You want what’s best for your pet — get all the right vaccines, schedule your wellness appointments when you should and provide a fenced, safe yard to play in, but are you making some of these common safety errors?

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You forget about parasites: It’s tempting to look at your dog and think everything is fine, just because you don’t see outward signs of parasites. A plan that includes prevention for more than just fleas is a must, but is often overlooked. Ideally, your dog needs to be protected from heartworm, worms, ticks and fleas, even if you don’t see any external signs of trouble.

You don’t spay or neuter: Even if your dog spends most of his or her time at home and you have a fenced yard, spaying and neutering still has benefits for your pet’s health. Male dogs are less likely to wander or fight when they are neutered, while females have an increased risk of reproductive tract cancers if left intact.

You don’t do basic training: A dog that comes when his name is called can be prevented from running away if he gets off his leash, and one that sits on command won’t accidentally injure a visitor. Even small dogs need basic obedience training for their own safety and wellbeing.

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Sharing your food: He has perfected the art of begging, but people food can be hazardous to your pup in more ways than one. Even if he does not become ill from your leftovers, too much people food can also lead to obesity and related health issues.

Most of the mistakes we make with our pets stem from good intentions; you want to feed him when he looks hungry, worry about the recovery after surgery and he’s so little and cute he doesn’t need training. Any one of these common errors can put your pup at risk and potentially impact his health.

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