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7 Signs That You’re A Bad Dog Owner (+How To Change It)

Signs You Are A Bad Dog Owner

Raising Fido isn’t all about cuddles and visiting the dog park.

Being a fur parent requires treating your pooch right.

Unfortunately, some bad habits are difficult to break when having a fur baby.

So you might wonder, “Am I a bad dog parent?

Read on to know:

  • 3 benefits of reward-based training.
  • Easy tips on how to avoid being an awful dog handler.  
  • 7 signs you’re a bad dog parent (#3 is the most common).
  • And much, much, more…

7 signs you’re a bad dog owner (+how to change it)

#1: Physically beating your dog 

We don’t tolerate violence. 

In any form, or act. 

There’ll be times when our dogs piss us off.

Sometimes they’ll get moody and bark at you for no reason… 

Or won’t follow a task during training. 

But these aren’t excuses to beat them as a penalty. 

Inflicting pain by hurting them clearly shows that you aren’t fit to own a dog. 

Not to mention, physically harming or negatively disciplining hurts your relationship with them. 

And won’t even result in a positive impact.

A study revealed that dogs showed higher stress levels under negative training methods. Which may include hitting dogs as a disciplinary tactic.

On the other hand, canines trained with positive reinforcement were observed to be more relaxed. 

Vets even agreed that using pain-inflicting methods to discipline our pooches does more harm than good. 

You see, dogs get too stressed and traumatized…

And you’ll also suffer in the long run if these traumas build up because they’ll: 

  • Stop communicating with you due to a lack of confidence.
  • Have a hard time socializing as they develop aggressive behaviors.
  • They’ll stop alerting you of possible intruders when you punish them for barking.

Now, you might be thinking: 

“How can I avoid doing this to my pooch?” 

Well, fur parents must use…

Positive reinforcement techniques

The aim is to reward your dog for their good behavior, such as:

  • Buying new toys. 
  • Playing at a dog park. 
  • Introducing a new game.
  • Using repeated praise or positive voice tones. 

Doing so:

  • Encourages discipline.
  • Emphasizes your Fido’s needs.
  • Builds trust between you and your dog.

Take it from the best dog trainers in the world. Some have even accessible content on YouTube.

#2: Lack of routine 

Living a life of spontaneity can be a disadvantage if you’re a fur parent.

Like us, dogs need activities to stay fit. 

Without a daily routine, your pooch may be put at risk of:

  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart and lung diseases. 
  • Hip and Elbow dysplasia.
  • Other chronic illnesses (ex. cancer, glaucoma, and seizure). 

Plus, an inactive lifestyle for your dogs may develop destructive behavior like:

So, you have to expose them outside and increase their daily activities. 

Furthermore, research revealed that people with dogs are more physically active than those who don’t have one. 

Because dogs are good motivators to go out for a walk. 

That being said, you may start by introducing simple activities or exercises, such as:

  • Walking
  • Playing fetch.
  • Hiking on flat trails. 
  • Giving them mind-stimulating games. 

You might also like: 7 Real Reasons Why Dogs Like To Play Fetch

#3: Intentionally missing vet appointments

Missing vet visits can happen for numerous reasons. 

But what makes a bad owner is purposely missing these check-ups.  

A 2018 study revealed that our presence at vet appointments affects our dog’s behavior. 

It’ll be easier for Fido to go through the whole check-up if their parents are present. 

Because they’ll feel less tense and aggressive. 

“Why do some dog parents slack off on bringing their pooch to their vet appointment?”

Relying on natural home remedies to cure dogs is one reason. 

For instance, you’ve scheduled a vet appointment because Fido has been suffering from a certain skin condition, leading to excessive shedding…

Unfortunately, something urgent came up on that day.

So you considered using home remedies instead. 

However, you still have to bring them to the vet to diagnose/check up on their skin condition and receive proper treatment from experts.

In this case, it’s wise to schedule vet visits.

You could also ask clinic assistants to remind you a day before your appointment.

#4: Improper feeding practices 

Improper Feeding Practices Make You A Bad Dog Owner

Forgetting to feed them is a sign you’re a bad owner.

And this is one of the downsides of not having a fixed routine. 

Dogs need nourishment to grow healthy and develop. 

So not being able to eat on time will weaken your pooch.

Another thing that you must avoid is overfeeding them.

While there are dog breeds that are food obsessed… 

Sometimes, wanting to make up for the lost hours you didn’t feed your Fido might lead to overfeeding. 

Unfortunately, it has to stop. 

It’s a bad habit that causes dogs to become overweight. 

Plus, they’ll be prone to having:

  • Diabetes.
  • Heart diseases. 
  • Musculoskeletal problems.
  • Other serious health conditions (ex. Hypertension and urinary bladder stones). 

Further reading: 17 Worst Dog Food Brands (Avoid #3 At All Times)

So, you must create a feeding schedule to follow wholeheartedly. 

PetMd also suggests knowing the right amount of food intake for your dogs.

To assist you with this, here’s a feeding guide you can use to ensure you’re not overfeeding your dog. 

Disclaimer: Each food product we buy for our dogs varies in calorie content and formula. This table aims to give you a better understanding of how you should feed your dog. However, this is not a substitute for veterinary advice.

SizeWeight in lbs.Weight in kg.Cups per dayCalorie count
Toy31.361⅓ 139
62.722½ 233
Small104.536¾ 342
209.0721 ⅓ 576
Medium3013.6081 ¾ 781 
4018.1442 ¼ 969
5022.6802 ⅔ 1145
7031.7513 ½ 1474
8036.2873 ¾ 1629
9040.8234 ¼ 1779
10045.3594 ½ 1926

However, you might ask yourself this, 

“What if my dog’s obese?”

To help your obese pooch, ensure to:

  • Regularly monitor their weight gain.
  • Increase the number of daily activities. 
  • Consult the vet before adjusting their diet.

#5: Leaving your pup unattended

Dogs are sociable creatures.  

Leaving them for a longer period may cause anxiety and stress. 

While there are times you have to leave them for work or errands… 

You must make sure they have someone to watch over them. 

Since interaction is necessary for their mental and emotional development. 

And if you’re someone who’s always not around, reconsider raising a dog. 

It’ll only make them depressed and sad. 

To prevent this, I suggest you include your dog’s daily needs in your schedule.

Another option I can share is availing of dog sitter services. 

However, the first option might work best if you’re on a tight budget.  

#6: Leaving their poop where they dropped it

Your dog is your responsibility when you take them out for a walk. 

Responsible dog parents dispose of poop bags properly. 

Invest in dog diapers if you aren’t keen on scooping your furbabies’ poop after they drop it. 

Sometimes, poop stays on our doggo’s butt… 

And cleaning them can be difficult. 

To help you out, here’s how to remove dried poop off your fur baby’s bottom:

#7: Owning a dog when you aren’t ready

Research is essential before getting or adopting a dog.

Online resources are accessible to help you decide if you’ll be a good fur parent in the future. 

The likes of:

You have to understand that every dog is different. 

One routine may work for a specific breed, but it can’t be applied to others. 

Now you’re thinking having a dog is complicated…

And it’s just like you’re raising a baby.

Because they’ll depend on you most of the time. 

That said… 

You’ll be on your way to experiencing the disadvantages of owning a pooch if you’re an unprepared dog parent.