Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how we learn. When it comes to our pets the mistakes we make can be small or huge. Sometimes we don’t know we are doing anything wrong until someone else points out the errors. Sometimes we start realizing our mistakes when we see the cat always jumping on the table and not getting down when we point the water gun or the dog is getting chubby. It’s not the end of the world and there are some common mistakes we all make as pet owners.
Here are 3 common mistakes:
1: Inconsistent with Rules – Our pets can figure out who is the more lenient one in the house and may know what they can and can’t get away with. If one of us in the house allows the dog to jump on the bed but the other doesn’t, there is confusion and bad behavior is somewhat inevitable. Avoid this by making sure everyone is on the same page. Figure out a system and stick to it. Pets behave better and are happier when they know what behavior elicits positive rewards. They will repeat those behaviors. If the signals are mixed, the behavior will be too.
2: Cutting back on Exercise – Pets get stir crazy and need to exercise. Bad weather, long working hours, and crazy schedules can mean our pets don’t always get the time and exercise they need. If they don’t get enough play time their energy can channel into barking, scratching furniture, or even become irritable and hostile in terms of behavior. Avoid this by making sure the walks are consistent everyday and at least 30 minutes a day each time. Dogs need more exercise than people do and that may mean a consistent trip to the dog park on a weekend morning before doing other chores. It may also mean enrolling your pup in doggie daycare. Your cat needs to play and run around too, ping pong balls, paper bags, and other items can stimulate your cat’s mind and make him happy.
3: Make sure you house is Pet Friendly – a cat with a litter box that is a place he can’t get to easily will end up using the carpet and a dog that doesn’t have a bed may end up sleeping on the couch. Location is the key. Litter boxes need to be in areas your cat can get to without much struggle. If you keep it in the basement, make sure the door is never closed, cat doors work great. If your dog has a habit of “helping” you clean the litter box, place it somewhere where the dog can’t access it but your cat can. A bathroom works best with a cat door installed in the bottom of the door. Buy a dog bed or make one and keep in the family room. Maybe get a few of them so your dog can sleep in the bedroom but not on the bed. Make sure there are places, toys, and things for your pets to lie on, play with, and shed on that aren’t things you want to keep them off of.