10 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make While Taking Care Of Their Little And Not-So-Little Friends

Lifestyle & community

January 15, 2018 14:32 By Fabiosa

Pets bring so much joy into our lives. Most people who share a home with a dog, cat, or another animal can confirm that their little friends make them happier. It’s important to keep in mind that if you have an animal, you are not just an owner – you’re a caregiver. You need to know how to treat your pet right to keep him or her healthy and happy, which would make you happier in return.

Most people think of themselves as knowledgeable pet owners. But some things we do (or don’t do) for our pets may be harmful to them despite our best intentions. Below are some important points to keep in mind if you’re taking care of a pet:

Adopting or buying a pet on a whim is a bad idea

Bringing an animal into your home has to be a thought-through decision. You have to think about how much space the animal needs and how much money and time you will have to spend with your new pet. If you haven’t had a pet before, do some research about the animal’s character and needs. If you live with your family, ask them whether they agree with your intention. And you should never give an animal as a gift to someone unless he or she specifically asks for it.

Feed your pet at a fixed time every day

Many cat owners complain that their pet wakes them up at night or early in the morning meowing for food. This is probably because the said owners feed their animal whenever he or she asks for it. The solution is to feed your pet at the same hours every day, so he or she will get used to a schedule (it applies to other animals, not just cats). Treats should be reserved for rewards for good behavior and learning new tricks.

Certain people foods are toxic to animals

The most well-known example of such food is chocolate. Chocolate is good for people in moderate amounts, but it contains substances that are toxic to cats and dogs. While a cat probably wouldn’t eat chocolate anyway, a curious dog can easily ingest chocolate or something else that contains cocoa, thus getting a food poisoning. Learn more about foods and drinks that are poisonous to animals and make them inaccessible to your pets to keep them out of harm’s way.

Cats shouldn’t drink milk

The only milk cats should drink is the milk that their mama cats feed them with when they are kittens. Because most cats are lactose-intolerant, drinking milk will give them indigestion and diarrhea.

Young children should play with pets only under an adult’s supervision

It’s fun for the child, but it’s sometimes not so fun for the animal. A child may squeeze an animal too hard in an attempt to hug it, but the animal will not understand that the pain was unintended and may bite or scratch the child. To prevent your kid and your pet from getting hurt, you should always watch them when they play.

If you have a few pets of different species, such as a cat and a guinea pig, you should also keep an eye on how they interact with each other. Better still, keep the animals apart from each other.

Spay/neuter your pet unless you are a breeder

Some people think it’s inhumane, but it’s actually a healthy choice for your pet. Spaying/neutering prevents testicular cancer in males and decreases the risk of breast cancer in females. It also prevents your pet from leaving home to look for a mating partner and getting lost and some other unwanted actions behaviors, including aggression and spraying.

Every animal has specific dietary needs, so feed your pet accordingly

If you intend to bring an animal into your home, you should learn beforehand what and how much the animal should eat. For cats and dogs, dietary needs may differ depending on their breed. If you have any questions regarding feeding your pet, consult a vet. Herbivorous animals should never be given animal-based foods. Carnivorous animals shouldn’t be forced to eat vegetarian/vegan diets.

Small animals should be fed diverse diets too. A common mistake bird owners make is feeding their pets exclusively grains. But to get the best nutrition, parrots and other birds also need vegetables, fruits, and sprouted grains.

Animals need quality healthcare, just like humans do

Even if your pet is doing fine, you should take him of her to a vet for regular check-ups. Your pet should get all necessary vaccines as well as anti-flea and anti-worm medicines. Some breeds of dogs, cats, and other animals may be especially susceptible to certain health problems, so ask the vet what you can do to prevent them.

Learn about signs of illness in your pet

Some pet owners make a mistake of overlooking behavior that their pets display when they are unwell. Here are a few examples: dogs may drag their bottoms across the floor if they have worms; parrots pluck their feathers because of physical and mental problems; some animals (especially herbivores) eat their relatives’ feces when their intestinal microflora is off balance.

If your pet shows strange behavior, take him or her to the vet.

Spend enough time with your pet

Another common mistake some pet owners make is spending less time with their animals than they need, especially with young ones. Your attention is essential for your pet’s emotional well-being, so make time for your pet to play with him or her or take the animal for a walk; it will make you both happier.

Source: WebMD Pets (1), WebMD Pets (2), TODAY

READ ALSO: Owning A Dog May Lower The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease And Be Beneficial For Overall Health, Study Finds


This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.