Taking care of a dog is a big responsibility. In some ways, it’s almost like taking care of a child, except this child barks instead of crying. While it can seem overwhelming at times, you have the potential to be a great owner. The following tips will help you achieve this goal.

Just as you need to keep up with your annual doctor’s appointment, your dog needs to see his vet annually too. Your dog is not able to talk, so it is not easy to know when he’s got arthritis or an aching tooth. Taking your dog for a yearly checkup allows relatively minor problems to be detected before they turn into major issues.

Do not buy your dog a particular brand of food just because it is cheap. Many of the cheapest brands contain additives, preservatives and other things that can compromise the health of your dog. Looking at a pet advocacy group website can give you recommendations of the best food for your dog. Food that is healthy will benefit your dog.

Since you’re not able to speak with your dog like a person, you should pay close attention to the dog’s non-verbal speech. If you notice that your dog is timid around strangers or other dogs, you shouldn’t attempt to force its interaction with them. This could cause your dog to harm a person or another dog. You need to keep your eyes open for these signs.

TIP! Your dog can not tell you what is wrong, so just listen to his body language. If you notice that your dog is timid around strangers or other dogs, you shouldn’t attempt to force its interaction with them.

Never give your dog a real bone to chew on. Real animal bones can chip and pose a danger to your dog’s digestive tract and mouth. Rawhide is completely healthy and improves the teeth, and therefore is preferable to animal bones.

If you want to get a pet from a shelter, find a vet who can examine your new dog. Dogs are more likely to be sick or have exposure to viruses in the shelter. Have your dog checked over and given vaccinations as soon as possible.

When you get a new dog, schedule a vet visit for soon after you’ve brought him home. This should be done as soon as he is adopted. A vet will make sure the dog is healthy and also set up a future schedule of vaccinations. In addition, consult your vet about spaying or neutering your dog. The shelters are already overcrowded, so you do not want to make that problem worse.

When training your dog, use hand gestures along with the verbal commands. Your dog can figure out things easier when they get these signals. Every pet is different though, so use a combination of both verbal and visual cues and then determine what works the best.

TIP! When training your dog, use hand gestures along with the verbal commands. It may be easier for your dog to learn commands if they see a visual signal.

Make sure your dog knows how to properly walk while it’s leashed. They should walk by your side, instead of behind or in front of you, and they must respond to “heel.” Doing this will not only be easier on you, but it will also keep your dog safe. Even if you decide to give him additional slack on the leash from time to time, teaching your dog to heel remains an important task as a pet owner.

You may need to trim hair that grows near the dog’s paws to help keep it from matting. You should use a comb to straighten out the hair a bit before trying to trim it. Go to a professional groomer if you have a hard time doing this yourself.

Certain breeds of dog are prone to certain health problems, and you should be aware of what’s typical for your type of dog. Research his heritage and take preventative steps for problems you know he is a candidate for. Speak with your vet to determine the correct course of action.

Purchase a dog that can keep up with your lifestyle. If you jog a lot, buy a dog that likes to run, and not something like a toy poodle. Likewise if you are quiet home-body, look for a smaller dog that enjoys pampering and living it up on your sofa. Finding a dog that matches your personality will make both of you happy.

TIP! Which breed you need to buy depends on your lifestyle. For instance, if you are athletic, you might want an active dog, not a poodle.

Even if you seek a pure bred animal, you should not overlook the pound. Lots of dog owners will leave their dog stranded whenever they don’t want it anymore. Contact the pound in your area to see what kinds of breeds they have at the time. You could save a dog’s life by doing so!

Help your dog to stay active mentally and help him to exercise enough. For example, train your dog to retrieve the newspaper or other helpful chores. Doing this will help your pet to feel like a loved and needed family member, and teaching your dog these skills will give it some much needed mental exercise.

Remember the saying “The more people that work on something, the less likely they are to succeed” while you train your dog. Having multiple people train your dog will only confuse him. You need to put just one person on the task of teaching the dog.

Ask your vet the amount of food your dog needs daily. Though some folks feed whatever the package recommends, those guidelines are not always appropriate and can lead to overfeeding. Check with you vet to find out about the feeding guidelines for your particular dog.

TIP! Talk to your vet about your dog’s food portions. Some people feed the dog based on their food package recommendations, but these can be wrong and cause them to be overweight.

Dogs often get cuts from debris or pieces of glass. Wash any small cut your dog has with some antiseptic and then put a bandage on it. If the cut seems deep, have a vet check it out.

When you go out to work or to school, crate training is your best bet. That way, you don’t have to worry that your things will be destroyed or that the puppy will have accidents all over the house.

Those who want to care for dogs should take it seriously. Your dog will need everything it must have to survive, plus attention and love from you. Taking care of a dog requires consistency and responsibility, and you can do it if you apply yourself. If you need help, just use this article and give your dog the care it needs.

Let your dog have rawhide rather than bones from the meat you eat. Real bones chip apart and can become dangerously lodged in the oral cavity or digestive track. It has been proven that rawhide is healthy for your dogs teeth, therefore avoid giving your dog natural meat bones.

TIP! Rawhide treats are better for your dog than real meat bones. Bones can chip and hurt your dog if sharp fragments are ingested.

We hope you enjoyed our article. If you have a dog and would like advice learning about his or her character, we would suggest that you look into the resource below which provides a lot of relevant information about puppy training: