Dog care is a huge responsibility. Do not expect to be a perfect owner right away. Read the tips outlined below if you want to know what you can do to improve your approach to dog care.

Give your dog hugs, but don’t kiss him. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Dogs love to dig in garbage, get into the toilet, and then they lick their butts, yuck! It’s just a myth that your dog’s mouth is just as, or cleaner, than yours. That tidbit of information is plain wrong.

Just like people need regular yearly physicals, dogs need the same thing. Your dog can’t speak to tell you he’s in pain. Annual checkups can catch these things before they become major problems.

Go on and hug your dog, but do not kiss him. While those sloppy kisses may be cute, be aware that your dog’s mouth is apt to be crawling with germs and bacteria. Remember that dogs use their tongues to clean themselves, and they like to eat garbage and drink out of the toilet. It is an old wives’ tale that dogs have cleaner months than humans. This is not true, at all!

TIP! Have your dog spayed or neutered. This helps reduce the probability of cancer and extends the life of your dog.

When you take your dog with you on vacation, take a picture and save it to your phone. By doing this, in case your dog gets lost, you can provide others with a picture and easily put up flyers, which will assist in finding your dog.

Make use of hand signals when training your dog versus relying only on verbal commands. When you give your dog these kinds of signals, he may learn faster. Look at both options and see if one particular way works best.

Don’t buy the cheapest food for your dog. Less expensive dog foods include fillers and additives that are not beneficial to your dog’s health. Find a trusted group that offers a list of healthy dog food. Your dog will get good benefits from the right kind of food.

Rawhide treats are better for your dog than real meat bones. Bones can chip and get lodged in the digestive tract or mouth. Rawhide bones are tested and veterinary approved, and they can benefit your dog’s teeth and gums too. Treat your dog to one regularly.

TIP! Buy or build a dog house if he is going to be outside for long periods in the winter. If your dog’s feet get wet, then the continued exposure can lead to stress and other health issues.

Rawhide treats are better for your dog than real meat bones. Real bones can chip or break and are dangerous for the dog. Rawhide is great for oral health, so don’t give Rover any of your T-bone, regardless of how much you know he wants it.

Be sure your dog is physically active. A dog requires regular exercise and game time; it keeps him healthy and happy, both mentally and physically. You will enjoy the time you spend doing these things with your dog as well. It also grows your bond with the dog.

Solid leash training is a must for any dog. Your dog should walk beside you, not lag behind or run ahead, and should obey the command “heel.” Your dog will be safer in this position, and you’ll both enjoy your walks more this way. Not having to hold the leash tightly will make going for walks easier.

When you’re choosing your dog’s food, don’t cut costs by going with the cheapest option. Over the course of the dogs life he will be much healthier if you stick to high quality food with plenty of nutritional value. This may mean that you have to pay a higher price, but you will know your dog is receiving all of the nutrients he needs.

TIP! Teach your dog the right way to walk with a leash. Your dog should know how to heel and not behind you or ahead of you.

You may need to trim hair that grows near the dog’s paws to help keep it from matting. Before you trim it, use a brush to get it as straight as possible. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, you should get a professional groomer to do it.

If you have your heart set on a purebred dog, realize that the city pound may be somewhere to look. Some owners leave their dogs, which gives you an opportunity to give them a better life. Call the pound to see what they have available. You could get the dog you are looking for and save a life in the process.

If your dog seems lonely or seems to have separation anxiety, leave the radio or a CD on when you leave the house. The noise will keep him company and make him feel a little more secure. The sounds might help to emulate a normal home environment when people are around.

Some dog breeds are more likely than others to develop certain health issues. Research the kind of dog you have and see if there are any preventative measures you can take. Speak with your vet to determine the correct course of action.

TIP! Even if you are looking for a dog that is a pure breed, always check the local pound. People who aren’t fully committed to dog ownership often abandon their animals at the pound.

Let your dog know that you care. Owners tend to focus on the bad times, not the good. This can only lead to future difficulties. Instead make it a habit to praise your dog much more often than any scolding. Make it five times to any one. Your dog will be far more likely to try to behave properly.

It should be easy to take good care of your dog if you follow the tips presented here. Just stay firm and consistent, and most of all, patient. Learn as much as you can, and enjoy the time you spend with your companion!

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