Owing an animal is a major responsibility. In fact, being a dog owner is a lot like caring for an actual human child. Although being a dog owner can be a difficult task, it is possible to raise one with good knowledge and patience. The following tips will give you these necessary skills.

Your dog needs to have an annual checkup, the same as you do. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing. You need to go to the vet every year to get a check up.

Talk to your vet about how much your dog should eat. While there are those that feed their dog whatever it says on the package, this may not be good for your dog and can make it overweight. Ask your vet for the proper amount based on your dog’s needs.

Avoid kisses and stick with hugs. Dog kisses may be seen as cute, but their mouths aren’t all that clean. 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. It certainly isn’t the truth.

TIP! You should not kiss your dog. It is unsanitary to be licked by a dog.

It is important that your dog’s nails are not allowed to get too long. If they start to curl, your dog may feel a lot of pain. It is easy to purchase a pair of clippers and attend to these yourself. If you’re uncomfortable clipping them on your own, go to a professional groomer. Nail clipping is very affordable.

Listen to your vet when he tells you how to administer medication or care. They may not like their cone, but they need it for a purpose. If you fail to listen to your vet, your dog may end up sick or injured.

If you are in the market for a pure bred pooch, consider checking your local shelter. A lot of people give their dogs to the pound because they can no longer keep their pet for whatever reason. Speak to the nearest pound to see if an option suits you. This might save your dog’s life.

Always have your dogs spayed or neutered. This helps reduce the probability of cancer and extends the life of your dog. Spayed and neutered dogs wander less often as well, so this reduces likelihood of your dog getting hit on the road or lost.

TIP! Make sure that your dog is spayed or neutered. Research has shown that by doing this you can be sure your pet can have a longer life and not be at risk for things like cancer.

Get your dog spayed, and if you have a female in heat, take extra care that she does not become pregnant. Male dogs from as far as 5 miles away may pick up the scent. This can lead to aggression among other males, and you certainly don’t want to be left with an unexpected litter of pups.

When it comes to training your dog, you should never have several people in charge. Be sure that each person working with the dog uses the same commands and responses. You should train your dog for a few minutes several times a day and encourage everyone else in your household to reinforce what you have been doing.

Take your dog for regular vet visits. Your dog should see a vet at least twice a year to make sure they are in good health and that they do not need new shots. Puppies must visit the vet more often. You need to go to the vet as soon as your dog seems sick or hurt.

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. This can cause your dog to get distracted, which can make training them simple commands almost impossible.

TIP! When training a dog, practice in the yard or your home. You do not want to train your dog around a bunch of people.

If your dog has an accident indoors, be certain you get rid of any sign of it. A combination of an industrial strength cleaner preceding an odor remover is effective. Your dog may do his business in the exact same area if his scent from the excrement lingers.

Check your dog for ticks and fleas every day when the weather gets warm. Use a flea comb on your dog’s fur. There are a lot of available products that can control fleas and ticks on your dog. Speak with your vet to find the best option for your dog.

Have your current dog choose your new dog. Dogs happen to be social creatures, but that doesn’t mean they all get along. Finding a compatible dog will save you anguish and trouble.

Keep a leash on your dog at all times. You never know when something might spook him or distract him, leading to devastation. You are responsible if your dog does this.

TIP! Don’t allow your dog to leave your property without being on a leash even if you think your dog is well behaved. 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.

If you’re eating a snack, you sometimes will feel like it’s a good idea to share with your dog. You can give him some things, but not others. Dogs are not able to tolerate grapes, chocolate and anything with caffeine, for instance. These foods can cause health problems in your dog.

Were you aware that vitamins are not good for your dog? Your dog does not need vitamins if you feed it a good diet. An excess of some vitamins can cause blood vessel damage, as well as damage to his joints and bones. Before giving your dog vitamins, get your vet’s OK.

Never judge a dog’s health simply by how cold or wet its nose is. Sick dogs often have cold, wet noses. You can keep track of your dog’s heath by paying attention to it’s appetite, demeanor, and energy levels. These attributes will give you better cues into how your dog feels. To check a dog’s temperature, you need to do it rectally.

If you’re training your dog, don’t just use verbal commands. Try hand signals as well. Signals like these help your dog learn things quickly. Look at both options and see if one particular way works best.

TIP! Associate some hand signals to verbal commands when training your dog. Your dog might learn commands more easily using this approach.

You need to take your responsibilities as a dog owner seriously. You dog’s health and happiness depend on your care in exactly the same way as the health and happiness of a child. It’s a big challenge, but you’re definitely up to the task. Follow the advice presented here to take good care of your best friend.

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