You’ve fed, played, and even walked your dogs daily.
But deep inside, something is bothering you:
“Why do I feel like I’m doing this wrong?”
Luckily, I got your back.
I have a list of situations that can probably explain why you feel like a bad fur parent.
Continue reading to find out:
- 5 easy tips to be a better dog handler.
- 5 effective ways to overcome unnecessary guilt.
- 9 instances of feeling bad as dog parents (#6 is spot-on).
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why do I feel like a bad dog owner? 9 potential reasons
Why do I feel like a bad dog owner? 9 potential reasons
#1: Getting a dog on impulse
Raising a fur baby is an important life decision as it can affect you and your dog’s life forever.
By bringing woofers home…
You’ll be responsible for all their basic needs:
And this isn’t an easy job.
Unfortunately, 1 out of 4 fur parents lack proper preparation before getting a dog.
Findings from a 2020 study revealed that:
- 15% worry about food, vet, and insurance costs.
- Only 5% seek a vet’s advice before getting a dog.
- More than 40% only get Fido because of their appearance.
From simply looking at funny and cute photos of Fidos, you would want to have a pooch immediately.
However, impulsive dog ownership can harm dogs’ long-term well-being.
It may lead to:
- Chronic stress.
- Social isolation.
- Behavioral problems.
- Abandonment or rehoming.
These issues sound scary to face. So you’re probably wondering…
“What should I do before raising Fido?”
- Consult a vet.
- Assess your lifestyle.
- Prepare for expenses.
- Check reputable dog websites.
- Visit an animal shelter beforehand.
Getting a dog is a serious and demanding job.
Impulsively owning a pooch may eventually cause you to neglect important duties.
Which can make you feel like you’re a bad dog owner.
#2: Personality mismatch
Sometimes you just don’t vibe with your pooch, no matter how much attention you give them.
And you eventually think that your dog’s personality is the problem.
Thus, making us feel like bad fur parents.
There are fur babies that just don’t fit our lifestyles as parents.
Here’s a scenario:
You impulsively get a guard dog as a way to protect yourself in an unsafe neighborhood.
However, there’s a chance that your personality doesn’t click with your new pooch.
There are cases wherein new dog owners find their Fidos to be too much for their personality.
Such as busy owners unable to keep up with their working dogs’ necessary active lifestyle.
However, there’s always room for improvement.
You can always start with small steps, like:
- Choosing a helpful vet.
- Adjusting your schedule.
- Organizing play dates.
- Preparing a healthy diet.
- Evaluating your commitment.
After all, vets claim that we can share the same personality as our dogs.
But you might be thinking…
“Aren’t dog personalities based on their breed?”
For example, AKC crowned the Labrador Retriever the US’s most popular dog breed.
Everyone thinks that these breeds have great personalities.
But, a study revealed otherwise:
The breed itself has nothing to do with a dog’s personality.
Still not convinced?
Watch this video that explains why the breed isn’t the basis of a dog’s attitude.
#3: Setting high expectations
“There’s nothing my doggo can’t do.”
As a fur parent, we must manage our expectations in raising our pooch.
Hence, we need to be able to understand our dogs as well.
Remember that dogs use non-verbal cues to communicate with us.
And if we are unfamiliar with these, it’ll be hard to deal with them.
More so, we’ll only get frustrated once they don’t follow us.
Instead, you should interact with them in ways like:
- Allowing them to explore on their own.
- Responding positively to their body language.
- Not comparing them to other dogs during training.
- Using reward-based methods each time they learn new skills.
Further reading: 13 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Punish Your Dog
#4: Failing to set up a separate budget
Dogs can be fascinating to have, but raising them means extra costs.
You may have experienced missing vet visits because you didn’t have a budget.
A 2018 report even stated that 28% of low-income homes with fur babies in the US experience vet care problems.
This can be a cause of why you feel like a bad dog owner.
From ASPCA’s estimated list of vet expenses…
You must prepare around $1,030 for your dog’s initial care cost.
Though the cost may overwhelm you…
Plenty of animal organizations can aid you in raising your Fido.
