Dogs bring a lot of love to your life as an owner. Dogs are terrific family pets, but can also be great for anyone living alone. If you are interested in being a better pet owner, the advice in this article can help.

Just like humans, dogs should go to the vet for a checkup yearly. Dogs can’t talk, so how do you know he has arthritis, for example? Annual checkups can catch issues before they develop into something serious.

Know about what could go wrong with flea treatments if you have a dog. Many contain ingredients that are dangerous to children. Talk to your vet about safer options, especially when there are kids around.

Your dog cannot speak, so you have to interpret non-verbal cues. If your dog is fearful or shy, do not insist that they interact. This could end up in negative biting or fighting behavior. So pay attention to your dog’s demeanor and make your judgement from these cues.

TIP! Because non-verbal communication is vital to dogs, you should devote yourself to learning how to read your dog’s signals. Hesitant dogs need to be taken out of fearful situations.

In your backyard or in your house itself is the right place to start training your dog. It is not a good idea to train them in areas where a lot of people are present. There are too many distractions there.

Try using hand signals when training a dog instead of just using verbal commands. It may be easier for your dog to learn commands if they see a visual signal. Look at both options and see if one particular way works best.

Your daily lifestyle should help guide your choice of dog breed. A good example would be if you are a runner. A dog that can keep up with you while you run would be a good choice. On the other hand, a cuddly small dog may be perfect for those who enjoy a quiet evening reading on the couch. Getting a dog that matches your lifestyle will make you both more happy.

Avoid letting your dog walk without a leash outside of your property, regardless of how well he behaves. He can be scared away by some wild animal, or an unforeseen provocation with another dog can result in an unpleasant situation. You are the only one responsible for your dog’s safety and his actions.

TIP! Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. A feral animal might catch their attention, causing them to pursue them, or an unplanned incitement might lead to a bad situation with other pet owners.

If the dog is doing something right, like sitting before he is leashed, lavish him with praise and affection. You need to reward good behavior. This will also give your dog incentive to be good.

If your dog must be outside, build him a house. If your dog happens to get his feet wet for a long period of time in cold temperatures, it can cause health complications. A roomy shelter that protects from the windy, rainy, and snowy weather is the best option.

When buying your dog’s food, do not get the cheap stuff. Your dog will be healthier and happier if you feed it the highest quality food. This may mean higher costs for a better brand, but your dog will get great nutrition from proper sources.

Talk to your vet about what you feed your dog. Some foods can cause sickness or an upset stomach. Be safe when taking care of your dog.

TIP! Speak with your vet to determine whether or not certain foods are okay to give to your dog. Depending on the type and age of dog, if you purchase the wrong kind of food it may upset their stomach.

Take your new dog to the vet. Immediately after bringing home the new dog, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian. The vet will examine your dog. Speak with a vet about getting your dog neutered or spayed since there is a massive dog overpopulation problem that you don’t need to add to.

Do not leave your dog outdoors for extended periods of time. Many people do this, but dogs need interactions with others. If you have a single dog, it may feel lonely outside on its own. It’s especially important that your dog be inside if the weather outside is nasty.

Keep trimming the soft hair near the paws of your dog to keep it from matting. Prior to trimming the hair, make sure the hair is straight by using a comb. If you lack the confidence to attempt this, take the dog to a professional groomer.

If your dog does something the correct way, such as sitting before you put the leash on, make sure that you give it tons of affection and praise. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. Your dog is looking for ways to please you, and giving him your praise lets him know he has done just that.

TIP! If your dog displays a good behavior, praise it or reward it with a treat. You need your dog to realize that you’re proud of their behavior and want to see it more often.

Love your dog! Many owners inadvertently spend more time focusing on their pet’s negative behaviors than on all the good things they do. This can only lead to future difficulties. Instead, scold your dog less and praise him more. He’ll behave better more often this way.

Keep dogs mentally active by giving them many opportunities for physical exercise. Find ways for your dog to help you each day, such as training it to fetch the morning paper. Your dog will feel like a useful member of the family, and the reinforcement will keep his training sharp.

Get involved with politics and stick up for your dog! Watch local legislation that passes to see how it regulates or restricts the rights and behavior of dog owners. It often results from one bad breed or bad dog. Be sure you speak up and let your voice be heard by getting in touch with your local officials. Don’t allow bad apples to interfere with your rights.

Dedicate enough time to correcting bad behavior right away. When you ignore this behavior, your dog thinks that it is okay. In addition, by not taking action, your dog may injure another person, even you. Therefore, ensure you discipline your dog.

TIP! Take your time to teach your dog what kind of behavior is right or wrong as soon as it occurs. If you ignore it, it will be hard to contain it later.

Make sure you make and keep yearly vet appointments for your dog. Having the annual exam is the only way to diagnose problems that arise. Giving your dog an annual physical can prevent unnecessary suffering to the animal and unnecessary expenses later on.

Make sure you carefully consider what feeding program you will use with your dog. Find a type suited for your dog’s breed, age and condition and be sure to consider other factors such as potential allergens. You might think that you can save money by feeding your dog table scraps, but this is very unhealthy.

When you’re beginning training, experiment with various reward systems. Each pet is different, and therefore, what motivates him or her is going to be different as well. Pieces of sausage or tasty dog treats will work for a dog that is motivated by food. On the other hand, if your dog enjoys playing with toys, provide him with a new toy whenever he behaves. A lot of dogs love to be petted and loved on.

Properly teach your dog how to walk with a leash. To properly walk your dog, he must remain directly at your side instead of behind or in front of you. This keeps you and your dog safe as you walk. Not having to hold the leash tightly will make going for walks easier.

TIP! Make sure your dog knows how to properly walk while it’s leashed. Your dog has to understand the “heel” command and respond to it by walking beside you, not ahead of or in back of you.

There is a lot involved in taking good care of your dog. There is more to it than taking him for walks and giving him food. It’s important you know how to properly take care of your dog. For many years of companionship and joy, follow the great advice in the article above.

We hope you appreciated our article. If you have a puppy and would like help understanding his or her character, we would suggest that you take a look at the resource below which provides a lot of relevant information about puppy training: