Owning a pet can present its fair share of challenges. People not used to caring for animals may find themselves overwhelmed by their new responsibilities. Should you decide to buy a pet for the first time, try to avoid making these common mistakes.
Passing on Obedience Training ‒ Many inexperienced pet owners opt to skip obedience training, reasoning that they can train their dog or cat on their own. The problem is that such owners are often ill-equipped to handle young, energetic animals. Consequently, their puppy or kitten could pick up some problematic habits, which may be difficult to correct.
Being Too Lenient ‒ It can be very difficult for novice pet owners to say “no” to their dog or cat. Unfortunately, giving a pet everything he or she wants sets a very bad precedent. If their owner fails to establish reasonable boundaries, a pet can easily come to believe that inappropriate behavior is acceptable.
Emphasizing the Stick Over the Carrot ‒ For those who have never owned a pet before, it may seem as if the best way to train pets is to punish them for various transgressions. In fact, yelling at a dog for, say, using the rug as a toilet will likely prove to be ineffective. Since the thought patterns of dogs are fairly simple, they will probably interpret this scolding as their owner showing displeasure for leaving waste where they can see it. As a result, the dog may decide to take care of its business behind the couch instead. A better approach is to reward pets for good behavior.
Failing to Exercise Their Pet ‒ Like their human owners, pets need to exercise on a regular basis. Not only is physical activity good for their health, but it also allows them to burn off their reserves of energy. Without exercise, a pet will likely engage in destructive activities, such as tearing open garbage bags and toppling furniture.
Giving A Puppy Too Much Alone Time ‒ Some dog owners leave their puppies at home while they spend hours at work or other locations. This can have a very negative impact on a dog’s personal development, potentially leading to separation anxiety and serious behavioral problems. If possible, owners should arrange for a neighbor or a dog walker to stop by while they are out of the house. Dog day care centers are another possible option.