They might be a man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean to say that dogs are immune from the mistakes or ignorant owners.

Of course, when we speak about these owners, we do so in a completely innocent way. After all, many of the mistakes that we are about to document through today’s post are done without realizing it – but that is the reason they are so dangerous. Because of this, they are carried out time and time again, and this can be to the detriment of your pet’s health.

Following on from this, let’s now jump into six mistakes that owners commonly make which can put the health of their pet in jeopardy.

The perils of table food

If we really want to delve into just what some foods can do to the inside of your dog, we would advise that you take a look at this piece by Scumbles.

However, to visit this point in more detail, we really can’t emphasize just how bad a lot of table food is. Granted, it can be difficult to say no to those glaring eyes when you are dining, but there are some table scraps which can cause considerable harm to your canine friend.

To coin a few examples, potato skin, grapes and avocados all fall into this category, while let’s not even start about the dangers of chocolate. The best advice is to stick to dog-only foods.

You don’t take care of your dog’s teeth

While we all make sure that we take our dog to the vet whenever they need medical assistance, there isn’t quite the same drive when it comes to their dental health.

For whatever reason, this isn’t really preached. Considering the fact that dogs will suffer from very similar problems, with plaque being one of them, it’s absolutely crucial that you start to keep on top of this. Some owners will ask their vets to do this, while others might take a DIY approach with a dog toothbrush.

This is also one of the reasons why it is important to get your dog used to their mouth being touched from a young age. Some dogs, particularly older ones, just won’t accept it and it can make this issue very difficult to keep on top of.

You stop your dog socializing

Sometimes this is because of circumstances, while on other occasions it’s because owners are genuinely scared of letting their dog socialize. Particularly if you own a breed which is renowned for being quite challenging and potentially aggressive with others, the “easy” way out is to avoid such conflicts.

Unfortunately, as time progresses, this becomes a problem. It will result in your dog becoming more nervous around other dogs, and this can just heighten the issue of aggression.

The rules don’t just apply to other dogs either. If you don’t let your dog socialize with children from a young age, they can also develop all sorts of “phobias” which make them nervous of these situations as well.

Smoking doesn’t just hurt humans

We don’t need to educate you on the dangers of smoking, this is something that has been in the public domain for many years.

Something which might raise a few eyebrows is the effect that this has on your pet though. In other words, secondhand smoke does affect them, and not in a good way.

For those of you looking for hard and fast proof, check out this article from the New York Times. In short, those dogs who live with smokers are more likely to get lung cancer.

Pet obesity is a thing

Something that will have become abundantly clear through this article is that dogs suffer in very similar ways to what humans do. As this sub-title might have suggested, obesity falls into this category.

Just like obesity in humans is on the rise, the same is happening in dogs. Something else which is similar is the solution; a better diet and more exercise.

As such, try and go that extra few minutes on your walk, or just engage in a bit more play with your dog. Both can make a monumental difference to how active they are and prevent the dreaded O-word.

You don’t wash your dog

Whether this is because of the way in which we’re taught about cats and how they wash themselves, we’re not sure. However, to cut to the point, dogs don’t. It’s up to the owner to wash them, usually with a bath, yet many of them opt against this.

Again, the reasons are usually completely innocent, but you do need to change your approach in this regard. Some dog coats are worse than others, but they will all attract dirt and even pests. Suffice to say, these are going to wreak havoc with your pet’s skin and potentially cause them no-end of problems.

If your dog is one who simply loves the outdoors, this is something that you should be doing as a matter of urgency. And, it should be done on a regular basis.

You don’t understand their behavior

A lot of you will be suggesting that we are crazy with this next suggestion. After all, how could you not understand the behavior of your dog who you physically live with?

Well, you might know what their favorite food is, and you might know when they need to relieve themselves, but in terms of understanding their body language many owners just don’t get this.

Let’s turn to hugging as an example. It’s something that most pet owners do on a regular basis, yet if one were to scrutinize the reaction of most pets it wouldn’t be a positive one. They lick their lips, their ears shoot back, and both of these are signs that they are stressed.

Of course, different dogs will react in different ways when it comes to stress levels. We’re not going to speculate what yours will do but suffice to say, it’s not a sensation that you want to promote. Understand your dog’s body language and change your behavior accordingly.