We live in a society where it’s now normal to consider your dog as a part of your family. And you should! Dogs are loveable additions to our household that can make living more enjoyable and fun. But if we aren’t careful, our actions might leave us ending up with a spoiled dog.
While there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your loving pooch every now and then, constant spoiling can result in bad behavior.
If you think you could be an overly generous dog owner, take a look at signs your dog may be a bit too spoiled.
How we spoil our dogs
It’s so hard to not want to spoil our four-legged friends after they show us the kind of unconditional love and loyalty we wish humans showed. There is a difference between materialistic spoiling versus badly trained spoiling. We can also cross the line between loving and spoiling our pets.
For instance, you can buy your dog toys and dog treats regularly, but allow them to jump and lick on your guests without proper correction. If you’re failing to properly correct your dog then don’t expect them to listen to your commands.
Other ways we can spoil our dogs come by us breaking some policies we have tried to set such as:
- No sleeping or sitting on the couch
- Not eating human food/eating from the table
- Using the bathroom indoors
The longer you allow your dog to be spoiled in these areas, the harder it will be to break them out of it.
You may be spoiling your dog in other ways like materialistically or lovingly:
- Taking them to a spa (believe us, it happens!)
- Feeding them too much
- They take up your bed
- They become protective over you/resource guard
While giving your dogs items and extra love isn’t necessarily bad, it can create a sense of separation anxiety when you are not around.
Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety become attached to you, their owner, and freak out when you are not around. When your dog becomes reliant on you and develops anxiety when you are not around, they may become destructive and destroy some things in the house… so the more you spoil your dog, the more likely this will become.
5 Signs of an Overly Spoiled Dog
Five signs your dog may be spoiled rotten:
1. Your dog has gained weight.
Showing your love by showering your dog with treats and sharing human food is one of the most dangerous ways to spoil your dog. 25-20% of the canine population is obese. According to veterinarians at VCA Animal Hospitals:
"Obesity shortens a dog's life and makes them more likely to develop disease. ... a large, lifetime study of Labrador Retrievers has found that being even moderately overweight can reduce a dog's life expectancy by nearly two years compared to their leaner counterparts."
Obesity is an epidemic. The best way to show your dog you love them is by setting them up for success, not stuffing them with treats or over-serving their dog food every time they look in your direction.
2. Manners? What manners?
Dogs need structure. Obedience class isn't a one-and-done deal. You need to continue practicing good manners and commands throughout that dog's life. Dog training is a mentally stimulating and enjoyable activity for your dog. Pet parents need to be the pack leader and keep at it to improve and maintain their pet's quality of life.
3. Your dog is excessively yappy.
This goes back to training and manners. High-energy, yappy small dogs who just ignore you when you tell them "Shhh!" The most spoiled dog breeds have you wrapped around their finger. Consult a dog trainer on positive reinforcement techniques to get them to listen. Reward them with a cuddle, dog treat, or belly rub when they are displaying calm behavior.
4. You carry your dog everywhere.
Unless your dog has a disability, there is no excuse for this. Dogs need physical exercise daily.
5. Your dog has enough clothes and accessories for its own closet.
Other than essential dog gear like warm coats, booties, or a dog life jacket, your dog doesn't really need anything else. There's no harm in a few cute bandanas, hiking pack, or even a Halloween costume. But if your dog's clothing drawer is beginning to burst, it's time to re-think this outfit habit.