Owning a dog is a serious matter. You must ensure your dog’s happiness and health at all times. You need to educate yourself about caring for a dog in order to become a good owner. Start by reading this article for some useful tips.

Always neuter or spay your pet. Statistically speaking, dogs who are “fixed” live longer lives and are less prone to cancer. In addition, dogs that are spayed or neutered do not have as strong of a desire to wander from their home, meaning that they are less likely to get lost or hit by a car.

It can be really helpful to incorporate hand signals with verbal commands when first training your dog. Signals like these help your dog learn things quickly. Try both ways and see which is best for your dog.

Your home must be dog-proofed. Create a safe area to bring a new puppy into the home. Make sure all of the medicine is put away and the cleaning supplies are up and safe. Some plants in your house may be toxic to your dog, so they should be kept where your dog cannot reach them.

TIP! You must dog-proof your residence. Before bringing your dog home for the first time, make sure that the entire area is completely safe.

If you have a dog that does something right, like sitting when you’re getting out the leash, you should give the animal lots of praise and affection. You need the dog to realize that he or she has done something you like. It will show your dog that doing the right thing will earn him praise from you.

Whenever you adopt from the pound, take the dog straight to the vet. Shelter dogs have numerous opportunities to be exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses; these can result in dangerous illnesses. Error on the side of caution and get your dog all its shots.

Providing foster care for a homeless dog can be a great way to see if you are suited to care for a dog. There are many animals that need love and care. 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.

Hugs are great, but steer clear of kisses. In theory, giving a dog a kiss is cute, but realize that the mouth of a dog is generally very dirty. Dogs poke around trash cans, love smelling and licking other dogs’ body parts and enthusiastically drink from toilet bowls. It is not true that a dog has a cleaner mouth than a person. This statement is most definitely not true.

TIP! Hugging is okay but kissing should be avoided. Dog kissing may be adorable, but dogs have awfully dirty mouths.

When giving your dog medication or special treatment, follow vet instructions closely. Even if your dog resists, it is important for their health that you listen to the veterinarian. The vet doesn’t give advice for no reason, and it can be dangerous to now do what is advised.

Certain dog breeds are prone to particular health issues, so find out what is typical for the type of dog you have. Research his background and prepare for problems he might have. You can also speak with your vet about any precautionary measures you can take to help your dog avoid the problems associated with his breed.

If you have a dog that has problems with separation anxiety, or to be nice, you should leave music on when you’re going out of the house. That helps the dog feel like someone is around. Doing this might help your dog get past its anxiety while it awaits your return.

When you have medications of any sort, keep them where your dog cannot get to it. Consuming even a single pill can cause serious health problems or your dog. Call your vet as soon as possible if your dog swallows any pills.

TIP! If you have prescription or over-the-counter medication in the house, make sure that your dog does not have access to it. Taking just a few such pills can have devastating consequences for a dog.

Love your dog! Most of the time you are paying attention to the very bad things they do and overlooking the good. This could lead to trouble down the line. Remember to praise and be affectionate with your dog more frequently than you discipline him. This increases the chance that your dog will repeat the good behavior rather than the bad.

Exercise is vital when you own a dog. Train him to do fun things like retrieve a ball. Many dogs were originally bred to work, and will get frustrated if you do not give them a job to do.

Your dog needs to wear some sort of identification in case he escapes your house. It’s a good idea to fit your dog with a sturdy collar equipped with ID tags. All of the necessary contact information, including your dog’s name, should be included. You may also consider having a micro-chip implanted.

Never allow your dog to leave your yard without a leash even if he seems very trustworthy and calm. A wild animal may get his attention and cause him to run off, or he may have a bad situation with others and their dogs. It is your job to keep your dog safe, and to keep him from harming anyone else or causing anyone problems.

TIP! Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. Wild animals could get the dog’s attention and lead him into dangerous places, or unanticipated circumstances could provoke conflicts with others.

Keep your annual appointments for check-ups with your dog. This will give your dogs the best chance to avoid life-threatening diseases. Annual physicals can save a lot of problems in the future.

The information you just read should help you get started. Make more of an effort to attend to your dog’s health and happiness and you’ll see a big improvement very soon. It makes no sense to get a dog if you do not plan to offer it a happy and healthy lifestyle.

We really hope you enjoyed our article. If you have a dog and need advice making sense of his or her behavior, we would strongly recommend that you take a look at the following resource which features a lot of relevant information about dog training: