When you go to the pound or a pet store, you may be dreaming of a sweet dog who sleeps with you all night and follows you around all day. What actually happens could be completely different. That said, you have to train it to be what you want. Read on to learn what else you need to know:

While you can hug your dog, you should avoid kissing your dog. A dog has a very filthy mouth. Dogs dig in trash cans, drink from toilet bowls and sniff and lick various body parts on themselves and other dogs. It is folk wisdom that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans. This is completely wrong!

You need to have a physical every year, and so does your dog. Your dog is not able to talk, so it is not easy to know when he’s got arthritis or an aching tooth. A checkup once a year will help diagnose any problems.

Always have your dog on a leash when he’s off your property. Wild animals could grab their attention, causing them to run into dangerous territory, or they may have an unpleasant situation involving other dogs and people. You are responsible for anything your dog does, as well as for his safety.

Teach your dog the proper way to walk while on a leash. He needs to know to heel next to you, not behind you or in front of you. That way, your dog is safe and the walks are better for you as well. Not having to hold the leash tightly will make going for walks easier.

Never leave a dog outside for long periods of time. Many people do this, but dogs need interactions with others. If you only have one dog, he can get lonely outside. Not only that, but during heavy rainstorms and snowstorms, it is imperative that you bring your dog indoors as well, to avoid the inclement weather and temperatures.

Be cautious with your female dog if she’s in heat. If you don’t, she may become pregnant. It is possible for a male to pick up her scent from miles away. The dog might also want to fight other dogs, and become pregnant.

Dogs tend to get cuts and scrapes on their paws from things they step on. Clean any small cuts on your dog with antiseptic, and bandage the area. If the cut continues to bleed, go to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. Dogs must see their vet for full exams, vaccinations and routine testing. A puppy requires more constant vet visits. If your dog appears to be hurt or sick, they need to be brought to the vet immediately.

Clean up completely if your dog uses the bathroom on your floor. Use a professional strength cleaner, followed by a proven odor remover. If you still smell dog waste, the dog could be emptied to return to the scene of the crime and repeat the actions.

Conduct tick and flea inspection on your dog during the warm seasons of the year. You can get a flea comb that will help with the removal of fleas on your dog. There are a lot of products that can assist you with fleas and ticks. Try to get your vet’s opinion on these products or what you can do to help your dog.

With all of this great advice available to you, you would be a fool to ignore it. Use it so that your dog can be all you wish him to be. Your happy dog will show you unconditional love.