10 Ways You Could Be Inadvertently Hurting Your Dog
People hurt their dogs all of the time. Most often it is unintentionally. And, what knowledge most of us dog owners take for granted may not be common knowledge for all dog owners!
So I’ve complied 10 distinct ways in no particular order that you or someone you know might be inadvertently hurting your dog.
1. No exercise
Dogs need exercise. It doesn’t matter if they are 2 pounds or 250 pounds or if they are puppies, adults, or geriatric dogs; all dogs need exercise.
Exercise is crucial to mental well-being was well-being.
Exercise is also crucial to us humans!
So get out there and exercise your dog as much as he needs!
For more on exercise click on this link THIS is what I mean by exercise!
2. No nail trims
People think they are doing their dog a service by ignoring the long growth of his nails.
He may scream and pitch a fit or even try to bite, but the truth is unless you have one of those rare dogs who’s foot conformation wears down his nails your dog will need regular nail trims.
I know I have mentioned it and shown it before (because I really think it is important) nails that are allowed to grow too long, and nails that curl under can not only cut into the pad but they can also cause arthritis and pain in the toes and feet.
Imagine never clipping your nails, pretty soon your toe nails would be causing you pain and the added length makes them more susceptible to being ripped completely off.
If you can’t trim them yourself, take your dog to your vet and pay them to do it for you!
They need to be trimmed every 2 weeks!
Click here for help and the second greatest doggy tip ever.
3. Wrong equipment
Equipment that doesn’t fit or causes pain can do damage to your dog.
I see several people who use no pull harnesses and head halters that are way, way, way too loose. The loose nylon then rubs hair off the face, from under the arm pits, across the chest and in other areas.
Although most equipment shouldn’t be TIGHT (although gentle leaders and other head halters will seem tight to some) it also shouldn’t be loose enough to rub.
Think shoes, people! When your shoes are too big you get blisters, when your shoes fit they feel good.
And, corrective devices such as choke chains (metal or nylon) and pinch or prong collars can get caught and strangle dogs. It is best not to use these tools at all, but if you do, use them only when your dog is monitored.
And flexi leashes can be seriously dangerous, for more on that click here.
4. Table scraps
Table scraps can kill your dog.
I used to work in a veterinary clinic, and after every major holiday we would have numerous dogs hospitalized because they ate too many “goodies” with their owners.
Dogs don’t metabolize fat like we humans metabolize fat.
And, they don’t commonly eat a lot of fat (usually) in their normal diet.
You may think that you are spoiling your dog with a yummy greasy piece of bacon, but his pancreas may not be able to metabolize it and it may cause it to get inflamed and your dog to be severely sick.
In severe cases, dogs die from pancreatitis.
Unless it is low fat, and low salt (like boiled chicken breast), avoid giving it to your dog.
And, if you are giving your dogs’ yummy low fat low salt treats make sure to take those calories into account when the next meal come around.
Owners unwittingly poison their dogs with human medication all of the time.
If the dog hurts himself or coughs, many owners will administer human pain medication and human cough medication.
Dogs can’t metabolize human medications. There are very few drugs that can safely cross species.
Even prescription medications are not the same nor administered in the same dosage.
Would it surprise you to know that dogs with thyroid disorders take a much higher dose than an adult human with the same problem?
I remember being on an anti-depressant for my migraines while working at a vet clinic. The very same medication is also used to help stop cats from urinating in their homes. I was on less than a cat’s dose.
Just because you think a medication is used on animals, call poison control or check with your vet prior to administration.
6. Old Medication
This goes hand in hand with the previous discussion, but having worked at a vet I have seen owners administer old medications for what they think is the same problem which can cause deafness and/or death.
Ear medication is a perfect example.
People get used to taking their dog to the vet for chronic ear infections. And, ear infections and getting rid of them can be problematic.
So owners think, the next time their dog shakes his head, scratches his ears, or has that notorious yeasty ear smell, that they can use medication that they have left over from the last round of drops and antibiotics.
BUT if the dog’s ear drum is ruptured this time, and only a vet looking down the dog’s ear canal with an otoscope can see the ear drum, the medication can cause permanent deafness.
