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Common Mistakes Made by Pet Owners (Part 3)

  • Leaving your dog alone too long.
Eight to ten hours alone in a crate, laundry room, or even in an outdoor kennel is too long for dogs.  This treatment can lead to separation anxiety and destructive habits like nonstop barking, howling, digging, depression, chewing, and even hurting themselves.  Not all pet owners have the ability to stop home from work or their busy schedules in the middle of the day to give their pups attention.  Alternative options to solve this problem include doggie daycare or a pet sitter service that has someone come over mid-day to walk and play with your dog.  From the ages of 3-6 months, the general guideline for crating or isolation for a puppy is the one hour per month rule.  This means that at 3 months old the puppy should be ok left crated for 3 hours, and so on for 4 months, 5 months, and 6 months.  After 6 months it is generally acceptable to leave dogs crated for 6-hour spans.

 

  • Punishing pets when they come home to accidents.
Pet parents that come home and find a puddle of urine or a stool on the floor may have the urge to scold/yell at their pet.  Animal experts agree that this will do no good in fixing this behavior because it happened in the past and your pet will not understand why you are yelling at them.  The best approach to proper house training is to praise your pets right away when they do their business outside or in the designated area where they are supposed to.  This positive reaction will reinforce with them that this is a good behavior that they should continue.

 

  • Giving milk to cats.
Most cat owners believe the myth that cats need milk, which has been demonstrated through the years on TV and in movies.  Humans are the mammals that drink milk after they are weaned.  Most cats are lactose intolerant and cannot digest the sugars in milk which can give them diarrhea.  Some cats can digest milk without any problems, but they do not need it.  Therefore, veterinarians tell cat owners it is best to just not give them milk in the first place.

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