16 Harmful Things You Should Never Do to Your Dog

Pet owners may believe they know everything about grooming and nurturing an animal, but mistakes are bound to happen. That’s because we are never taught how to take care of animals and train them appropriately. That’s why we sometimes indulge in routines or habits that could pose harm to our beloved pets instead of ensuring their optimum welfare.

This is why it is important to understand how to care for a pet. Regardless of the breed of dog, it is essential to remember that their needs and grooming requirements may vary, and you must learn to identify and satisfy them. If we don’t take care of this issue, the only one that will suffer is your pet. This article is a must-read for all pet owners as we have listed the sixteen most harmful habits that could harm your pet’s well-being.

Forcefully Training the Pet

Forced training is a huge mistake, no matter how important you consider it for the betterment of your pet. Undoubtedly, well-intentioned individuals often face the challenge of training their dogs the right way. Usually, we get impatient and look for quick results. While some canines can be forthcoming, others may struggle during training.

We cannot treat every dog in the same way. There are personality trait differences that channel every dog’s behavior. Once we accept this aspect, training the dog will become much easier. Still, dictating and dominating your canine should be strictly avoided. This outdated dog training strategy can cause unnecessary pain and stress to the pet. Moreover, it can tarnish your image in the dog’s mind and damage your relationship. That’s definitely not what you want, right?

Feeding Irregularities

Irregular bowel movements and indigestion are among the leading and most common issues related to dogs’ health. Most veterinarians agree that these issues can make the canine distressed and significantly impact its behavior. One of the reasons behind digestion-related issues is that dog owners feed them various snacks and do not follow a regular dietary routine.

In this regard, the best line of action would be to take your dog to the vet and get them checked thoroughly. Then ask the vet to suggest the ideal diet for your canine, keeping their breed, weight, and overall health status in mind. This is a perfect strategy to prevent the dog from experiencing diarrhea often and prevent them from stress and anxiety.

Avoiding the Vet

As we mentioned earlier, visiting the veterinarian is essential for your pet’s better health and welfare. Dogs may appear all active and fine, but there could be underlying health issues that you may only detect once the symptoms appear or the condition intensifies. Consider your pet a vital member of your family, just as your spouse, parents, and children. Think about their well-being in the same manner.

Just like we visit the doctor every six months or once a year to ensure everything is fine, in the same way, you should regularly take your dog to the vet and never skip any appointment. Believe it or not, this simple act can ensure the health and safety of your furry friend. Vets can administer vaccines and identify dental issues as well. These issues may cost you more if they get aggravated. So, treating your dog’s health issue as soon as it is diagnosed is better. And, to ensure this, you must take them to the vet often.

Excessive Kindness

While trying to train your dog to let them know you are the alfa, dominating your dog in a violent or aggressive manner towards them is never a good idea. Also, it is not a good idea either to be overtly kind or extra lenient with them, because then they will know they can get away with murder. The best approach is to let them know they can never get away with bad behavior; violence must never be tolerated.

Suppose your dog exhibits lousy behavior, like he gets too aggressive with people around or other animals, barking loudly and frequently, jumping on people, digging into the ground, and chewing yours or others’ clothes. In that case, these are all examples of bad behavior. This can be frustrating, but you don’t have to tolerate it. Teach the dog how to behave publicly and help them undergo behavioral training. It is for their welfare, after all.

Insufficient Physical Activities/Exertion

Dogs are social creatures and love to live active and lively lives. That’s something you cannot change. Consider them just like children who want to have fun all the time. Having a pet dog is like having a little kid who likes to indulge in physical activities. But, the problem begins due to their guardian’s busy lifestyle.

A lack of social interactivity and physical exertion, such as exercises or playtime, is detrimental to your dog’s health and well-being. Such activities are vital for stimulating their mental and physical development. If you don’t take your pet out for a walk or allow them to have some healthy play time, they might get sick and withdrawn. Fetching, puzzle feeding, and hide and seek are some activities that dog like the most.

Inconsistent Rules

If you do not follow a specific set of rules with your pet dog, chances are they will feel off the hook and may start displaying behavioral issues. This happens because of a lack of consistency and structure, which impacts the balance in their daily routine.

When you say one thing and do something else, the pet becomes unsure of what you want or whether your words hold any substance or not. The resultant miscommunication causes many other problems, including disappointment. Feeding, handing over treats, exercising, and other orders should stay balanced and on a schedule. This means pets should know what to expect and when. This will reduce frustration and enable the animal to cooperate with you more.

Dental Hygiene Negligence

One thing observed regularly is pet owners ignoring the need to brush their dog’s teeth. This ignorance towards dental hygiene can cause a lot of harm to the canine’s health. That’s because a lack of proper dental hygiene would lead to tartar build-up with time and become a hard calculus.

It is extremely difficult or rather impossible to brush off calculus. Since it covers the entire tooth, the area becomes a thriving environment for bacteria present underneath and also around the gum line. By ignoring to make teeth brushing a mandatory part of your pet’s day, you are putting their life in danger as it can lead to liver and cardiac diseases. This is why you must slowly introduce brushing to your pet. Start by helping them use their finger, and don’t forget to reward them with treats during the training.

Overfeeding your Dog

 Overfeeding can cause just as many health issues to your canine as it can do to a human. Feeding your dog more than needed is never a good idea. Pet owners tend to go overboard with feeding as they believe it is a way of showing their love to their pets and might help bridge the gap.

However, in reality, it can do more harm than good. We understand your pet means the world to you, and you want to spoil them with delectable dog treats. Please remember that such treats should only be fed occasionally and must not be made a regular part of their diet. Overfeeding can cause obesity in pets, and this can shorten their life. Always feed your pet as per their age and weight. It is better to consult a vet to ensure the best possible diet plan.

