It is not easy to own a dog. Dogs are like children, and they need food, exercise, grooming and doctor’s visits. What does it take to care for your dog properly? If you want to give your dog a happier, healthier life, the outstanding canine advice you’ll find below will definitely come in handy.

Just like humans benefit from an annual physical, your dog should see the vet at least once a year. Obviously, dogs don’t speak, so it can be hard to figure out when they’re having problems with their bones or teeth. An annual checkup can help catch such issues before they become a major problem.

Be sure to have your pet spayed or neutered. Research shows that doing this can make your animal live longer and reduce their cancer risks. Also, dogs that get fixed won’t feel the need to wander away so that may mean that they won’t get into accidents like getting hit by a vehicle.

It costs a lot to own a dog. Every dog is going to need supplies, good food, and will also need medical care. After all is said and done this could cost about $800 or more. You should also look into purchasing a good pet health insurance policy to avoid high medical bills.

TIP! Watch out for dog flea treatments. Many have ingredients that may put kids at risk for various cancers over 1000 times what the EPA may consider to be safe.

If you have over-the-counter medication or prescription medication in your home, keep it in a place the dog can’t access it. If your dog ingests your medications, it could be fatal. You should contact your vet right away if your dog swallows some medication.

Be wary of the flea treatment you’re going to use on your dog. Many have ingredients that are dangerous to kids. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, and see if he has more holistic treatment options that might help to keep your pet free from fleas and your family safe.

Your lifestyle can help determine what dog breed is a good match for you. For example, if you’re a jogger, get a type of dog that can run with you, not a toy-poodle. If you prefer to stay home curled up on your couch, go for a small dog that likes to be spoiled and that will curl up along with you. When you find the perfect match, you’ll both be happier!

Try not to feed your dog any table scraps. Feeding a dog from the table only reinforces begging. The dog will also be less likely to eat its normal food. Overfeeding him will lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, too. While you and your family dine, keep your dog in another room so that table-feeding isn’t an option.

TIP! It is a great idea to put hand signals in use when you are training your pet; use them in conjunction with words. When you give your dog these kinds of signals, he may learn faster.

Don’t force your dog to eat something. If you’ve purchased your dog treats that it doesn’t want to eat, set them aside. When you get your dog you should spend some time with it to learn exactly what kinds of things it enjoys.

Regularly brushing your dog’s fur won’t just stop your pet from shedding on your furniture. It leaves them looking gorgeous, for one thing. When you brush your dog, the oils on their skins are spread, creating skin that is soft, shiny, and healthy.

If you have a dog that doesn’t look like it’s very happy because it’s always alone, think about getting your dog a friend. Dogs prefer living in groups with other animals. Get dogs of similar energy levels and temperaments for the best results.

If you’re trying to figure out what type of dog you might want to get, take a look at your lifestyle. For instance, if you jog, a toy poodle may not be as great a choice as a dog that is able to run with you. If you prefer to stay at home, seek out a small dog that loves to snuggle on the couch. Steer clear of a breed mismatch if you want to be a happy dog owner.

TIP! Talk to your vet about how much your dog should eat. While some people feed their dogs according to the dog food package guidelines, these guidelines can be incorrect and lead to an overweight dog.

Be cautious with female dogs in the heat. If you aren’t, you may have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. Male dogs can smell her scent from up to five miles. This can lead to aggression among other males, and you certainly don’t want to be left with an unexpected litter of pups.

Dogs tend to get cuts and scrapes on their paws from things they step on. Wash any small cut your dog has with some antiseptic and then put a bandage on it. If the cut is deep, check with your vet.

When the weather heats up, start checking your pet for ticks and fleas daily. If you find fleas, use a flea comb. There are a lot of available products that can control fleas and ticks on your dog. Ask your vet what they recommend.

Rather than purchasing an actual meat bone for your dog, go with rawhide instead. Genuine bones can chip, and the pieces may become stuck in your dog’s teeth or digestive system. Rawhide is very healthy and will help your dog develop some strong teeth. Never ever give him a real bone!

TIP! Your dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly. The nails can cause the dog discomfort if they start to curl under.

You must give careful thought to a decision to bring a dog into your life. There are a lot of things you have to think about instead of just falling in love with the first dog you see. Think it through carefully and talk to friends with dogs so you fully understand all that is involved.

You cannot judge a dog’s health by the coldness and wetness of its nose alone. Even if your dog is sick, there are different reasons his nose may be wet and cold. Keep an eye on your pet’s health by monitoring their mood, appetite levels, and how much energy they have. These are a truer indication if anything is amiss with your furry friend. To check a dog’s temperature, you need to do it rectally.

Before getting a dog, think about how much free time you really have in your life. Many people romanticize having a dog, but the reality involves consistency, responsibility and commitment.

Don’t leave your dog outside all day long. A lot of people allow this, but dogs are social creatures that need other beings. Especially if it’s only one dog, it can get very lonely. In addition, in extreme weather, you must bring your dog inside to protect it from the weather and temperature extremes.

TIP! You may need to trim hair that grows near the dog’s paws to help keep it from matting. Comb the tangles out before you start trimming.

Don’t go overboard with what you allow your dog to do. Sometimes people think it’s alright to give a dog table scraps or allow destruction of an item. This happens even more with really cute dogs! Do not give in or you will only confuse the dog and end up with more problems. Giving your dog the scraps after a meal might be okay to you, but if you let things slide you may find your pet eating your dinner from your own lap!

Wash the water and food bowls for your dog often. Just like for humans, it is not sanitary for your pets to continuously eat from a dirty bowl. Wash bowls daily and put in fresh water and food afterwards.

Don’t have expectations for your dog that are too high. Remember that your dog’s attention span is rather short, and watch for signs that he is ready for a break from training. Try training your dog for a few minutes each day so he doesn’t get too frustrated at first.

If you’ve got just one dog and he doesn’t seem all that happy or is left alone a lot, think about getting him a friend. Dogs love to be social and hate to be alone. You need to match like-tempered dogs together.

TIP! Your dog needs to wear some sort of identification in case he escapes your house. A good way to ensure your dog is returned if he is lost is to attach an identification tag to his collar.

This expert advice is something that you will remember so that you may use it with your dog every day. It should help you build the strong foundation that you need. Both you and your dog will enjoy the benefits of your knowledge and dedication.

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