Owning a dog is a very serious thing and it takes responsibility. You must ensure your dog’s happiness and health at all times. As with many other life skills you want to cultivate, solid education is the key to being a successful dog owner. Check out the tips below and expand your fund of canine care knowledge.

You must dog-proof your residence. Take the time to tour your home with an eye for safety before you introduce your dog to your home. Put cleaning supplies and medications away and keep indoor trash inside a cabinet. Some plants that are usually kept in the home are poisonous to pets, so move them where your dog cannot get to them, or put them out of your home completely.

Avoid kisses and stick with hugs. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Dogs root around in garbage pails, drink enthusiastically from the toilet bowl and love to lick and smell certain body parts of other dogs. It is an old wives’ tale that dogs have cleaner months than humans. That tidbit of information is plain wrong.

Make your home safe for your dog. Don’t take a dog into your home without being sure that it is safe from top to bottom. All cleaning materials and drugs must be put away, and put your trash receptacle inside a cabinet. Some indoor plants are poisonous, so put them high up.

TIP! Your home needs to be ‘dog-proofed’. Make sure any area your dog will be in is safe.

Because dogs cannot speak to you, it is important to learn their non-verbal cues. If when meeting a new dog or person you find your dog is filled with dread, remove him from the situation. This could cause the dog to bite. By reading the body language of your dog, you can ensure that this does not happen.

If you bring your pet on vacation with you, keep a picture of him with you, particularly on your phone. If the worst happens and your pet gets lost, you have a current picture that you can show others or use to make “lost” posters.

Look into the flea treatments. Some treatments contain dangerous ingredients that may put your kids at risk for diseases like cancer. Talk to a vet about safe alternatives and keep little kids away when applying any flea treatment.

Go on and hug your dog, but do not kiss him. Kissing a dog might seem cute, but they have dirty mouths. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. There is a belief that the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of a human. It is not necessarily true.

TIP! Hug your dog, but don’t kiss him. Dog kissing may be adorable, but dogs have awfully dirty mouths.

Never take your dog outside your yard without a leash. There are a number of distractions that could cause your dog to run off into a dangerous situation. You’re responsible for their actions and safety.

Whenever your dog performs a good action, such as sitting or staying, give it praise and rewards. Always make sure your dog knows when they perform a behavior you wish to see repeated. This is called positive reinforcement.

Never leave any dog outside for long durations. Even though a lot of people tend to do this, a dog requires human interaction to feel good. Your dog will get very lonely if it is left outside by itself. You need to bring your dog inside the house when it is inclement weather outside.

If you’re on any kind of medication, even if it’s over-the-counter, you need to keep it away from your dog. Consuming even a single pill can cause serious health problems or your dog. If you find that your dog has eaten any medication, you should call a vet as soon as possible.

TIP! Make sure to keep prescription drugs out of the reach of your dogs. Your dog could be seriously injured or killed by ingesting a couple of small pills.

Make sure you heed the vet’s instructions when it comes to medications and special care requirements. He may not like wearing a cone over his head, but it’s prescribed for a reason! Your vet makes recommendations that will help your dog be happy and healthy, so you should follow your vet’s advice.

Stimulate your dog mentally and physically with plenty of exercise. Bring him outside and teach him how to fetch. He’ll feel helpful and like he is a member of the family. At the same time, the training is good for his mental and thinking skills.

When your dog has a bathroom accident on the floor, be sure to thoroughly clean the area. Utilize professional grade cleaners and odor removers as well. Your dog may do his business in the exact same area if his scent from the excrement lingers.

Get your new pet a veterinary exam. When you bring them home, schedule a vet appointment. Your vet will administer the necessary shots and make sure your dog is in good health. Ask your vet about neutering your dog. Shelters are filled with unwanted animals and not neutering your dog means you could be making this problem worse.

TIP! Schedule a visit to the vet when you get a new pet. Once the dog arrive home, place a call to the vet and schedule that appointment.

If you are looking for a new dog, bring your current pup to check him out. Dogs happen to be social creatures, but that doesn’t mean they all get along. If you find that your dogs are compatible, a lot of anguish and trouble can be saved.

Prior to getting a dog, take into consideration your lifestyle and the amount of time you are away from home. Wanting a dog is a piece of cake, but actually taking care of one is harder.

Don’t expect too much from your dog. Dogs have a much shorter attention span than humans do, so adjust your training time with your dog accordingly. Keep training sessions short and sweet (just a few minutes, if that’s all that works) so that your dog won’t get frustrated and form negative associations with the training process.

If you are not sure whether dog ownership is a good idea for you, then you might want to try being a foster care provider for a needy dog. Shelters for abused or homeless dogs are often looking for temporary homes, called foster homes, where dogs can live until they are adopted out to a permanent home. You can give one a home for a while to help the cause and you can also keep it if you like it!

TIP! Providing foster care for a homeless dog can be a great way to see if you are suited to care for a dog. Many abused and homeless animals are in shelters waiting for adoptions, but there is a lot of overcrowding and many resources are scarce.

Consult with your veterinarian about the best brand of food to feed your dog. Your dog may need a special diet if it has a medical condition, such as diabetes. An unhealthy diet could be very harmful to a young puppy or to a dog who suffers from diabetes. Your vet will be able to tell you what to feed your pet.

If you have a dog that constantly chews, get him raw hide bones or toys. These are safe things for a dog to chew on, instead of your furniture. You can find them at the local pet store or discount stores.

You should not allow your dog to be alone for a long time. Your dog will get used to the fact that you may have to work, but you have to figure out how to handle being away during other times. Try leaving the television or radio on for your pup. If you’re away frequently, you might want to look into hiring a pet sitter so that your dog won’t feel abandoned.

Keep a dog tag on your dog at all times. A common method to make sure your lost dog is returned is to have them wear a breakaway collar with an identification tag. On the tag, make sure to include your pet’s name and your phone number. Additionally, you can put a micro-chip on your dog.

TIP! Make sure that you can get your dog back by ensuring they carry some type of identification. A popular way to ensure the return of your dog is to use a breakaway collar and ID tag.

Make rules for your dog and stick to them. You might be tempted to let your pet sleep with you every now and then. This is unfair to the dog, as he won’t know why he can’t continue the behavior. Exceptions to the rules can put your training progress back a few steps.

You can now start properly caring for your dog. Change your habits to accommodate your dog and you will find great rewards come from your effort. Dog ownership is about responsibility, not laziness.

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