cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Fortunately, many specially formulated products are available for dog dental care that won’t harm your pet’s stomach but still help clean their teeth. You can find one easily at an online pet supplies store.
Giving Your Dog a Bath Every Day
Giving your dog a bath every day is not recommended. Dogs have naturally waterproof skin that helps them stay dry and warm. When you bathe your dog too much, it can cause problems for their skin.
Bathing too often can strip the oils from their skin which causes them to become dry, itchy, and irritated. Bathing once or twice a week is enough to keep your dog clean without damaging their skin.
When it comes to caring for your dog, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. But ultimately, you don’t have to be an expert to know what’s best for your pet. It only takes some common sense, researching what could harm them, and ensuring that everything will be okay even if you mess up.