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10 Mistakes New Pet Owners Make

Adopting a pet is exciting, but it’s not just about cuddles and cute photos. There are common mistakes new pet owners make.

Before adopting, take a moment to learn from these mistakes and start on the right foot.

No matter what kind of pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, or any other small animal, they will need constant care and guidance.

Millions of pets end up on the streets or are euthanized because of irresponsible owners.

Caring for animal companions is fun and fulfilling, but there are certain responsibilities you need to take on to ensure that they are living their best lives.

Here are 10 of the most common mistakes new pet owners make:

10 Mistakes New Pet Owners Make

Getting a Pet Before You Are Ready

Adopting a pet on impulse is so easy to do, most especially when it’s an animal that urgently needs a new home.

However, there are tons of things to prepare before the arrival of a new family member.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a little rabbit, kitten, or dog. It can be so hard to resist cute animals, but before making the big decision, do some research first.

Ask yourself an important question. Are you ready to get a new pet?

If you already have animal companions at home, will they tolerate the new addition to the family?

Are you willing to put up with the messes and behavioral issues you might face?

Getting a new pet will require you to invest in training, exercises, quality food, veterinary care, and other interactive activities.

Giving Too Much Freedom

If you want your pets to be well-behaved, you must learn how to effectively apply discipline and structure to your home, not just endless affection episodes.

Pets need rules and good leadership to overcome bad behaviors.

Learn how to balance love and discipline and everything else will follow. This applies not just to dogs.

Believe it or not, birds, bunnies, and other small mammals need training and boundaries, too!

Remember that animals communicate with body language and levels of energy.

To be the best parent for animals of various species and co-exist harmoniously together, learn to strike the balance between love and discipline.

That balance is the best foundation of a long-lasting friendship.

Man training a large black and white dog in a grassy field.

Training Inconsistency

One of the most common mistakes new pet owners make is not training their pets consistently.

Animals need consistency to form habits, whether it’s something as simple as teaching them a command or something more complex like housebreaking.

If you don’t train your pet consistently, he won’t learn what you expect from him and can become confused and frustrated.

Crate Training

It’s important to crate-train your pets, especially when they’re young. By not doing so, you are doing them a great disservice!

I have heard the nay-sayer saying “I would never put my dog in a crate”. However, they fail to realize it is not a punishment but an extremely useful tool.

Crate training is great for potty training and helps speed the process along!

Crate training will give them a safe and secure area that is all their own and it will help keep them out of trouble while you are away.

It is also necessary in case they ever need to be kenneled or in an animal hospital where crates are used.

If your dog is not familiar with the crate before “needing” to be put in one, it can cause extreme anxiety!

However, if done incorrectly, crate training can also be very stressful for your pet and can make him hate his crate.

Be sure to follow the correct crate training procedures and start with short periods of time in the crate so your pet can get used to it.

Small Cavapoo puppy with dark eyes.

Not Socializing Your Pet

Socializing your pet is an incredibly important part of owning a pet and not doing so is another on the list of common mistakes new pet owners make.

It’s not just about teaching them to stay away from strangers but also introducing them to other pets and animals in their environment.

When you bring home a new pet, they will be scared and confused at first.

To help make the transition smoother, it’s important to socialize your pet from an early age.

Take them on walks and let them explore the world around them. Introduce them to other pets, so that they get used to new smells and faces.

Engage in activities like playing fetch, going for trips to the park, or just spending time with your family members.

All of these will help your pet become more confident and sociable.

Feeding Improperly

Not all pet food products are created equal. Don’t just get the cheapest pet food on the shelves.

You need to do two things.

First, research what is the best diet for your pet, and then second, consult your veterinarian or other experts.

Buying cheap products doesn’t really save you money in the long run.

As the months and years progress, you’ll realize that ingredients matter a lot in pet care.

Improper feeding can lead to health issues, including malnutrition and skin issues.

It may eventually result in bad health that may cost you even more once your pet gets sick.

