Are you a current or former pet owner, or are you considering becoming one? If the answer is yes, you should know that dog ownership can be wonderful. However, as is often the case, education can make a big difference in the experience you have. The tips in this article will get you going in the right direction.

It can cost a lot to take care of a dog. Food, vet care and supplies can add up quickly. Emergency visits to the vet can cost thousands, so you may want to invest in health insurance for your dog.

Your dog needs annual medical exams. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing. Getting your dog checked up on annually will allow you to know if there are any problems.

It’s good to give hugs, but avoid giving kisses. Dog kisses may be seen as cute, but their mouths aren’t all that clean. After all, dogs eat out of the garbage, drink from toilet bowls, and lick all over their body. Some believe the mouth of a dog is even cleaner than our own. Definitely do not believe that!

TIP! While hugging your dog will make both of you feel great, refrain from kissing him. While those sloppy kisses may be cute, be aware that your dog’s mouth is apt to be crawling with germs and bacteria.

Make sure that your dog is spayed or neutered. Research has proven that this can help your dog live longer and also specifically help prevent cancer. Besides, a neutered dog will be less likely to run away or to get in fights with other animals.

Your dog cannot communicate through speech; therefore, you must learn its non-verbal language. If it seems as though your dog holds back when around other dogs or people, don’t insist that they interact. This could end up in negative biting or fighting behavior. Watch out for those non-verbal clues and let your dog guide any actions you perform.

If you’re taking your pup on a vacation, make sure that you take a picture of him for on 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.

Get your dog neutered. Research shows that taking this simple action can help your pet live a longer life, as it can reduce the risk of cancer. They are also more likely to remain close to home, reducing their risk of becoming lost or getting injured by a car or another animal.

TIP! Have your dog spayed or neutered. This reduces the chances of cancer and helps keep the stray animal population down.

Store your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines in a safe place where your dog cannot get them. Many medicines that benefit you can be harmful or fatal to your dog. If the dog does consume some medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

It can be really helpful to incorporate hand signals with verbal commands when first training your dog. When provided with signals of this type, dogs tend to pick things up faster. Find out the way that your dog prefers and use it.

Carefully consider what your home is like when deciding on a breed of dog. If you are a hunter for example, perhaps a retriever is the dog for you. Similarly, if you’re quiet and stay at home, small dogs might be better suited to you. By selecting the right dog breed, both you and your dog will be more content.

Be careful when selecting canine flea treatments. They contain carcinogens proven to cause cancer in kids. Talk to the vet to determine if there are other options for your dog.

TIP! Know about what could go wrong with flea treatments if you have a dog. Many of them contain ingredients that can put children at risk for cancer at a rate that is 1000 times more than what the EPA considers safe! Talk to the vet about different forms of treatment that are safer for use around small kids.

When you get a new dog, set up an appointment for him at the vet. As soon as your dog is brought to your home you should get an appointment scheduled with the vet. This allows the vet to look him over and schedule the necessary vaccines. You also want to check with the vet about fixing your dog if you will not be breeding him.

If you think you want a dog, but are not sure if you are ready for the commitment involved, consider becoming a foster home. Many homeless dogs are waiting for a home in shelters, where overcrowding is a major problem. Not only will you be helping a dog in need, but it will help you figure out if you would like to become a dog owner.

Alone Outside

Practice training your dog around your home, where you and your pup can be alone. It’s never good to try and train your pet when there are quite a few people around. There are too many distractions there.

TIP! When you are training your dog, you should practice in your home or in your yard. Training a dog in a very populated area is never a good idea.

Your dog should not be left alone outside all day. Dogs need companionship and interaction with their owners. If your dog is alone outside, it will quickly get lonely. In addition to the socializing need, you should not leave a dog to fend for himself in heavy rainstorms or very cold weather. Bring the dog indoors until the inclement weather passes.

You might find a pure breed dog at the pound. A lot of dog owners leave their pet at the pound if they do not want them or cannot keep them. Paying a trip to your local shelter might help you to find the exact dog you have been searching for. You may get to save a canine’s life if you do this!

When you start training, try different reward systems. Figure out what motivates your dog to perform well. If your pet loves food, try giving it its favorite vet approved treat. Tug of war is a great game that you can play with your dog as a reward. You may even find that your dog is best motivated by a little rubdown and affection.

Keep your dog on leash any time he leaves your fenced yard, regardless of his gentle nature and good behavior. There are a number of distractions that could cause your dog to run off into a dangerous situation. You are the only one responsible for your dog’s safety and his actions.

TIP! Never let the dog go off your land without its leash, regardless of its good behavior. 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.

Crate training your puppy could be an ideal scenario for you if there is not going to be someone around to watch him/her at all times during the day. 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.

Dogs must be kept clean, much like humans. While a dog doesn’t need a daily bath, they at least need a bath once a week. This will allow you to keep your house cleaner, as well as help the dog to have less skin problems.

Walk your dog as often as you can to give it exercise. Your pet needs exercise and walking with them lets them interact with some new people and see new things. These are things your dog needs to grow, so always make the time for a walk.

Rather than merely using verbal commands, it is wise to utilize hand signals when training your dog. Your dog can figure out things easier when they get these signals. Give both methods a try to find out which works best for your particular pup.

TIP! Hand signals are great when they are paired with verbal commands. Using hand gestures can help your dog to recognize commands quicker.

If you have kids, it is important that they have a schedule, same for your dog. You can put dogs in that same category since they tend to follow a similar routine. Your dog might become anxious if it is not sure what to expect. The behavior they exhibit is a reflection of their mood. You should have specific times for training, play, and meals.

Being a dog owner is rewarding. Whenever you educate yourself on dogs, this can be even more enriching. Now that you have read the above article, you should have a better understanding of dogs. Apply what you’ve learned here, and enjoy quality time with your pooch.

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