With all the attention dogs receive in pop culture these days and rightfully so it’s no surprise that people sometimes forget about their own canine friends when making decisions.
There are certain things we can’t seem to get away with doing to our dogs, and here is just such a list. These aren’t hard-fast rules, but rather guidelines that are meant to help us keep our pups healthy and happy without crossing any lines.
1. Never leave a pup alone for more than an hour
This seems like a common sense rule, but it bears repeating. If you have to leave your dog alone for longer than an hour, you should call someone who knows how to properly care for them. Don’t try to handle this yourself if you have any concerns over your dog being left alone.
That said, most dogs will probably be fine spending an hour by themselves, as long as they have access to fresh water and shelter from the elements. You’ll want to check up on them every once in a while, though, especially during hot summer months.
2. Don’t let the dog drink from any strange water bowl
It may sound cruel, but not giving your dog a chance to figure out what its regular water dish looks like could cause serious health problems down the line. The same goes for feeding them from the wrong bowl. Not only does this lead to poor nutrition, but also dehydration.
3. Don’t use human shampoo on your pet’s hair
Shampooing our dogs with human shampoo doesn’t really hurt them, as long as you rinse it off thoroughly afterwards. But using a different type of shampoo altogether could upset their digestive system.
And while it might seem like a good way to avoid tangles, wrapping your dog’s neck in electrical tape isn’t exactly a great idea either. It’s better to use regular shampoo instead.
4. Don’t give them food out of the bag unless they’re hungry
The old saying “an ounce of prevention” applies to your dog’s diet as much as it does yours. Giving them food out of the bag before they’ve eaten is a surefire way to ruin their appetite. After all, they won’t know what to expect.
Also, if you happen to come across a tasty treat that you think they’d enjoy, wait until they finish eating to throw it into their meal. This is because many commercial dog foods contain preservatives that could harm them.
5. You shouldn’t feed them after midnight
Many vets recommend limiting your dog’s meals to three per day, which means that they should eat around 9am, 5pm, and 11pm, depending on where you live. Of course, this is only helpful if you actually follow it yourself.
For those times when hunger strikes at odd hours, don’t feed them anything after midnight. In fact, refrain from offering them any kind of food at all. Dogs need time to digest their food, so having something new to ingest right before bedtime can disrupt their sleep patterns.
If you must feed them late at night, make sure you clean the plate afterward. And to ensure they don’t overeat, serve smaller portions than normal. If you have to put down one of your pets, don’t make it look like an accident
When you see that your pet has died suddenly, it’s natural to assume that you somehow did something wrong. Never allow yourself to fall victim to this thought process. Instead, keep track of everything you do with your dog. If you have to put them down, euthanasia is the best option. However, if you feel you cannot perform this task humanely, please consult a vet first.
6. Don’t buy a puppy and then sell it later
Buying a puppy and then selling it shortly thereafter is a very bad idea. Puppies are cute and adorable, but they require a lot of work and patience. They also can become quite expensive. So why would anyone choose to cut ties with a beloved companion so quickly? There are several reasons, including money, allergies, and the lack of proper training.
Not only is this practice unethical, but it’s also dangerous. Buying and selling puppies often involves buying stolen animals. Stolen pets can carry diseases like rabies, which can spread among other animals and humans.
7. Don’t go overboard with treats
Treating your dog to special snacks occasionally is a nice gesture, but don’t overdo it. Overloading your pet with sugar and carbohydrates can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Even worse, they can also cause kidney failure, liver damage, pancreatitis, and intestinal blockages. So remember, moderation is key!
8. Don’t be too rough with your pooch
While playing fetch in the park is fun, letting your dog drag you along behind on a leash isn’t recommended. Even if the weather is mild, your dog needs exercise and playtime, but harsh physical activity can cause injuries and even death. In addition, dogs can develop abnormal behavior if subjected to trauma. For example, dogs that witness domestic violence are more likely to act aggressively towards strangers. Therefore, it’s important to teach your pet positive behavioral skills early on.
9. Never hit or kick your dog (or even swat at them)
Hitting a dog with a closed fist is against the law in most states. Swatting a dog with a rolled-up newspaper, however, is perfectly acceptable if done gently. Unfortunately, doing this too forcefully could result in injury. As for kicking, although it is legal in some states, it’s certainly not recommended. Kicking a dog in anger can easily trigger aggression. Plus, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tell whether your dog was injured or not since they can hide their pain well.