Owning a dog is definitely not a simple task. You must care for a dog as you would a child with proper care, feeding and grooming, socializing, education and medical care. Can you expect to be a responsible dog owner without educating yourself on the topic, though? The following tips will teach you how to take great care of your dog.

Spay or neuter your dog. Research shows that taking this simple action can help your pet live a longer life, as it can reduce the risk of cancer. Not only that, but neutered and spayed dogs feel less need to wander away from home, so they are not as likely to be hit by a vehicle or become lost.

Talk to the vet about which foods you should avoid giving the dog. Certain brands may not be right for a small pup and could cause him to get a stomachache or become sick. Be careful about which foods you feed your dog.

Your dog speaks to you, but it is through non-verbal cues. Your job is to learn to listen carefully so you understand the message. If your pet hesitates when approaching a person or a pet, don’t push them to go near them. This could cause your dog to get scared and to bite. Follow your dog’s body language.

TIP! Since your dog cannot talk to you, you have to learn how to listen to your dog’s non-verbal language. If you notice the dog being hesitant in a new situation, don’t force your dog to socialize if it doesn’t want to.

Carefully consider what your home is like when deciding on a breed of dog. If you jog a lot, buy a dog that likes to run, and not something like a toy poodle. If you prefer to stay home curled up on your couch, go for a small dog that likes to be spoiled and that will curl up along with you. By selecting the right dog breed, both you and your dog will be more content.

Do not buy the cheapest dog food. Cheap brands usually contain preservatives such as sodium and other additives that can be dangerous for your dog’s health. Find a list of recommended dog foods from the vet or an advocate for animals. Your dog will be much healthier if you feed it some healthy food.

When a dog behaves badly, correct him immediately. If you let it fester it can only make the problem much worse and eventually the dog becomes extremely difficult to train. Not only will it be difficult to curb the bad behavior, he can pose physical harm to you or someone you love.

Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. A feral animal might catch their attention, causing them to pursue them, or an unplanned incitement might lead to a bad situation with other pet owners. You will be responsible for your dog’s actions and safety.

TIP! Never allow your dog to leave your yard without a leash even if he seems very trustworthy and calm. Dogs are easily distracted by other animals, cars, and kids, so always make sure to keep your dog on a leash for his own safety.

You need to trim your dog’s nails regularly. If they get too long and start to curl, the result could be painful injuries to the nail beds and your dog’s paws. You can always do your own trimming with clippers from the store. If you lack the confidence to do this job on your own, a pet groomer will usually do it at a low cost.

Keep the fur around your pup’s paws trimmed so that it does not get matted. Straighten hair with a comb a bit before you trim it. If you’re uncomfortable trimming hair, you should probably have your dog groomed by a professional.

Make sure you exercise both your dog’s mind and its body. Teach your dog to retrieve the newspaper or perform chores in your home. This will make him feel like an active member of the family.

Positive reinforcement is very important in training your dog. This will show that you appreciate what your dog is doing. It teaches the dog that he gets praised when he does what you’d like him to do.

TIP! If a dog does something correctly like sitting before you leash them, give them lots of praise and affection. Make your dog understand you are pleased with the behavior and expect to see it again.

If your dog is in heat, be careful if you want her to not end up pregnant. Males can detect the scent from miles away. Your dog could get into fights with other dogs or become pregnant.

You need to train the dog by yourself; more than one person might confuse him. Be sure that each person working with the dog uses the same commands and responses. Have one person train and make everyone else do exactly the same commands during the day.

Make sure that you are keeping up with your dog’s vet appointments. Having the annual exam is the only way to diagnose problems that arise. Annual physicals for dogs can spare owners a lot of unnecessary expenses down the road and the animal a lot of unnecessary suffering in the meantime.

Don’t force anything into a dog. If you’ve purchased your dog treats that it doesn’t want to eat, set them aside. The best judge of what your dog likes is the dog himself. Fancy name brands mean nothing.

TIP! You shouldn’t make your dog do something it doesn’t want to do. If you’ve bought a treat that your dog doesn’t seem to interested in, don’t try to make your dog eat it.

Be sure your dog sees the vet once a year. He should visit once a year for tests, weighing and vaccinations. Your puppy will have to go to the vet more when they are young. It is also important to visit a vet immediately after seeing signs of injury or illness.

You want to ensure that all trace of pet accidents are removed when they occur within the home. Use a product specifically designed to clean and remove pet odors. If you leave behind any type of a scent from the dog’s accident they may end up using the bathroom again in that spot.

You might be tempted to share your food with your dog. Some foods are fine to give, but others really are not. Do not give dogs any chocolate or caffeine, as these foods are detrimental to their health. Such foods tend to harm the health of dogs.

Brushing your dog on a daily basis has other benefits aside from the fact that he will shed less fur on your furniture clothing. Daily brushing can help them acquire a beautiful, shiny coat. This is caused by the motions since brushing distributes oils that keep skin, soft, shiny and healthy.

TIP! A daily brush does a lot more than just prevent shedding. Their coat will become shinier when they are brushed everyday.

You need to use these tips to raise a healthy and happy dog. You now know what it takes to be a responsible, caring master. Both you and your dog will enjoy the benefits of your knowledge and dedication.

I really hope you found our article interesting. If you have a dog and want help understanding his or her character, we would suggest that you take a look at the following resource which features a lot of information about dog training: