Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Top 10 Pet Owner Mistakes Part 1

Posted by Blog Administrator at 21:27
The Top 10 Pet Owner Mistakes Part 1


Avoid common errors, and keep your four-legged pal healthy and well-behaved.

Mistake 1: Buying a Pet Spontaneously

Why this is a mistake: That doggie in the window may be darling, but he might not be the right fit for your family or lifestyle.

How to avoid it: Fully inform yourself before you bring home a pet. Every dog or cat has its own needs, some of which are specific to the breed. Terriers tend to dig; Abyssinians explore and climb.


If there’s a breed that interests you, read up on it (try the website of the American Kennel Club, at akc.org, or the Cat Fanciers Association, at cfainc.org), talk to owners, and get to know someone else’s Border collie or Persian. That said, not every dog or cat is typical of its breed, so “ask about the pet’s history, health, and temperament,” says Stephanie Shain, a director at the Humane Society of the United States. When dealing with a breeder, you should be shown where the pet was raised and meet his parents.

Mistake 2: Skipping Obedience Training
Why this is a mistake: Bad habits can be difficult to train out of a pet. So unless you have the know-how to school an animal, you need the help of a pro.

How to avoid it: Even before a puppy starts formal training, teach him simple commands, such as sit and stay. A puppy can begin formal training at eight weeks (and ideally before 12 weeks), after he has had his shots. “Between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, puppies readily absorb information about the world around them,” says Andrea Arden, author of Dog-Friendly Training .

To help a dog stick with good behaviors, every few years take him for a refresher course. (Find one in your area at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, apdt.com.)

Mistake 3: Being Inconsistent With the Rules

Why this is a mistake: If one child lets Fifi on the bed and another punishes her for it, the animal will be confused. Bad behavior is inevitable.

How to avoid it: Make sure everyone in your household knows―and follows―the rules, says Arden. “You want your dog to sit before eating a treat?

You don’t want your kitten to pounce on your hands? Then figure out a system that will help your pet succeed.” Pets thrive with a sense of order, so discuss with your family when yours should be fed, exercised, and even given a treat.

Mistake 4: Dispensing Too Many Free Treats

Why this is a mistake: Treats lose their training value if your pet gets them for no reason.

How to avoid it: “Think of treats as currency given to a pet to reward good behavior,” says Marty Becke. Assign each type of treat a value, and pay according to how well your pet behaves.

Kibble is worth a dollar; a chicken strip, five; bologna, 10. “But it’s important to not pay off the good behavior all the time,” Becker says. “That way, your dog will always hope he might get that piece of bologna, and he’ll eventually perform without seeing a treat.”

Mistake 5: Neglecting to Socialize Your Pet

Why this is a mistake: Pets that aren’t exposed to a variety of animals and people at a very young age can develop fears and aggressive behavior.

How to avoid it: Introduce your pet to adults, kids, animals, and environments so he’ll take every novelty in stride. It’s optimal for a pet to start the process before you bring him home, since the critical socialization period is early in life.

“For a dog, it’s between the ages of 3 and 12 weeks. For cats, it’s between 2 and 8 weeks,” says Nicholas Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, in North Grafton, Massachusetts. The breeder or the shelter’s adoption counselor can tell you how much socialization an animal has had.

Click here for Part 2
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on Delicious
Share on Reddit
Share on Digg
Share on simpy
Share on Technorati
furl Share on furl
Feeds RSS Subscribe to Feeds RSS
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

The Cozy Pet Copyright © 2012 Blog dedicated exclusively for Pets