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14 Mistakes Every Pet Owner Makes

 If you have a pet, it probably knows how important it is to you because you very likely show it a lot of affection. We have a lot of ways to show our pets that we love them, but sometimes these ways can have the opposite intended effect, and instead of providing them with a soothing and peaceful feeling, we unintentionally make them feel frightened, stressed or confused. Therefore, it’s time we find out the 14 mistakes we make with our pets, and how to fix them.
 
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1. Wake your pet up from a nap when you feel like it
Just as you try to keep quiet when another family member is sleeping, you must also respect your pet's right to sleep peacefully. Keep in mind that waking up suddenly is a stressful experience - even for animals.
 

Our advice: You don’t have to cover your dog or cat with a blanket when it's napping, this is something that actually scares them, and you definitely shouldn’t disturb them without reason.

2. Pick them up when they least expect it

Every time we pass by our cat or dog, our desire to embrace them, or at least to stroke them is strong. Unfortunately, a surprising hug for them is sometimes stressful because it's not an action that occurs in nature, so they may feel confused and frightened.

Our advice: You can teach your pet to prepare for a hug if you say a certain set word before doing it, such as "hug".

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3. Yell at your pet for eating food that was left out

Have you ever left food out on the kitchen counter and after a few minutes you found your pet devouring it? Our initial reaction is to punish the pet, but you should avoid this. Animals have instincts that are hard for them to ignore because they do not have developed self-control mechanisms like we do.

Our advice: Store "human food" in the refrigerator or kitchen cabinets.

4. Stare at your pet

When someone stares into our eyes, we feel uncomfortable, and in the animal kingdom, it's a sign of aggression and readiness to attack. So your animal can feel uncomfortable when being stared at.

Our advice: If you really like to look at your pet, do it in a way that will not intimidate it - avoid looking at it in the eyes.

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5. Use different words for the same commands

For your dog, a phrase like "bring the ball" is completely different from the sentence "run to catch it". So your pet may be confused if you give it different commands for the same actions, and the game will be much less enjoyable for it.

Our advice: Use only one word or phrase as a command for each type of action.

6. Allowing your pet to rest throughout the day

Just like us, animals must also engage in physical activity. Even if your cat or dog likes to sleep all day, you have to play with them or take them out for a little walk. Lack of physical activity can cause your pet to suffer from obesity and joint problems.

Our advice: Play with your pet for a few minutes every day, and if you have a dog, take it for a walk at least once a day.

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7. Sharing your food with your pet

It's very difficult to resist the possibility of sharing a meal with your pet, but it's necessary. Unfortunately, our food is not suitable for animals, and if you want to keep your pets healthy, the best choice is to only give them food that is made for them.

Our advice: Do not let your pet eat processed or fast food.

 

8. Try to diffuse a stressful situation with words

Our pets can sense when something bad is about to happen. If your dog or cat is afraid to bathe, for example, they may run away as soon as you open the bathroom tap next to them. You can try to talk to your pets sensibly, but phrases such as "it’s okay" or "don’t worry" will not help. On the contrary, they will learn to relate the words to the activity they fear.

Our advice: Do not use consoling words, but simply act naturally - the less stressed you are, the more your pet will slowly relax.
 

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9. Keep one litter box in the house for multiple cats

If you are raising a few cats in one house, it can be very convenient to let them all use the same litter box, but it's not as comfortable and convenient for them. Each animal needs its own space, especially when it comes to a place where they regularly mark their territory. By separating the cats' litter boxes, you can prevent them from fighting over territory.

Our advice: Before you adopt a cat, make sure you can provide it with its own space and supplies so that it will be provided a sense of protection and independence.

10. Scold the pet for any mistake or disobedience to commands

Our pets have feelings too, and they can understand when they make a mistake and therefore feel guilty or ashamed. Don't blame your pet for the mistakes it makes - it just doesn't know the rules because you did not explain it to them properly, or maybe it’s just seeking attention that you aren’t giving it.

Our advice: No matter how much your pet misbehaves, stay calm and consistent while you teach it what to do and what not to do. If you just yell at it and convey anger, your pet will be confused and scared, and that will only make things worse.

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11. Leave extra food in its food bowl

Many people leave their pets with more food than they need in the case that they get hungry when no one is around to feed them. While this sounds like a thoughtful solution, it's actually a habit that leads to a large and unhealthy weight gain. Because food is always available, the pet will eat whenever it sees the food and feels bored or sad, even if it isn’t really hungry.

Our advice: Give your pet the daily portion recommended for its breed, weight, and age. This information is usually printed on the food packaging itself, and if you’re still unsure, you can also always consult your veterinarian.

12. Leave home for a long time

We want to believe that while we are not at home, our pet simply sleeps and stores up energy, but that's not true. When dogs and cats remain alone for more than a few hours, they become stressed and sad. Never leave your pet unattended for more than a day or two, and always make sure it has everything it needs to get along comfortably when you're away from home.

Our advice: If you have to leave home for a long time, ask a friend, family member or neighbor to visit your pet and make sure it has everything it needs. Another option for when you’re going to be away for a large number of hours is to adopt another pet so that they can keep each other company.

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13. Train your pet too late

It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, so we have to be tough and consistent with puppies. When we adopt an animal we often believe that we will have all the time in the world to train it, but the opposite is true. The sooner you start explaining what's right and what’s wrong, your pet will have an easier time understanding your rules.

Our advice: Train your pet as early as possible - if you come home and see a puddle of urine on the floor, do not waste your time scolding an older dog - he will not understand why you're getting angry. Additionally, always remember positive reinforcement for good behavior.

14. Forget that our pet’s life revolves around us

Just like babies, pets also need a lot of attention. In addition to feeding and walking it, we must always remember that we are the most important thing to our pet, and yes even quality time at home is important. You have to play with your pets and show them that you love them when you can.

Our advice: Never forget how important you are to your pet, and appreciate it back for appreciating you.
 

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