If you are a dog owner, chances are you do your best to care for your pet and wouldn't do anything to harm your pet intentionally. Unfortunately, even the most experienced dog owners often hurt their canine companions without even realizing it. Here is a look at 2 mistakes that could be harming your dog, and how to fix them.
Giving your dog human food
Giving your dog a few scraps from the table may seem harmless, but it could actually have damaging effects down the line. For starters, feeding your dog from the table may encourage begging, which is an annoying and undesirable canine behavior. Rich and fatty human foods such as pork and beef may also cause your dog to develop pancreatitis, a painful disease that could make your dog very sick or even cause life-threatening complications. Although most dog breeds may be affected by the disease, certain breeds such as Schnauzers are especially vulnerable.
Human foods may also gradually cause your dog to pack up the pounds, leading to conditions such as obesity, diabetes and arthritis. Additionally, some household staples such as garlic and onions, or delicacies such as chocolate and avocado can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting in dogs. Your vet can offer important advice on what to feed your dog depending on their health or age and even suggest a healthy feeding schedule for your pet.
Using the wrong collar
While choosing a collar or harness for your dog, you should make sure it is the perfect size to prevent potential problems. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you can slip at least one finger between the collar and your pet's neck to ensure it isn't too tight. A collar that is too tight may rub against the skin of the dog, causing bruising.
While front collars may be good for helping with pulling and lunging, they may potentially harm your dog's trachea, with some breeds such as poodles and Yorkshire terriers being especially susceptible tracheal collapse. To prevent such complications, it may be better to use a body harness instead of a collar to keep control on your dog on walks. Back-clip harnesses are especially ideal, as they usually protect the fragile neck area and do not tangle under the front legs as often as collars.
In addition to avoiding the above mistakes, you should also take your dog to a vet like Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital for annual examinations. The vet will typically examine the pet for periodontal disease, parasites, and fleas, and check for bone deformation and weight gain/loss, among other conditions that may compromise your dog's health.