DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!
I was recently contacted by Brittany, of Pet Wellness Advisor and asked to share my thoughts about: What is the biggest mistake dog owners make while caring for their pet, and how can they fix the issue?
Not doing research, in my opinion, is the biggest mistake dog owners make. This may seem like a blanket response; however, I believe that research is the foundation of responsible pet-parenting and can help prevent mistakes and prepare us for the tremendous responsibility we are about to take on. That of a living, dependant being. Regardless of species.
I admit that, as a first-time dog owner, I am guilty of not spending ENOUGH time doing my research before I rescued Henry. Thus, I made SEVERAL mistakes. Remorseful dog mom face.
It’s not that I didn’t do ANY research, I just didn’t realize how much there is to know!
- traits and requirements of different breeds
- breeder or rescue
- diet, nutrition, and supplements
- puppy teeth
- puppy behavior
- toys (not all created equally – safe)
- restricted food items
- other hidden, unexpected dangers
- what to do in case a mischievous dog gets into something they shouldn’t
- what to do if they escape
- seasonal safety
- travel safety
- grooming (do you know not to clip a double-coated dog?)
- vet checks & vaccinations (research – how often is really necessary and what products)
- senior companion concerns
The list goes on. And on.
Many of the above-mentioned points come with sub-points such as, how to choose a reputable breeder or rescue, vet, groomer, dog walker or pet sitter, and what and how to train your dog.
Research should be ongoing.
For example, I am continuously comparing nutrition content and supplements. I’ve learned (through research) that dogs, like people, can become intolerant of food items. We switch it up now and then. As dogs age, so do their needs. Having two senior dogs, one with a compromised immune system, I need to know what options are available to us.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from your vet or a qualified, reputable trainer, and don’t rely on the first thing you read, or are told
Our vet, Dr. Mudde is amazing. He is happy to review and discuss my findings, answer ALL my questions and because he knows it is important for me to learn, he educates me on things he knows I will find interesting and possibly beneficial not just to my pack but for those with whom I share the information. Don’t be afraid to discuss concerns and inquire about options.
I don’t mean to overwhelm you, and it is without judgment that I share my response. I am grateful there are so many pet-people, providing happy homes for animal companions. We’re in this together. We guide and support each other and share useful information. We learn different ways to connect with, and have more fun with our companions. We do our research because we love them and want to protect them.
Know better, do better!
I am humbled to be asked my opinion and appreciate the opportunity to share this feedback. Thank you, Brittany and PWA team for speaking with myself and other ‘practiced’ pet parents to compile a list and for making this information available to those who are doing their research.
What are some things you’ve needed to research for your companion(s)? Please comment below.