You might already own a dog or are thinking about becoming an owner – either way you are aware that it’s a huge responsibility. There is a lot to learn about taking proper care of your dog. Use the following guide to find some great tips on taking good care of dogs.

Hugs are great, but steer clear of kisses. Dog kisses are cute, in theory, but understand a dog’s mouth is typically very dirty. Dogs tend to dig through garbage cans, drink out of toilets and explore the hind quarters of other animals. Your dog’s mouth is not really any cleaner than a human’s mouth. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Your dog needs to have an annual checkup, the same as you do. Your dog can’t talk, it might be difficult to find out what is wrong if there is an issue. Taking your dog for a yearly checkup allows relatively minor problems to be detected before they turn into major issues.

Be sure to have your pet spayed or neutered. This reduces the chances of cancer and helps keep the stray animal population down. Also, dogs that have been neutered or spayed stick closer to home, limiting their exposure to dangerous traffic and other hazards.

Be wary of the flea treatment you’re going to use on your dog. A lot of these medications have ingredients that can be harmful to children and can cause cancer. Ask the vet about flea powders and other products that are less hazardous for kids.

When you begin training your pup, start in your yard or home. You do not want to train your dog around a bunch of people. They may get distracted and it will be more difficult to teach them even the most basic commands.

In addition to verbal commands, employ a variety of hand signals when training your dog. These signals will help you keep your dog under control in a noisy environment. Always associate the spoken command and the hand gesture at first and choose the system that works best later on.

Don’t buy cheap dog food. Cheaper brands usually contain lots of additives and preservatives that can harm your dog’s health. Check with animal advocacy groups or consumer reviews to find the best dog foods that are recommended by professionals. Your dog will be in better health when he has high quality food.

Don’t try forcing anything into your dog. If you’re trying to get your dog to eat a new treat and it’s not showing any interest, don’t force them to eat it. When you first get a dog, you should take some time to get to know what it likes and what it dislikes.

If your dog spends a lot of time alone, think seriously about adding a second animal to your family. Dogs are naturally pack animals, and they like to be around other dogs. Match him with a dog that shares the same temperament and energy level to ensure canine bliss.

You can keep your furry friend mentally as well as physically active through plenty of exercise. Teach him to get the newspaper and do other helpful things around the house. They’ll feel like a useful family member and the constant reinforced training will maintain their sharp thinking skills.

Always make sure that your dog is wearing some sort of identification on their collar. Keep identification on your dog’s collar. The tag should include your name and contact information as well as the name of your dog. You may also want to install a micro-chip into your dog.

It is not uncommon for dogs to get cuts on their paws from stepping on pieces of glass and debris. If you find a small cut on your dog, wash it with antiseptic fluid and bandage that area. If the cut seems like it’s too deep, then head off to see the vet.

Don’t be hasty when deciding if you will get a dog or not. While those cute puppy faces can be hard to resist, it is important to remember that adopting a dog is a serious commitment. Take a little bit of time and think over all aspects of having a pet so you’re sure that you’re able to manage it.

Concern about caring for your pet should have been diminished now that you have read this article. All you have to do is be patient and loving and you will know that your pet appreciates it. Continue learning all that you can to ensure a great relationship with your pup.