Dogs provide unconditional love, loyalty and affection. A dog makes a great family pet, or a companion for someone who lives alone. Use this advice to properly care for your pooch.

Take your dog to the vet at least one time a year for checkups. Dogs can’t talk, so how do you know he has arthritis, for example? You need to go to the vet every year to get a check up.

Avoid letting your dog walk without a leash outside of your property, regardless of how well he behaves. Something could distract him, like a squirrel or a cat, causing him to leave your side. Your dog is your responsibility.

When training your dog, use hand gestures along with the verbal commands. Using hand gestures can help your dog to recognize commands quicker. Try both ways and see which is best for your dog.

Be sure to praise your dog freely and consistently whenever he exhibits a desired behavior. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. It also teaches your dog that when he does the things you want, he will get praised.

Speak with a vet as soon as possible if you are adopting a dog. Dogs that live in shelters may be sick or may have been around other sick dogs. A full check-up, a clean bill of health, and a full complement of the necessary shots is the best way to start off your relationship with your dog.

If you want a dog but don’t know if you can handle the responsibility, start out as a short-term foster home. There are many animals who need a temporary home until they are adopted. Fostering is a great way to help a dog and get a feel for what having a dog is like.

If you are in the market for a pedigree pup, you just may find him at the pound. Lots of dog owners will leave their dog stranded whenever they don’t want it anymore. Call the pound to find ask what dog breeds are in house at the time. You could save a dog’s life by doing so!

Make sure you exercise both your dog’s mind and its body. You can teach your dog to be helpful with and respectful of things in your house. Your dog will feel like a useful member of the family, and the reinforcement will keep his training sharp.

Female Dog

If your female dog is in heat be cautious – she could very easily become pregnant. Males can pick up the scent of a female dog in heat, and this can even happen from several miles away. As well as possibly causing a fight amongst male dogs in the area, she might actually get pregnant.

Schedule a visit to the vet for your dog on a regular basis. Your dog should be checked for things like heartworms regularly, and his shots need to be current. Your puppy will have to go to the vet more when they are young. You need to go to the vet as soon as your dog seems sick or hurt.

Are you aware that feeding your dog vitamins can be dangerous? If your dog is eating a balanced diet,do not give him additional vitamins. Giving your dog too many vitamins can end up resulting in problems. You should ask your veterinarian if you are not sure what to do.

When you first start training, play with different reward systems. See what motivates your dog to succeed. Dogs that are driven by food may respond to small bits of hot dog used as rewards. Maybe your dog will respond better to a game of tug-of-war with a favorite toy. A few dogs are even motivated by being petted!

There is a lot involved in taking good care of your dog. It’s much more than simply feeding and walking him. It’s important to know the correct way to take care of your dog. By doing so, you and your dog can spend many years together.