The best way to indulge your pet is to include many activities that responsible pet owners do regularly: buying premium foods, making regular vet and grooming appointments and giving your pet frequent exercise and training with a good, consistent program. But is it possible to spoil our pets too much? An article by Helium pet blogger Janet Farricelli acknowledges the fact that some behaviors, though rewarding, can at times be unhealthy for your dog. Keep an eye out for the following to make sure that your dog stays healthy, fit and happy:
- Begging followed by a reward – Rewarding barking, crying or pawing at you during dinner with table scraps can be bad for your dog because it enforces incorrect behavior, but more importantly because a lot of human food also contains ingredients that can be unhealthy or even deadly for animals. Human indulgences like fatty foods or chocolate can lead to obesity, toxicity, pancreatitis or other dangerous reactions in your dog.
- Praising at the wrong moment – When training your dog, you often want to praise them every step of the way. Limiting your praise to when they are actually performing the requested behavior, like a sit or stay, will enforce the behavior better than cheering them on after the fact. This way, in your dog’s mind, the good behavior is what makes you happy.
- Pampering that leads to laziness – If your dog does not receive proper exercise, nutrition or mental stimulation, it could lead an unhealthy environment for both yourself and your dog. Consider your dog’s breed and specific needs in your day-to-day pet activities.