Check these charitable institutions if you need financial support:
#5: Ignoring behavior problems
Sometimes loving our dogs so much makes us ignore their bad behavior.
Unfortunately, this can lead to serious problems in the future, like:
- Territorial barking.
- Excessive chewing.
- Uncontrollable chasing.
- Inappropriate eliminating.
- Repeated biting or nipping.
I know that we aim for positive reinforcement when teaching our furbabies.
However, it’s necessary to correct their bad behavior.
You can do so by:
- Socializing them with other dogs.
- Staying calm when talking to them.
- Learning how to work with their trainer.
- Involving family members in reinforcing behavior training.
#6: Being impatient
We all went through our fair share of annoyance at our dogs’ persistent need for attention.
However, dogs are social beings.
They need mental, physical, and social stimulation to develop.
Reacting badly each time they want to go out or play will affect their emotions.
Keep in mind that dogs must be exposed to new environments to grow.
And during this process, you also have your duty as a fur parent.
“How do I become a better dog handler?”
- Be present in training.
Our presence matters in the development of our furbabies.
They can feel safe and comfortable if they see you during their training.
Of course, this will depend on the program you have with their trainers.
Ensure that you have fixed your schedule to join them in learning something new.
- Try to learn their language.
Since dogs use their body language to talk to you, have the patience to learn it.
Mastering non-verbal cues can help us detect their needs.
Plus, notice early signs of possible health problems.
- Be mindful of their health.
Prevention is always better than cure, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Keeping Fido healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. You may start by…
- Exercising together.
- Checking their teeth.
- Giving them a good bath.
- Taking them out for a walk.
- Providing them with a clean place to sleep.
- Perform research
Researching about your dog’s breed will help you get to know them more.
Plus, it’ll help you make a routine that’s ideal for your dog’s lifestyle and personality.
You might also want to know: Top 20 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds That Are Difficult To Train
- Don’t skip vet appointments.
Despite ensuring that your dog is generally healthy…
Vet visits are still necessary.
They should see their doctor and have their health records updated frequently.
#7: Feeling powerless when they suffer
It’s painful to see dogs suffer.
Our dogs are energetic creatures that can be very hyperactive sometimes.
So, whenever something bad happens to them…
We blame ourselves for not being attentive enough.
However, it’s best to know that it’s part of our journey with our pooch.
Be prepared for these situations, so you can protect your dog from possible incidents.
Socialization plays a vital role in our dogs’ life.
It helps them understand how the world works outside of the comforts of their home.
Plus, it teaches them how to interact with other dogs and the people around them.
However, if you dislike the idea of socializing your dogs because it takes up your time…
They’ll become overly shy and fearful of new environments.
Socializing has advantages for your dog’s well-being as it:
- Eases anxiety.
- Decreases stress.
- Builds confidence.
- Encourages freedom.
- Helps emotional and mental health.
#9: Living your life
Sometimes we also want to be alone.
And after some time of enjoying our peaceful space, we start to feel selfish for leaving our dogs.
Which urges you to overthink whether you’re being a bad fur parent.
“How do I overcome feeling like a bad dog owner?”
- Remember your commitment
You know that your life will change when you take Fido home with you.
But you still chose to do it anyway.
Because you know you can provide for their needs and shield them from harm.
So, make it a habit to always remind yourself of your intentions for your fur babies.
- Create a system at home
It matters that your household members know how to respond to your fur babies.
Having a system at home can free you from problems that can cause tension.
Ensure that the routine you have created works for everyone at home.
However, if you live alone with Fido…
You can create a routine that fits both you and your dog.
Doing so helps organize your personal and fur parent duties.
- Get rid of harmful objects at home
We want to leave the house knowing that our fur babies will be safe at home.
Ensure any hazardous materials are stored properly before you step outside.
- Practice patience
Be patient with your dog’s personality.
Moreover, we shouldn’t compare them to other dogs.
Because just like us, they’re also different and unique in their own way.
- Celebrate your bond
There may be challenges you have to face as a fur parent, but celebrate the happy times too.
It’s easy to feel bad when things don’t go our way as a dog handler…
But don’t forget the progress we already made from the first time we met our fur buddies.