Dog ownership is never easy. Just like children, dogs need to be groomed, fed a nutritious diet, have plenty of exercise, and visit the doctor regularly. Not all the steps to proper dog care are intuitive. This article will teach you everything that is needed to be a great dog owner.

Make sure that your dog is spayed or neutered. Research has proven that this can help your dog live longer and also specifically help prevent cancer. In addition, spayed or neutered dogs aren’t as likely to roam away from your home, which can result in them getting run over by a vehicle, killed by a bigger animal, shot, or kidnapped.

When training your dog, use hand gestures along with the verbal commands. When provided with signals of this type, dogs tend to pick things up faster. Experiment with each way and determine what works.

Let your dog chew some rawhide rather than meat bones. Bones can lodge in the mouth or throat, causing devastating injuries. