No pets can compete with a dog when it comes to loyalty, love, and affection. Dogs make wonderful pets for the whole family, or they can provide companionship for those living on their own. If you want to take better care of your dog, make good use of the following tips.

Your home must be dog-proofed. Before bringing your dog home for the first time, make sure that the entire area is completely safe. Put cleaning supplies and medications away and keep indoor trash inside a cabinet. Some plants in your house may be toxic to your dog, so they should be kept where your dog cannot reach them.

An annual checkup at the vet is a great idea for your dog. Since your dog does not speak the human language, he simply cannot tell you if his tooth aches or his arthritis is making it difficult for him to walk. A yearly checkup will help you find any problems before they become huge issues.

Avoid giving your pup table scraps. Feeding a dog from the table only reinforces begging. The dog will also be less likely to eat its normal food. In fact, a steady supply of scraps may encourage your dog to gain unhealthy amounts of weight and set off serious digestive problems. If you spend the time to train your dog to spend mealtimes well removed from the table, there won’t be any scrap-feeding temptations to worry about.

Use your lifestyle to pick the dog breed you need to get. For instance, joggers may want dogs that can run along with them, instead of a toy breed that cannot. If you are more of a homebody, a smaller, less active dog who enjoying being pampered is the better choice. You should find a dog that fits well with your personality.

When the dog does something right, be sure to lavish praise on him or her. He needs to understand that this is the right thing to do. It teaches your pup that he will be rewarded for good behavior.

Check with your vet to determine the amount of food to feed your dog daily. While some people follow the direction on the back of the dog food packaging, they are sometimes incorrect and may make your dog overweight. Speak to the vet about what makes sense for your dog.

A dog that spends a lot of time outside should have a warm and safe shelter in case it is needed. If your dog’s feet get wet, then the continued exposure can lead to stress and other health issues. Keep your dog safe from the elements by providing him the dry shelter he needs.

Make sure to exercise your dog often. Dogs need game time and regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically healthy and happy. Your dog will be happy with any kind of activity, even if it’s just going for a walk or throwing them a ball. You can get a lot of much needed exercise and build a stronger bond with your dog.

When you are getting dog food for your pet, don’t try to save money and get whatever is cheapest. Long-term, the dog will do much better with nutritious, good quality food. While this may mean paying higher prices for a premium brand, you can be assured your dog is getting the proper nutrients from wholesome sources.

When you get a new dog, it is best that you schedule a check-up at the vet right away. Make an appointment as early as possible. Your vet will administer the necessary shots and make sure your dog is in good health. You also want to check with the vet about fixing your dog if you will not be breeding him.

Your dog must learn to walk on a leash correctly. Make him walk at your side, and do not let him pull far in front of you or stay far behind. Use the command “heel” to prompt him. Walking in this manner keeps your dog safe, and you are bound to enjoy walks more as well. Your dog needs to get used to this.

You should carefully trim the hair near the paws to avoid matted hair. Prior to trimming it, straighten the fur using a comb. If you’re too scared, take him to the groomer instead.

Owning a dog involves following through on quite a few responsibilities. There is more to it than taking him for walks and giving him food. You must learn how to properly take care of your pet. Like that, you can both enjoy many healthy happy years together.