The ways not to spoil your pet I’m going to discuss today definitely work on my puppy, even despite the fact that my dad has this huge soft spot for him and uses every chance he gets to spoil the poor puppy rotten. Now, I’m sure many pet owners will hate me for what I’m going to say, but I do believe loving your pet doesn’t mean you have to turn him/her into a mean, bad-headed pest. There, I’ve said it, and if you happen to agree with me and plan on getting a pet yourself, let me offer a few tips on ways not to spoil your pet as a bonus:
One of the best ways not to spoil your pet and turn him into one of those overweight, always-hungry creatures is to introduce some food-related rules. Do not feed your pet off the table or get him to believe that he will eat every time you do. Different pets have different food requirements. Some are allowed fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy, but I can’t think of a single species or breed that could thrive on French-fries, onion rings, hot dogs or bagels. Seriously, it’s not just about making a point and raising your pet properly – it’s about keeping it healthy and that should be every pet owner’s priority!
Your pet can’t tell the difference between Jimmy Choos and Walmart house slippers, which means that if you allow him to chew up one pair of footwear, he’ll rightfully assume your entire shoe collection is available for chewing. Put your shoes away while your pet is teething and purchase plenty of chew toys.
I honestly believe our pets are way smarter than they are willing to let on! My dog has his “whatever” face, the “you don’t have your wits about you today, woman” face, that sly “I took a dump somewhere upstairs and I’m waiting for you to discover it” face, then there’s that “how can you eat with me down here looking so cute and forlorn” face…and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Sound familiar? Don’t let it distract you because the moment your pet learns that you’ll fall for it, tables will turn!
Diapers are super useful for long travels or those times when your poor pup has diarrhea, but they are not something you should use on a daily basis. Trust me, even the smallest of dog breeds need to be taken out for a walk at least two times a day for a number of very important reasons. They also learn from a very young age and doggy diapers won’t really teach them anything, just make life a bit easier for you. Your puppy needs to leave a “smelly gift” and get scolded for it enough times to learn we don’t make our kakas and peepees indoors.
You should not punish your dog if there’s no reason for it, nor reward it if there’s nothing to reward. Trust me – someday, he or she is going to poop on your carpet, give you the cutest puppy dog look and you’re going to want to smile and hug it like it’s no big deal. But you shouldn’t! Scold your pet when he or she does something wrong but also remember to reward it when it does something right. Even the most stubborn of pets will learn, as long as you don’t send them mixed signals or provide loopholes they’ll use whenever they want to do things their own way.
There are plenty of folks out there eager to allow their pets to observe everything in the household as their plaything. Sure, that’s totally cute when they are little but it’ll give you nothing but a headache in the long run. Just consult eBay – you’ll find plenty of badly chewed up Chanel bags there to convince you to lay down some rules. And while your pet won’t wreck your sofa unless he’s really unhappy, there are plenty of things he will do unless you show him that’s a no-no.
Speaking about teaching your pet not to touch your things – one of the best ways to emphasize the difference between toys and things that aren’t meant for him to play with is to introduce toys at a very early age, name them and ask for them whenever your pet is in the mood to play. My pet has a “ball,” a “toy,” a “girlfriend” and his towel, and he never ever touches anything else. It used to be a bit of a struggle when he was a pup but now that he’s all grown up and properly raised, not even my dad’s attempts to get him to play with socks and whatnot can change it.
What do you think about spoiled pets and owners who allow their pets to do whatever they want? And do you think that raising your pet right matters or believe the final outcome has more to do with a pet’s personality?
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