A pet can enrich your life like nothing else can. But if you’re new to the pet owning game, you need to be especially careful not to make these five common mistakes that could lead for a bad ending for you and your animal pal.
Mistake #1: Getting into pet ownership spontaneously
Any dog or cat you take home has its own specific needs, some of which are specific to a particular breed. Think about your lifestyle then do some research on the breeds that interest you. For example, if you are someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time at home, then a pet that needs a lot of attention will not be a good fit.
Mistake #2: Skipping obedience training
This is a no-no for dogs raised from puppies. Ideally, you should begin some kind of training between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. If you don’t, then you risk cultivating bad habits in your pet that you won’t be able to break.
Mistake #3: Not socializing your pet
Young pets need to be exposed to a variety of animals and people at very young ages to avoid developing fears and/or aggressive behaviors. Experts believe that the critical socialization for dogs is between the ages of 3 and 12 weeks and for cats, between 2 and 8 weeks.
Mistake #4: Being inconsistent with the rules
If you–and the members of your family–do not apply rules for good behavior consistently, then your pet will get confused and may end up engaging in bad behaviors. Remember: dogs and cats do best in environments that promote order.
Mistake #5: Giving away too many treats
Treats need to be dispensed judiciously because their training value diminishes if your pet gets them for no reason. And not all good behavior should receive the treat: that way, you train your pet to eventually perform on his or her own.
As soon as you get your new dog or cat, you should make an appointment for him or her to get a check-up at the Pet and Bird. That way, you ensure that your animal pal starts out on the best footing possible in a new life with you and your family. Let us help you cultivate a healthy, long-lasting relationship with your pet today!