15 Veterinarians Share The Most Common Mistakes They See Pet Owners Make

List Rules
Vets: vote up the mistakes you wish people would stop making.

Having a pet is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. But It's easy to make mistakes when it comes to pet ownership, and these vets are breaking down the mistakes to avoid making. If you're curious about what common pet owner mistakes, check out this list of vet advice.


  • 1
    14 VOTES

    Letting Dogs Walk On Hot Sidewalks

    From Redditor u/Sandiles:

    Just a reminder if the sidewalk is too hot for your bare feet, your dog is definitely not having any better of a time on it.

    14 votes
  • 2
    12 VOTES

    Isolating Puppies Until They Are Vaccinated

    From Redditor u/cloud_watcher:

    I'm a vet. Not letting your dogs around other dogs until they have all their vaccines. Their socialization window closes about 14 weeks, meaning it is pretty much closed if you wait until 16 weeks. This causes a lot of dogs to go nuts and freak out whenever they see something they didn't see during that period.

    Notice, I did NOT say to take them to the dog park! They need to be around other dogs (and other people) in controlled situations: puppy socialization classes, friends' houses, etc. Make sure the dogs they are around are healthy, vaccinated, and good with puppies, and let them have positive experiences with other dogs and people. Obviously NEVER get behind on their vaccines while you're doing this.

    Expose them to your tall friends, your friends of different races, your friends with beards, hats, and sunglasses. Pull out the broom, an umbrella, an iron board... while giving them treats and having fun the whole time. Try to let them walk on slick floors, bricks, carpet, etc. so they won't have fears of those things. And always happy!!

    Every happy, positive interaction with something makes them less afraid. Every lack of exposure, or negative interaction, makes them more afraid.

    Your dog is your FRIEND. Your goal is not to make him do exactly whatever you want no matter what. It's to make him have good manners, but also let him have his own preferences, too. You're not training him like he's in the circus to do a bunch of stuff for your amusement. You're teaching him how to move safely in the world, which means not doing something (biting, urinating in the house, jumping uncontrollably) that will be a threat to his life someday. More dogs are surrendered and euthanized for behavior reasons than any other reason.

    12 votes
  • 3
    16 VOTES

    Relying On Medical Advice From Breeders

    From Redditor u/Doc_StockandBarrel:

    Veterinarian here.

    Getting and relying on medical advice from breeders and groomers (with no medical background). I once saw a rat terrier with a fractured humerus, which typically requires surgical correction. As I stepped out of the room to check availability with a surgeon, the client called the dog’s breeder who said not to follow my advice and to “just put the dog in a sling” and that she’s “done that on her own dogs plenty of times.”

    Also, not exercising dogs enough. Many behavioral problems can be solved with ample exercise daily.

    16 votes
  • 4
    18 VOTES

    Making Pets Vegan

    From Redditor u/CharlieBear26:

    Don't make your pet vegan or vegetarian because you are. Cats absolutely need essential amino acids that can only be found in meat. They won't survive otherwise.

    18 votes
  • 5
    10 VOTES

    Understanding That If You Can't Afford Basic Vet Care You Can't Afford A Pet

    From Redditor u/kahell:

    I’m a vet. I can list a million things I wish owners would understand about their pet’s health, but equally important is understanding that if you cannot afford basic veterinary care then you cannot afford a pet. Period. This is an industry with serious mental health concerns. We are routinely presented with cases that could have been avoidable if you’d practiced the suggested preventative care, or brought your pet in for evaluation once the symptoms started rather than waiting 6 weeks until the animal is beyond help. We are routinely berated by the public for being uncaring or having no compassion for not providing our services for free, though often veterinary diagnostics are performed at a fraction of the cost of human diagnostics and the turn-around time is considerably shorter. I do not want to euthanize your beloved family member, but if you have no ability to cover the estimated cost of care, you put us both in an unfortunate situation. The fact that I have to euthanize multiple pets on a daily basis is one of the worst parts of my job. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but oftentimes a traumatic end could be prevented with basic yearly checkups. Also please don’t expect me to cry over every euthanasia. If I didn’t distance myself from the heart-wrenching sadness, I would never be able to perform my job.

    10 votes
  • 6
    8 VOTES

    Letting Nails Grow Too Long

    From Redditor u/amoyensis13:

    Trim your pets' nails. I can't tell you how many times I've had to wrestle an ingrown nail out of an animal's flesh. And that stuff can get in there deep. And most of the time, the animal doesn't give you any signs that it's in pain and the owners don't even notice it's happening.

    8 votes