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Top Mistakes Pet Owners Make

James R. Speiser, DVM, DABVP, CCRT

August 4, 2017

When it comes to our pets, we do our best to give them everything they need. They’re a part of our family, and as such, we want what’s best for them, but are we really providing our pets the best care possible? Today we’ll examine the top 5 mistakes that many pet owners make:

  • Not taking your pet to regular veterinary appointments. It’s easy to explain away the need of going to the vet when it looks like your pet is doing fine, but they can’t talk to you and tell you when something might be wrong, so keeping regular vet appointments is critical to early identification of what could turn into a large health problem later.
  • Overfeeding and over-treating. Obesity is a huge problem in veterinary medicine, leading to many diseases. It’s important to know your pet’s ideal weight (your veterinarian can help you determine this) and then to weigh out the proper amount of food for your pet at mealtimes. Ideally, you should be feeding your pet twice a day, and treats should be kept to a minimum.
  • Skimping on exercise. It’s hard enough to make sure you get enough exercise for yourself sometimes, so it’s no wonder that we sometimes forego a walk for our dogs, or playing with a ball or frisbee outside, but exercise is the #1 way to maintain good health for your pet.
  • Neglecting dental care. Sure it can be difficult to brush your pet’s teeth, but even once week is better than nothing at all! Poor dental care can lead to numerous oral diseases which can in turn lead to poor nutrition or bacterial meningitis or even heart or kidney disease! If brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t possible, there are products available to put in your pet’s water that will substantially reduce the amount of bacteria in your pet’s mouth.
  • Sharing medications. Unless directed by your veterinarian, it’s NEVER ok to share medications made for humans with your pets. Products such as ibuprofen or tylenol can be very toxic to your pet.

If you have questions about any of these points, check with your veterinarian and they should be able to help. Your pet will thank you for it with a long healthy life!

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