Would you like to save a little puppy from the pound? Or are you looking at purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder? Any dog will enrich your life, whether it is a plain old mixed breed or comes with a fancy pedigree. However, you need to be prepared for the responsibilities involved in owning a dog, so use these ideas to get started.

Go on and hug your dog, but do not kiss him. While getting kisses from your dog may seem cute, your dog’s mouth is extremely dirty. Dogs love to dig in garbage, get into the toilet, and then they lick their butts, yuck! There is a belief that the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of a human. Definitely do not believe that!

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 has access to these pills, there can be fatal consequences. If the dog does consume some medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Use hand signals when training your dog along with verbal commands. Dogs tend to respond better with these additional types of signals instead of always relying on voice commands. Try both ways and see which is best for your dog.

Before giving your dog a new dog food, talk to your vet. A puppy’s stomach may not be able to handle particular foods, which may cause stomach issues. Use your vets advice and common sense to feed your dog properly.

Don’t force your dog to do anything. Some dogs won’t love all treats, and you shouldn’t push your dog to like something. Not all dogs like the same things.

Make sure your dog engages in sufficient amounts of exercise. Playing and exercising are two crucial components of any healthy dog’s life. Your dog will get the exercise it needs (and you’ll be a little more active yourself!) from virtually any kind of outdoor activity you share with it. Not only will your canine buddy get the stimulation required for staying healthy, the two of you will bond much more closely.

Always buy high quality food for your best friend. High quality foods are always your best bet. This may mean that you have to pay a higher price, but you will know your dog is receiving all of the nutrients he needs.

Put a leash on your dog at all times when walking him. The dog needs to stay beside you, not behind or in front of you. It also needs to know the command “heel”. If you walk in this way, you will be sure that your pet is safe so that your walks are more enjoyable. If you are using a loose leash, you help your dog to realize this is the best way to go about it.

Your dog needs to have mental stimulation as well as ways to become physically active too. You can even teach your dog useful tricks such as fetching the newspaper for you. He can feel useful and like a family member, and continuing to train him will keep his mind sharp.

Keep your annual appointments for check-ups with your dog. Your vet can identify health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease and thyroid abnormalities before the problem is apparent to you. Annual physicals can save a lot of problems in the future.

Dogs often get cuts from debris or pieces of glass. If your dog suffers from a little cut, it should be washed with some form of antiseptic and the bandaged. If you think the cut is fairly deep you should see a vet.

When selecting a new dog to come and live with an existing dog, take your current dog to meet him if at all possible. Though most are sociable, certain dogs are better able to get along with other dogs than others. If you find that your dogs are compatible, a lot of anguish and trouble can be saved.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on what your dog is eating throughout its life. Foods that are high in calories are great for growing puppies. However, if they eat the same kinds of foods when they get older they may gain a lot of weight and that isn’t healthy.

Take some time to consider where you want your new dog to sleep. If your dog is in a crate during the night, do not let your dog in your bed. If they sleep in your bed, be sure that this is okay with you every night.

Your puppy may look adorable when it nibbles on your slippers, but it won’t be so cute when a full grown dog tears them to pieces. Therefore, you need to take action and eliminate this bad habit immediately. If he’s doing something wrong, say “no” firmly. This can save you the trouble later.

You should now know what taking care of a dog entails, so get ready to take that purebred or mutt home! Keep learning more about owning dogs if you have any further questions on the subject. Think about joining a dog forum to chat with fellow dog owners. Do not ever stop teaching your dog.