Medication that is safe for an intact ear drum will cause permanent damage to a ruptured ear drum! It just isn’t worth the risk, is it?
Even things like antibiotics and pain medications go out of date.
If your dog seems to be suffering from the same medical problem just speak to your vet before you give any kind of prescription or over the counter medication.
Your vet may not even want to give your dog an exam or a full exam, but he does want to make sure your dog is not being injured by old medications.
7. No Training
Dogs don’t pop from the womb knowing what we humans expect.
And this may shock you, but I want a different dog than you want, than your neighbor wants, than the person down the street wants.
We all desire different levels of obedience and different attributes.
But one thing is 100% the same across the board.
People want a dog that is potty trained.
And, people want a dog with basic manners.
Manners don’t always equate into “obedience” but you also can’t have obedience without manners.
So do your dog a favor and commit to making sure he or she is potty trained.
Potty training isn’t hard if you realize it is all about you for more on that click here and make a sincere commitment.
Potty training is just like weight loss or anything else that is difficult but worth it, if you devote the time to it, you will see results.
If you expect miracles or continue down a path where the dog is having consistent accidents then you are not going to be successful.
And, dogs that go to shelters who are not potty trained have much less of a chance of making it out alive. And, if they are adopted they run a much higher risk of being physically abused and neglected.
You can say much of the same for basic manners.
Teaching your dog not to jump on people, and to have some basic obedience skills will not only make him more enduring to you, it lessens the chance he will ever end up in a shelter or staying there and not making it out alive. For more help with obedience click here for our products that can help!
8. Wrong Food
Feeding your dog the wrong thing can also be harmful.
Very low end dog food, like ‘Ol Roy don’t have the quality nutrition that most dogs need. Very cheap, low end food is full of fillers and things that aren’t good for your dog in high quantities.
I am not going to turn this into a raw food diet vs. dog food; I am only going to say be careful and do your research.
Many “do it yourself” foods lack in vitamins and nutrients that dogs need. Some also put your dog at risk for higher PH’d urine which can cause bladder and kidney stones.
Even something as simple as broccoli can change the delicate PH of your dog’s urine which can cause significant health problems and require future surgery.
There are also human food like grapes that can cause renal failure, and spices like nutmeg that can cause seizures and death.
If you don’t know that it is safe for your dog, don’t feed it to him!
Dogs need baths.
I know this comes as a shock to you, but dogs get stinky and the dirt and accumulated oils need to be cleaned from their fur on occasion.
I do try to keep from bathing my dogs all of the time.
When I had a dog with allergies, I had to wash him first every other day, and then about once a week for maintenance.
If you are using the right kind of shampoo and you are rinsing your dog’s fur well, he can be washed often.
But, most of us don’t want to have to wash our dogs too often!
Once a month is a good goal, to keep his skin clean and conditioned.
Just like washing our skin is good for us (provided we aren’t using harsh cleaners) it is also helpful for your dog’s skin.
Want the coolest and fastest way to bathe your dog and never have a soap buildup? Click here seriously this could change your life!
10. You Never Brush His Teeth
How often do you brush your teeth?
I am hoping you are going to say twice a day or at least daily.
Now how often do you brush your dog’s teeth?
If you don’t say daily, then you are ignoring a huge part of your dog’s health.
Tartar and bacteria can build up on teeth, then irritates the gums, and that bacteria makes its way into the blood system and to the heart.
Not brushing our dog’s teeth actually shortens their lives.
Think of old dogs that you have lost in your life.
If someone told you, you could have several more months or years with those dogs would you do whatever it takes to accomplish that?
Brushing their teeth can add months or years to their lives!
So go to your vet and purchase some CET toothpaste (prescription toothpaste that has an enzyme to break down your dog’s tartar. Human toothpaste can kill dogs) and put his toothbrush next to yours on the sink.
I have my dog’s toothbrushes sitting next to mine and as I step out of the shower I see fuzzy faces surrounding me because they know it is “Tooth Time!”.
To make sure they love it even more I give them a treat after they let me brush them, so for them it is like a double treat! For more help with tooth brushing click here .
Read and share this article with your friends so that they know how to extend the lives of their dogs!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.