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.

Plano, Texas Is Home to a Dog-Friendly Movie Theater That Serves Bottomless Wine or Whiskey

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 recently opened K9 Cinemas invites moviegoers—both human and canine—to watch classic films on the big screen. And the best part for the human members of this couple? Your $15 ticket includes bottomless wine or whiskey (or soft drinks if you're under 21).

The theater operates as a pop-up (or perhaps pup-up?) in a private event space near Custer Road and 15th Street in Plano. 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).

While many of the movies shown are canine-themed—a recent screening of A Dog's Journey included branded bandanas with every ticket purchase—they also hold special events, like a Game of Thrones finale watch party (no word on how the puppers in attendance responded to Jon Snow finally acknowledging what a good boy Ghost is).

13 Fascinating Facts About Bees

iStock.com/florintt
iStock.com/florintt

Sure, you know that bees pollinate our crops and give us honey. But there's so much more to these buzzing insects than that.

1. Bee stings have some benefits.

A toxin in bee venom called melittin may prevent HIV. Melittin can kill HIV by poking holes into the virus's protective envelope. (Meanwhile, when melittin hitches a ride on certain nanoparticles, it will just bounce off normal cells and leave them unharmed.) Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis hope the toxin can be used in preventative gels.

Bee stings may also ease pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo found that molecules in bee venom increase your body's level of glucocorticoid, an anti-inflammatory hormone.

2. Bees work harder than you do.

During chillier seasons, worker bees can live for nine months. But in the summer, they rarely last longer than six weeks—they literally work themselves to death.

3. When bees change jobs, they change their brain chemistry.

bees flying to a hive
iStock/bo1982

Bees are hardwired to do certain jobs. Scout bees, which search for new sources of food, are wired for adventure. Soldier bees, discovered in 2012, work as security guards their whole life. One percent of all middle-aged bees become undertakers—a genetic brain pattern compels them to remove dead bees from the hive. But most amazingly, regular honeybees—which perform multiple jobs in their lifetime—will change their brain chemistry before taking up a new gig.

4. Their brains defy time.

When aging bees do jobs usually reserved for younger members, their brain stops aging. In fact, their brain ages in reverse. (Imagine if riding a tricycle didn't just make you feel young—it actually made your brain tick like a younger person's.) Scientists at Arizona State University believe the discovery can help us slow the onset of dementia.

5. Bees are changing medicine.

To reinforce their hives, bees use a resin from poplar and evergreen trees called propolis. It's basically beehive glue. Although bees use it as caulk, humans use it to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Research shows that propolis taken from a beehive may relieve cold sores, canker sores, herpes, sore throat, cavities, and even eczema.

6. Bees can recognize human faces.

Honeybees make out faces the same way we do. They take parts—like eyebrows, lips, and ears—and cobble them together to make out the whole face. It’s called "configural processing," and it might help computer scientists improve face recognition technology, The New York Times reports.

7. Bees have personalities

Even in beehives, there are workers and shirkers. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that not all bees are interchangeable drones. Some bees are thrill-seekers. Others are a bit more timid. A 2011 study even found that agitated honeybees can be pessimistic, showing that, to some extent, bees might have feelings.

8. They get buzzed from caffeine and cocaine.

bumblebee on a flower
iStock/Whiteway

Nature didn't intend for caffeine to be relegated to your morning pot of coffee. It's actually a plant defense chemical that shoos harmful insects away and lures pollinators in. Scientists at Newcastle University found that nectar laced with caffeine helps bees remember where the flower is, increasing the chances of a return visit.

While caffeine makes bees work better, cocaine turns them into big fat liars. Bees "dance" to communicate—a way of giving fellow bees directions to good food. But high honeybees exaggerate their moves and overemphasize the food's quality. They even exhibit withdrawal symptoms, helping scientists understand the nuances of addiction.

9. Bees have Viking-like navigation techniques.

Bees use the Sun as a compass. But when it's cloudy, there's a backup—they navigate by polarized light, using special photoreceptors to find the Sun's place in the sky. The Vikings may have used a similar system: On sunny days, they navigated with sundials, but on cloudy days, sunstones—chunks of calcite that act like a Polaroid filter—helped them stay on course.

10. Bees can solve hairy mathematical problems.

Pretend it's the weekend, and it's time to do errands. You have to visit six stores and they're all at six separate locations. What's the shortest distance you can travel while visiting all six? Mathematicians call this the "traveling salesman problem," and it can even stump some computers. But for bumblebees, it's a snap. Researchers at Royal Holloway University in London found that bumblebees fly the shortest route possible between flowers. So far, they're the only animals known to solve the problem.

11. Bees are nature's most economical builders.

In 36 BCE, Marcus Terentius Varro argued that honeycombs were the most practical structures around. Centuries later, Greek mathematician Pappus solidified the "honeycomb conjecture" by making the same claim. Almost 2000 years later, American mathematician Thomas Hales wrote a mathematical proof showing that, of all the possible structures, honeycombs use the least amount of wax. And not only are honeycombs the most efficient structures in nature—the walls meet at a precise 120-degree angle, a perfect hexagon.

12. Bees can help us catch serial killers.

Serial killers behave like bees. They commit their crimes close to home, but far enough away that the neighbors don't get suspicious. Similarly, bees collect pollen near their hive, but far enough that predators can't find the hive. To understand how this "buffer zone" works, scientists studied bee behavior and wrote up a few algorithms. Their findings improved computer models police use to find felons.

13. Bees are job creators.

beekeeper working with bees
iStock/Milan_Jovic

The average American consumes roughly 1.51 pounds of honey each year. On top of that, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that honeybees pollinate up to 80 percent of the country's insect crops—meaning bees pollinate over $15 billion worth of crops each year.

This article was updated and republished in 2019.

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