1. Unruly or aggressive dogs in the vet’s office. Sure, the vet office is an anxiety-provoking place, but that's still no excuse for bad manners. Dogs who run circles around the waiting room, disrespectfully sniff at carriers (whose contents are almost certainly more stressed-out than they are), or lunge impolitely at passersby are altogether too common.
This behavior becomes especially problematic when owners bring in two or more misbehaving dogs at the same time. We all understand it's more convenient to bring in more than one at a time, but if you can't control them, you should know you're probably being impolite to others.
Nonetheless, it's true that some dogs are still early in their training process or are hard to control under certain circumstances, but, luckily, most veterinarians will offer a solution: Keep them with you outside and let the front office staff know you'll be waiting patiently until the vet is ready to see you. This way you can move through the lobby and into the examination room without incident.
2. The unnecessary, in-hospital "meet and greet." The waiting room of your veterinary hospital is NOT like the dog park. Vet-stressed pets can behave in ways you might not expect, which means that allowing (even promoting) a "meet and greet" between two or more dogs is probably a bad idea. Yet it happens all the time.
It's also generally considered a bad idea to approach a pet who's waiting his turn for what'll probably be the most anxiety-inducing event of his year.
Now, most of these pet-to-pet and human-to-pet interactions end well, but are they really worth risking a bite (or worse)?
3. Inconsistent (and unhealthy!) litter box habits. If you are a cat-owner, do NOT switch up the brands and types of litter. Do keep an ample number of litter boxes for the household's population of cats. And always keep the litter box clean.
4. Retractable leashes. Have you ever tried one of these things. DANGEROUS to pets and humans. The super-extendo setting on these not only encourages bad manners while out on walks in public, they're downright dangerous: I've seen humans get "hog-tied" by their excited pups. And dogs can “extend’ out into oncoming traffic when allowed too much leash length.
I'm not saying you shouldn't have one. I'm just saying you shouldn't have one if you don't know how and when to use it.
5. Untrained little "lapdogs." Just because they're pocket-sized doesn't mean they shouldn't undergo basic obedience training. Many of the tiny-breed dogs do not know even the most basic commands.
Lack of simple training in basic manners leads to under-socialized dogs who are effectively allowed to become more snappy, yappy and problematic.
6. Expecting perfect feline behavior at home under less-than-perfect circumstances. Keep more than two or three cats? Then you should know it's unlikely they'll all get along peacefully. While this might not seem like a problem to you, feline stress is commonplace under these circumstances.
Cats are territorial animals and they don't often like being forced to live in close quarters under one roof. Crowding can make for undesirable litter box issues, promote stress-induced diseases, and, consequently, isn't always conducive to keeping cats happy and healthy.
7. Bottomless bowls, begging behavior, and other pet feeding misadventures. Most pet owners love their pets so much they manage to induce unwanted feeding-related behaviors (and obesity) through well-intentioned but misguided actions such as:
· Keeping bowls filled to the brim with kibble (especially common for cats)
· Failing to adhere to a feeding schedule (thereby allowing pets to dictate feeding times)
· Feeding under the table or after family mealtimes
· Offering treats willy-nilly (whenever they walk into the kitchen, for example)
· promoting inter-pet stress by feeding them side-by-side
8. Cats outside of carriers at vet offices and pet stores. Why would anybody do this? Felines held in arms in the waiting rooms of a vet hospital or pet store makes for dangerous dog-related behavior? Moreover, it stresses out the waiting dogs along with the unprotected cat. Don’t put your cat in this situation and don’t tempt the dogs.