Are you a past or present dog owner? If so, you are already familiar with the joys of owning these fantastic pets. But like everything else in life, having a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to make owning a dog more rewarding. The following tips will help you be a better dog owner.

Go on and hug your dog, but do not kiss him. Dog kisses are very unsanitary. Dogs tend to dig through garbage cans, drink out of toilets and explore the hind quarters of other animals. It is folk wisdom that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans. This is simply false.

Avoid giving your pooch table food. If you do, he will hang around you constantly wanting more every time you eat. Your dog may also stop eating his own food as much. Table scraps can actually lead to obesity and other health concerns. Resist the temptation and only give dog food to your pup.

You should have your dog spayed or neutered. A neutered dog will live longer and have less risks of developing cancer. In addition, spayed or neutered dogs aren’t as likely to roam away from your home, which can result in them getting run over by a vehicle, killed by a bigger animal, shot, or kidnapped.

TIP! Be careful when selecting canine flea treatments. Quite a few of them use ingredients that are very unsafe for kids, including an ingredient that has been linked to cancer.

It’s a good idea to have your regular dog training sessions in your own yard or at home. You shouldn’t train your dog where many other people are present. It is very difficult to teach a dog that is distracted by people and disturbances.

Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. 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. You are solely responsible for the dog’s actions and for the dog’s safety as well.

Do not buy the cheapest dog food. The brands that are cheaper have preservatives, additives, as well as other things that aren’t good for your dog. Check with animal advocacy groups or consumer reviews to find the best dog foods that are recommended by professionals. Your dog will be much better off.

You should never give table scraps to your dog. Doing so teaches it to beg and ruins its appetite for its regular food. Table scraps can also be unhealthy and lead to excess weight and digestive problems. Make your dog stay out of the room when the family is eating.

TIP! Before giving your dog a new dog food, talk to your vet. Certain brands may not be right for a small pup and could cause him to get a stomachache or become sick.

Your dog needs attention and shouldn’t be left alone outdoors all day. While this is what many people do, dogs require socialization with people and/or other animals. Your dog will get very lonely if it is left outside by itself. Plus, bad weather can be health and even life threatening to your pet.

Learn what health problems are most typical for your breed of dog. You should do some research on the dog breeds you are interested in to learn more about the health issues they are likely to develop. Speak with your vet about the positive steps you can take to help your dog avoid these sorts of breed related problems.

Watch if your female dog is in heat if you do not want her pregnant. A male can pick up on her scent from as far as five miles away! She might instigate problems with fellow dogs, as well as getting pregnant with an unknown mate.

Whenever your dog performs a good action, such as sitting or staying, give it praise and rewards. This will show that you appreciate what your dog is doing. It also reinforces the idea that they will receive attention if they behave as you want them to.

TIP! Avoid the bargain brands of pet food. Generally, food that is less expensive is not as healthy for your pet due to preservatives and additives put into the food.

Keep a dog tag on your dog at all times. Keep identification on your dog’s collar. The tag should let people know what your dog’s name is along with your contact information. Having your vet equip your dog with a micro-chip is a good idea.

Bring your dogs to their scheduled appointments. Your vet can identify health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease and thyroid abnormalities before the problem is apparent to you. Annual physicals for dogs can spare owners a lot of unnecessary expenses down the road and the animal a lot of unnecessary suffering in the meantime.

Bring your dog to a veterinarian regularly. Your dog requires an annual checkup and testing for heartworm, and the vet can ensure that your dog has had all the necessary vaccinations. With a puppy, you will need to visit your vet a little more often. If your dog appears to be ill or injured, you should make a trip to the vet immediately.

Brushing your dog daily will do more than keep them from shedding all over your home. A daily brush will make their coat radiant and shiny. Brushing distributes the natural oils of your dog’s fur evenly and it promotes the health of his skin as well.

TIP! Your dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly. Once they get to a length where they are curling under, this is likely to cause your dog some pain.

Clean up completely if your dog uses the bathroom on your floor. Use a product specifically designed to clean and remove pet odors. If you leave the scent of his excrement behind, the dog may repeatedly soil the same exact area.

You can tell about your dog’s health by feeling is nose, but there are other factors, too. It is certainly possible for your canine’s nose to feel cold or wet even if an illness is present. Instead, monitor your dog’s health through energy levels, demeanor, and appetite. These are good barometers of the dog’s health. Temperature can be monitored rectally.

As a responsible dog owner, you’ll want to pay careful attention to your dog’s food and eating habits. Foods that are high in calories are great for growing puppies. However, eating that food when they’re an adult can cause major weight gain that can harm their health.

If you’re going to adopt a new dog from an animal shelter, you need to get a vet appointment scheduled as soon as possible. They may be carrying some sort of illness that they picked up at the shelter. It is best to make sure your new puppy gets all the shots needed before you bring it home.

TIP! You need to make sure your dog can walk on a leash. The dog needs to stay beside you, not behind or in front of you.

If you’re going to get a dog, you should have him trained. Your life will be a lot happier with your dog if he is properly trained and follows your commands. Even though a puppy is easier to train, it is still possible to train an older dog.

Puppies may be cute when biting on a slipper, but the cuteness fades when it turns into a dog who is ripping them apart. The sooner you stop bad habits, the better. When your puppy misbehaves, respond to it immediately. This can save you the trouble later.

If your dog chews a lot, consider buying him some dog toys or raw hide bones. These toys are made for the dog’s chewing needs. You can find these items at any local pet or grocery store.

Becoming a foster home is a good way to work with dogs without committing to one on a long term basis. A lot of shelters that take in homeless or abused animals have a way to let you adopt them for a while. Fostering is a good way to do a good deed and determine if you want a dog of your own.

TIP! If your dog spends a lot of time alone, think seriously about adding a second animal to your family. Dogs naturally live in packs, and they are happiest when they are allowed to do so.

You need to set down rules and keep following them. Perhaps you have your partner going somewhere for a few nights and you don’t see a problem with letting the dog have their spot. This is not fair to your pet, because he or she will not understand why they can do something one time but it is not okay to do again. Never make exceptions to the rules.

As was pointed out, having a dog is really fun. It’s even better if you know what you’re doing. With the knowledge you’ve gotten here, you are better prepared than ever to be a great dog owner. Have fun with your dog by using the above advice.

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