Moreover, overfeeding doesn’t equate to love.

Avoid obesity at all costs by feeding the right amount of food recommended by your vet.

Human Food

We also should note that one of the biggest mistakes new pet owners make is feeding human food!

A little bite here and there is not going to hurt anything. However, feeding large amounts of human food is asking for health issues for your furry friend!

Too much table food can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, obesity, and other serious medical conditions!

Neglecting Grooming

Proper grooming is essential to a pet’s health and well-being.

It is not just about making them look pretty or cute.

Depending on the type of pet you have, some may require regular brushing, trimming, bathing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, and more.

Neglecting your pet’s grooming needs can lead to physical discomfort, infection, matted fur, and other skin problems.

It’s important to develop a regular grooming routine that works for your pet.

Ask your vet or groomer what products are safe to use on your pet and watch out for any signs of discomfort or illness.

Make sure to always provide fresh water and nutritious food to help promote healthy skin and coat.

Not Providing Enough Activities and Exercises

Exercise is a basic need for every pet, including hamsters, potbelly pigs, rabbits, and even bearded dragons.

Lack of exercise can lead to major behavioral problems.

Some pets need more exercise than others, but most pets need simple activities for mental stimulation.

Try exercises, games, and other well-rounded activities to keep your pets happy and preoccupied.

Exercise becomes even more important if you are a pet parent to a dog.

No matter what breed, size, or age, dogs need regular exercise.

A tired canine is more focused, calm, and behaved.

It prevents digging, chewing, barking, and other anxiety-related actions. In addition, it helps them develop denser bones, stronger hearts, and lower blood pressure.

Smiling woman veterinarian with a smiling Golden lab dog on the exam table.

Skipping Veterinary Appointments

Veterinary visits are crucial, even if your pet is not currently sick.

A lot of pet owners skip routine veterinary visits unless something bad happens with their pets.

You may think that medical care is not needed because she is obviously feeling happy and healthy, but attending regular checkups helps avoid the huge costs and inconvenience of treatments.

Routine wellness assessments allow veterinarians to detect small health problems even before they become fatal.

One of the most amazing things about these visits is that they nurture the relationship between your pet and the veterinarian, making handling a lot easier.

Skipping Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm prevention is something that pet owners should take seriously.

It is also one of my top pet peeves! I have adopted two heartworm-positive dogs that have had to go through extremely painful treatments – all of which could have been prevented! GRRR!

Heartworms are parasites that feed on the bloodstream and can cause severe damage to their hosts if left untreated.

The good news is, there are medications available to prevent heartworms in dogs and cats.

You may think the preventatives for heartworm disease are expensive, but it’s much more cost-effective than treating heartworms.

Most of the medications come in monthly doses, so you can set a reminder and give your pet a dose every month.

It’s also important to have your pet tested by the vet before starting preventative medication.

Neglecting Dental Health

Dental health is often neglected in pet care, but it’s something that should be given serious attention.

Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other serious oral issues. Dental disease can also lead to other serious health conditions!

To help maintain your pet’s dental health, it’s important to brush their teeth regularly.

Proper brushing techniques involve using a soft-bristled toothbrush or finger brush and using pet-approved toothpaste.

Moreover, try to feed your pet kibbles that have been specially designed for cleaning teeth.

These kibbles have rough edges that can help remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.

And of course, make sure to visit the vet regularly for professional dental cleanings to help avoid dental issues.

Little girl laying on a bed and holding her gray cat.


New pet owners should be aware of the common mistakes they may make when taking home a new furry friend.

Developing a regular grooming routine and providing enough activities and exercises are important for keeping your pet healthy and happy.

Skipping veterinary appointments, neglecting heartworm prevention and dental health care can lead to serious health issues that could have been prevented.

It’s important to research any pet before getting one, so you can be sure you are prepared to provide the best care possible.

This will ensure that both you and your pet will have a happy life!

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