The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Getting a Dog

Adopting a dog is an exciting and fun experience, however, it can also be an extremely stressful one. There is a lot that goes into adopting a dog, from finding the breed that is right for you, to finding a dog that is ideal for your living situation, selecting a dog is not easy; nor is training and raising it. Training and raising a dog is so complex, that dog owners often find themselves making mistakes that can impact how the dog acts and his or her quality of life.

Mistakes made by dog owners are common. If you are a dog owner or are thinking about becoming one, this post will detail some of the common mistakes that dog owners make so that you can avoid making them.

Common Dog Owner Mistakes

As you begin your adoption journey, it’s important to research to find the kind of dog that is right for you as well as ways to train and raise it properly. You also need to consider some things such as who you live with, your physical capabilities, your financial situation, and where you are living. As you consider these things, it’s also crucial that you avoid some of the following common mistakes.


1. Neglecting the Vet and Medicine

This is perhaps the most common mistake that dog owners make; especially because dog owners may not even mean to neglect to take their dog to the vet or give it the proper medicine. Sometimes, new dog owners are not aware of exactly what the dog needs in terms of medicine and the vet and the dog’s health will suffer as a result. For example, many new dog owners don’t pay attention to when they should start giving their dog heartworm or tick medicine simply because they didn’t do enough research upon adopting their dog. 

Or, dog owners will not take their dog to the vet regularly because it isn’t on their radar, and other things in life seem more important. However, dog owners should always make it a point to put their dog’s health above many other things and do all that they can to keep their furry companion healthy.

2. Adopting a Dog Without Doing Proper Research on the Breed

Before adopting a dog, a potential owner should do proper research on the breed that he or she has in mind. A potential owner should make sure that they can provide a quality life for the dog given his or her living situation and physical capabilities. An employee from a retirement community in PA pointed out that seniors should pay special attention to this mistake because seniors may not be able to handle all breeds the way a younger person may be able to. 

 Likewise, a potential owner should research the dog breed to make sure that the dog breed has a good reputation and what to expect over the next few years. Avoiding this mistake will ensure that you get the dog that is right for you and you are happy with your breed selection. 

3. Not Providing the Proper Amount of Exercise and Activity

Oftentimes, dog owners neglect to provide their dogs with the proper amount of exercise that they need because it doesn’t fit into their schedules. Dog owners often don’t make time to take their dog on walks or outside to run around and play; not only does this impact the dog’s health, but it can also impact their overall quality of life.

Dog owners should set time aside every day to walk and entertain their dog so that the dog stays healthy and lives a quality life. If a potential dog owner says, “I don’t have time to walk my dog daily,” or, “I’m busy with work a lot, I don’t have the time to play,” then he or she should reconsider adopting a dog. 

cute puppy

4. Not Putting Enough Effort into Training

Dogs that misbehave are likely the way they are because of a lack of training or minimal effort put into their training by their owners. Dog owners must look into proper training techniques for their dogs to address their behaviours so that they can stop them and so they do not become lifelong habits. It’s common for dog owners to dismiss training their dog because it requires so much time and effort, however, this is important to address early on so that they can be broken of any bad habits.

Some common areas of misbehaviour that are not addressed by dog owners include:

  • Barking
  • Nipping/biting
  • Growling
  • Going to the bathroom inside
  • Chewing

If your dog practices any of these behaviours, look into ways to stop them, or contact a dog trainer before it is too late.

5. Getting a Dog Before They Are Ready

Unfortunately, many people adopt a dog before they are ready, and a lot of times, the dog ends up in the shelter if the owner truly can not continue to care for it. Before getting a dog, an owner should think about his or her own life and whether or not a dog fits into it or not. Then, the owner should think about the breed that he or she wants, and do proper research to ensure that that specific dog is right for them. 

Find the Dog That is Right For You

If you are thinking about adopting a dog, pay special attention to these common mistakes so that you can avoid making them. As you begin your adoption journey, make sure to do all that you can to ensure that you will be the best dog owner that you can be. 

About the Author

Kelsey Simpson

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

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