12 Serious Mistakes Pet Owners Make All the Time
Even the most loving and caring pet owners sometimes make mistakes that can cause a lot of trouble both for them and their pet. Most of the time, it happens just because they don’t have all the necessary information. For example, not all owners know that vitamin supplements, that are supposed to make animals feel better, can actually undermine their health.
We at Bright Side reviewed the most widespread cat and dog care mistakes hoping that this article will help you to not make them in the future. And at the end of the article, there is a bonus for you that can surprise many pet owners.
1. A quick transition from dry food to natural food (or the other way around)
The transition from one type of food to the other always has to be correct and gradual. A sudden change in the amount can cause food stress that can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant things. The transition from natural food to pet food and vice versa has to be extremely smooth (it should take at least 5 days). Add dry food to the natural food, increasing its amount day by day.
2. Using the same litter box for several cats
Every pet should have its own food and water bowls, and, most importantly, its own litter box. It is not only about how clean cats are and want to be. Animals perceive other animals’ smells as a warning. Cats might easily refuse to eat food or use the litter box if they sense the presence of a different animal.
3. Not checking how much water they have
When you feed your pet with natural foods, they will probably get enough water from it. But if you feed your cat or dog with dry food only, you have to make sure that their water bowl is always full. Dehydration can lead to very serious health issues, including death.
4. Ignoring or inability to see obesity
There are dog breeds that are just very hard to imagine as being fit, for example, pugs. And fat cats look extremely cute, too. However, extra weight is an extra load for the animal’s joints, negative effects for their cardiovascular system, and can causes trouble for their digestive system. So, if you look at your dog from above, they should have an obvious waistline, the transition from the chest to the belly should be visible, and a little fat is okay to have on the ribs.
5. Not watching what you say
Pet owners often calm their animals down with words like, “It’s okay” when they are going to bathe them or take them to the vet. Pets memorize these words very well, and over time, they become a signal for cats and dogs that, most likely, it’s not going to be okay very soon. Forget about these phrases. If you are going to do something your cat doesn’t like or something that can cause stress, act just like you usually do.
6. Buying universal pet food
Depending on the pet, they might need different food. This is also true for both young and old pets, sterilized and not, and also different breeds (for example, cats with long fur and sphynxes). Don’t buy universal food, it’s better to buy specialized kinds of food which include the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other important ingredients, especially for your pet.
7. Letting cats walk outside
Of course, fresh air is good for health, but on the street, there are many dangers for cats: aggressive dogs, ticks and fleas, cars, infections. You can only let your pet out if you live in a private house with a fence, but you have to make sure you use special medications for parasites regularly.
8. Not being consistent
Dogs understand either never or always. If you don’t want your pet to do some things, don’t let it do them ever. For example, if you don’t want your dog to sleep in the same bed with you, don’t let it lie with you on the bed during the day.
9. Leaving dogs in closed cars
This is a very serious mistake that many pet owners make. The temperature in the car is always higher than outside and in the summer, your car turns into a real oven. Without a source of oxygen, your dog might simply suffocate. In the winter, it is not much different: when the engine is not running, it gets really cold and if the engine is running, the dog might suffocate because of the fumes. By the way, in some countries, it is legal to break a car’s window if there is a dog inside.
10. Diagnosing and treating pets on your own
When pet owners notice symptoms, they start treating their pets right away: they choose some veterinary pills for them, they give them human medicine, and try other methods. However, if you are not a vet and if you don’t do the necessary tests, you cannot be sure that the diagnosis is correct. Also, only an expert can make sure that the treatment is right given the breed of the animal, its weight, and other information. Also, yes, some medications for humans can also be used for animals, but only if an expert recommends them. And the amount matters a lot.
11. Letting your cat lie on the radiator
Cats adore warm places, this is why during the winter, they often sleep on radiators or near other heating devices. But the extended contact of the pet with hot objects may lead to the overheating of their internal organs. The cat itself may be completely comfortable because its receptors don’t work like ours do. But several hours spent on a hot radiator may affect its heath very seriously. If the animal doesn’t want to leave the place it loves so much, put a blanket or a comforter on top of the radiator to decrease the temperature.
12. Choosing the wrong vitamin supplements
Calcium, minerals, and other useful nutrients are necessary for puppies and adult dogs. But you need to know that every single breed has its own needs. An excess of vitamins or the wrong vitamins may lead to the bones becoming fragile, which leads to frequent fractures.
Bonus: Never leave any food in the bowl
This is really convenient for pet owners that work a lot and are very busy: they put a full bowl of food out for their pet before they go to work. However, pets need to have a feeding schedule, and this approach will only lead to cats and dogs overeating. This, in turn, leads to obesity and the accompanying health issues. If you have to leave your pet alone for a long time, it is better to buy an automatic feeder with a timer that fills the bowl at the right times.
What pet care mistakes have you made? What else should cat and dog owners know about?