Identity Issues

We often make the mistake of not offering appropriate identification to our pets. Although they are safe within the confines of our homes, the same cannot be said for the outside world. And since dogs and cats are active and playful by nature, it is impossible to keep them inside the house throughout the day.

This makes assigning your pet a proper identification badge or tag necessary. Such as microchips and ID tags are perfect tools to track your dog in case they get lost or escape from the home. Moreover, always ensure your pet wears a collar with all the necessary information written over it clearly.

Dissuade Behavioral Issues

People may find a naughty pup cute but not an unruly dog. That’s not how a pet should be, at least, an adult pet. You are in charge of your pet’s behavior, and that’s why all the blame will be put on you if you don’t teach the pet good manners and acceptable behavior.

So, never dismiss your pet’s behavior as cute or adorable if, in reality, it is not. This mistake can cause bigger trouble for you later on. The pet may become so unruly that you would find them hard to control. That’s not a favorable situation for anyone in the family, as well as, the dog. So, always implement adequate training and help your canine become socialized as soon as you bring it home. Start addressing disobedience and bad behavior right from day one.

There’s No Formula for Dog Training

Pet owners usually make the mistake of feeding their dogs anything that they find interesting or what their neighbors or friends are feeding their pets. That’s the wrong approach to setting up a diet plan for your furry friend. Meal portion feeding is crucial to your dog’s dietary health, so it makes no sense to take it lightly or ignore its significance altogether.

Doing what others are doing may simplify matters for you for the time being, but things may go haywire after some time. The reason is that with meal portions, there cannot be a one size fits all formula that you can adopt. After assessing your dog’s activity level, body type, age, weight, and breed, a dietary plan should be made. Another critically important factor in determining the dog’s diet is whether they are spayed/neutered or not.

Absence of Mental Exercising

Your dog’s mental development is just as important as physical development. But one of the most common mistakes pet owners generally make is ignoring the significance of mental exercise. There’s no doubt that physical exercise is important for the pet’s health and alertness.

However, it is also a fact that mental health is also important. In fact, psychological and physical health is interlinked. So, a lack of or absence of any of them would cause trouble. Dogs are pretty smart, so their intelligence must be put to good use to prevent them from boredom and frustration. Allow the dog opportunities where they get to use their brain, as it will improve your dog’s overall quality of life. Try taking them to never seen before places, teach them new tricks, hide toys around the house and compel the dog to find them.

Frequent Bathing

Another somewhat stubborn mistake is the frequent bathing of the dog. You may want to keep your pet hygienic, sanitized, and healthy, but this isn’t the appropriate way to ensure their healthiness. Hygiene is vital for them but definitely not as much as for humans.

That’s because dogs’ coat has a natural self-cleaning system. Their skin generates natural oils, which may dry out if you bathe your dog too often. Hence, their skin can become flaky and sometimes get painful. Bathing your dog once a month is completely fine. You can even wash them once in 2 to 3 months. However, dog grooming should be done twice a week. Remove dirt and look for tangles and mats.


Dogs may get sick now and then. As a natural reaction, pet owners tend to treat their pets with any medication that they believe could be useful. Such as, if you see blood in your dog’s urine, you will quickly conclude that it is a urinary tract infection and would give them cranberry pills.

This can make the dog sicker because you cannot be sure about the underlying medical issue until you take the canine to a vet, get them examined and obtain a prescription for treatment. Never opt for self-medication or treat your pet’s ailment at home. Over-the-counter drugs could be harmful to your dog. Always seek professional help before making decisions about medications and treatment.

Lack of Socializing or Inappropriate Socializing

Dog’s socialization window is somewhat tricky to decipher. But generally, their window is assumed to last until the canine turns 12 weeks old. It may also last until they are 14 weeks old. You must expose them to as many people as possible during this period. Let the pet have diverse experiences to help them overcome their reclusiveness and learn to socialize.

Dogs and other pets, such as cats, have an innate fear of humans, but they are also eager to trust us and form happy and healthy relationships. All you need to do is acknowledge this trait and satisfy your social instincts at the right time. Unsocialized dogs could be a problem for everyone. Remember the ideal time for socializing and help the canine socialize well. This means not exposing the puppy to too many people as they might get anxious. Under-socializing and over-socializing are bad so keep a fair balance.

Never Punish Your Pet

Do not punish the animal if you want to build a healthy, strong, and long-lasting relationship with your canine. Believe it or not, punishments can cause irreparable damage to your relationship with your pet. Let’s admit that punishments, especially physically violent gestures or acts, are one of the leading ways to tackle disobedience among humans.

We treat humans and dogs the same way and use punishments to eliminate resistance and bad behavior. That’s not a good approach because it will make training your pet and building a positive relationship with your dog incredibly challenging. Such as when potty training your pet or teaching them. When you enter your home after a hard day at work and find dog feces lying on the floor, it is bound to make you furious, and you may punish the animal. But that’s where you are wrong. By punishing them, you will only frustrate the dog. Instead, help them learn how to behave indoors and outdoors rather than making things worse by incorporating punishments.

Neglecting Caloric Needs

Most pet owners are clueless about the daily calorie needs of their furry buddies. So, they either overfeed them or underfeed them. This issue occurs because of a lack of professional input regarding keeping a pet. This means we often overlook the importance of visiting a vet specifically to understand the dietary needs and nutritional count that your dog requires.

That’s why problems occur. When you have no idea how much food your dog needs daily, this leads to drastic health consequences. Do you know the top four causes of canine deaths are diabetes, kidney diseases, heart diseases, and obesity? All of these issues are caused by food-related problems, mostly overfeeding. Even 3 to 5 percent mismanagement in the caloric count can risk your dog’s healthy development and makes them vulnerable to chronic diseases.

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