8 Ways You Might Be Endangering Your Dog Without Realizing It

iStock/stock_colors
iStock/stock_colors

As a dog parent, you want to make sure you're doing everything right when it comes to the care and well-being of your four-legged companion. Whether it's choosing the right dog food or buying them all the best toys, you just want to give your dog a happy and healthy life.

However, according to Bright Side, there are some potentially dangerous things you may be doing as often as everyday without even realizing it could harm your dog. Here are eight ways you may be unknowingly endangering your dog.

1. LEAVING THEM ALONE IN THE CAR

This one is fairly common knowledge at this point, but we wanted to include it because it's so important to never leave your dog alone in a car! According to Bright Side, ​internal car temperatures go up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes, regardless of whether you're parked directly in the sun or not. Dogs don't sweat like us, so overheating is extremely easy, and it's hard to tell when they're getting too hot.

2. CHOOSING THE WRONG COLLAR SIZE

Puppy wearing a super large studded collar
iStock/Maximilian100

Choosing the correct size of collar is important for both the safety and comfort of your pup. You don't want it to be so loose that they can slip out of it, nor do you want it so tight that they're constricted. The general rule is that if you can fit a finger between the collar and dog for small and medium sizes, and two fingers for big dogs, you should be set.

3. TAKING A PUPPY TO A DOG PARK

There have been stories of puppies being attacked at dog parks, and it can easily be due to the fact that larger dogs who are playing or roughhousing with one another can easily scare and/or attack your small puppy. Better to keep their play area in a controlled setting until they're bigger.

4. YELLING AT THEM WHEN THEY'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG

Businessman in a suit takes his dog for a walk
iStock/Spiderplay

Just as yelling at another person when they do something you think is wrong rarely improves a situation, yelling at your dog is even less productive. If you're yelling at your dog for something that happened a while ago—for example, if you come home to a mess that could've happened hours ago—not only are they just going to be scared, but they'll also be confused. It won't seem like punishment for what they did wrong, they'll just see you as the enemy.

5. PHYSICALLY PUNISHING THEM WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING WRONG

Bright Side emphasizes that physical punishment only assures one thing: your dog will be afraid of you. Using a reward-based system to train your dog is the key to a much happier, and well-behaved, pup.

6. NEGLECTING BREED-SPECIFIC HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Small dog with a large underbite
iStock/Rolf_52

From grooming needs to health issues, every breed of dog has its own specific requirements. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific needs of your dog's breed, as well as any potential warning signs associated with specific health issues they may be prone to, in order to give your dog the best care.

7. NOT BRUSHING THEIR TEETH

Your dog's teeth should be brushed almost as often as yours. It's recommended to start getting them used to the routine when they're puppies, so that you can avoid a mini-wrestling match with them every time you try to brush as they get older. Supplemental chewing sticks aren't nearly as effective as actual brushing, because if you're doing the brushing you can assure every tooth is reached. Be sure to use dog-specific toothpaste as well.

8. NOT KEEPING THEM MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY STIMULATED

Bad dog sits on chewed up couch
iStock/stephanie phillips

Dogs basically need as much mental and physical activity as people. You should be regularly walking your dog and making sure they're exposed to a mix-up in their routine every so often (e.g. Bright Side recommends exposing them to different sounds and smells to increase brain activity). If your dog gets bored, they'll find a way to entertain themselves—which usually means destroying some of your personal belongings.

A Dracula Ant's Jaws Snap at 200 Mph—Making It the Fastest Animal Appendage on the Planet

Ant Lab, YouTube
Ant Lab, YouTube

As if Florida’s “skull-collecting” ants weren’t terrifying enough, we’re now going to be having nightmares about Dracula ants. A new study in the journal Royal Society Open Science reveals that a species of Dracula ant (Mystrium camillae), which is found in Australia and Southeast Asia, can snap its jaws shut at speeds of 90 meters per second—or the rough equivalent of 200 mph. This makes their jaws the fastest part of any animal on the planet, researchers said in a statement.

These findings come from a team of three researchers that includes Adrian Smith, who has also studied the gruesome ways that the skull-collecting ants (Formica archboldi) dismember trap-jaw ants, which were previously considered to be the fastest ants on record. But with jaw speeds of just over 100 miles per hour, they’re no match for this Dracula ant. (Fun fact: The Dracula ant subfamily is named after their habit of drinking the blood of their young through a process called "nondestructive cannibalism." Yikes.)

Senior author Andrew Suarez, of the University of Illinois, said the anatomy of this Dracula ant’s jaw is unusual. Instead of closing their jaws from an open position, which is what trap-jaw ants do, they use a spring-loading technique. The ants “press the tips of their mandibles together to build potential energy that is released when one mandible slides across the other, similar to a human finger snap,” researchers write.

They use this maneuver to smack other arthropods or push them away. Once they’re stunned, they can be dragged back to the Dracula ant’s nest, where the unlucky victims will be fed to Dracula ant larvae, Suarez said.

Researchers used X-ray imaging to observe the ants’ anatomy in three dimensions. High-speed cameras were also used to record their jaws snapping at remarkable speeds, which measure 5000 times faster than the blink of a human eye. Check out the ants in slow-motion in the video below.

Plano, Texas Is Now Home to a Dog-Friendly Movie Theater

K9 Cinemas
K9 Cinemas

For dog owners in Plano, Texas, movie night with Fido no longer just means cuddling on the couch and browsing Netflix. The newly opened K9 Cinemas invites moviegoers—both human and canine—to watch classic films on the big screen.

The theater operates as a pop-up (or perhaps pup-up?) in a private event space near Custer Road and 15th Street in Plano. On the weekends, patrons can pay $5 for dogs, $9 for kids, and $12.50 for adults to see popular movies in the 50-seat space. Snacks—both the pet and people kind—are available for $2 apiece. Dogs are limited to two per person, and just 25 human seats are sold per showing to leave room for the furry guests.

Pet owners are asked follow a few rules in order to take advantage of what the theater has to offer. Dogs must be up-to-date on all their shots, and owners can submit veterinary records online or bring a hard copy to the theater to verify their pooch's health status. Once inside, owners are responsible for taking their dog out for potty breaks and cleaning up after any accidents that happen (thankfully the floors are concrete and easy to wipe down).

K9 Cinemas is currently showing Elf (2003) and Home Alone (1990) for the holiday season. Dog and movie enthusiasts can buy tickets online now, or wait until January when the theater upgrades from padded chairs to couches for optimized puppy snuggle time.

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