Common Things You’re Doing That Put Your Dog in Danger

Getting a dog is a huge responsibility. You have a life in your hands, and it’s your job to make sure that life is healthy, happy, and safe while in your care. We would never intentionally put our furry friends in danger, but there are certain things people do that might be unsafe for their dogs that they aren’t even aware of. Are you guilty of any of the following behaviors?

1. Holiday parties

Holiday party with a dog

A party can seriously stress your dog out. | Mina3686/iStock/Getty Images

Your family dog is probably a big hit at holiday parties, but amidst all the celebration, you may be putting your furry friend in danger. Firstly, dogs can feel especially stressed with all the commotion: lots of people, ringing doorbells, loud music playing, and doors randomly opening and closing.

According to Dog Time, the Fourth of July is the most dangerous holiday for dogs because of the anxiety dogs feel due to fireworks, but a lot of the same stressors pop up during other holiday celebrations, too. The next time you host a party, keep your pup tucked away in a part of the house far away from the commotion, or keep him at a friend or family member’s house.

2. Leaving people food out

shepherd dog stealing from table

There’s a reason they get dog food. | pyotr021/iStock/Getty Images

Though dog owners should be aware of which human foods are OK and which aren’t prior to getting a dog, it’s impossible to keep an eye on your pup every second of the day. You never know what he’s capable of sneaking, especially if you’re prone to leaving food out.

There’s a long list of foods that are toxic to your dog. Make sure to stay up-to-date, and put your food away right after eating.   

3. Not picking up their poop

German Shepherd dog on the beach

It can transmit plenty of diseases. | Ava-Leigh/Getty Images

It’s easy to let this task get away from you — no one wants to pick up their dog’s poop. But it’s just a part of owning a dog. Your dog’s poop can be filled with bacteria and parasites and transmit such diseases as parvo, tapeworms, and giardia. It can also attract unwanted pests like rats. If you can’t be on top of picking up your dog’s poop, you probably aren’t ready to own a dog.

4. Car rides

Golden Retriever dog looking out of car window

No doubt, many love car rides, but be careful. | iStock/Getty Images

We’re not saying you can’t take your dog on car rides, we’re just saying to be more careful about it. “The window should never come down far enough for your pup to be able to jump out. Being able to stick his nose out for lots of sniffs is usually fine, but there’s no way to know when a dog in another car will make your pup want to jump out for a visit,” advises Dog Time. They also urge dog owners to make sure their pup’s are nice and safe in a seat belt or harness, in case the driver gets into an accident.   

5. Failing to properly vaccinate

Happy vet holding french bulldog puppy

Vaccines are just as important for dogs as for humans. | hedgehog94/iStock/Getty Images

Fatal dog diseases aren’t very common anymore because dog owners have been so good about vaccinating. However, because these diseases aren’t very common today, some dog owners now feel it isn’t necessary to vaccinate their dogs. This isn’t the case. Vaccines work well when every member of a community subscribes to them. And though some dogs have adverse reactions to vaccines, it’s very rare, and the benefits still outweigh the negatives.  

6. Giving your dog rawhide chews

Labrador retriever with bone is waiting at home.

A rawhide poses a huge choking risk. | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

You can find rawhide chews at just about any pet store, but they aren’t very good for your pup at all. A lot of dogs are sensitive to rawhide and can have digestive trouble after chewing on one. Additionally, rawhide chews can break off in little bits and be a choking hazard for your dog. It’s best to stay away from this particular chewable.

7. Buying the wrong leash and harness

Morning walk with dog (black labrador retriever)

Pick the right leash for the right dog. | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

It may seem obvious, but a lot of novice dog owners don’t put enough thought into the type of leash and harness they buy for their new furry friend. A bulldog needs a different kind of leash and harness than a great Dane. If you buy your dog the wrong size, it can choke him or put too much pressure on his lungs, and if your equipment’s too big, he can slip out and run into a busy street. Therefore, it’s important to know the size of your dog before picking out a leash and harness.

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