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Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Dog or Cat

We know you love your pet unconditionally and strive to take good care of him, but even the most experienced owners can sometimes harm their cats or dogs and not even realize it.

Here are a few mistakes you might be making.

You Feed Your Pet From the Table

Giving your animal a few scraps from the table may seem harmless enough, but human food can cause a host of problems in cats in dogs. For one thing, those extra licks and bites of your food add up and can cause your pet to pack on the pounds. Also, too much rich and fatty food can lead to pancreatitis — a painful and potentially life-threatening disease. Finally, some human foods are dangerous or toxic for pets. Household staples like onions, grapes and chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach or worse.

If those risks don’t deter you, consider this: Feeding your pet from the table encourages begging, which is one of the more annoying and undesirable canine behaviors around.

You're Using the Wrong Collar or the Wrong Size Collar

Finding the perfect collar or harness for your dog or cat will benefit both you and your pet. There are many types of collars and harnesses, and the different kinds can help with issues like pulling, lunging and escaping. Dog trainer Mikkel Becker has great advice on choosing the right collar or harness for your dog. Some dogs are prone to tracheal collapseand might be better off with a harness instead of a collar. Do your research to find the collar or harness that’s right for you and your pet.

Once you've determined you have the right type, make sure you get the right size. According to Dr. Marty Becker, if a collar fits correctly you should be able to slip one finger between the skin and collar of a small dog and two fingers between the skin and collar of a large dog. If it’s too loose, your dog could wiggle out of her collar or harness and escape. If it's too tight, the collar or harness could rub against her skin and hurt her.

There are also collars that are more safe for your cat to wear, including collars that break away if she gets stuck on something.

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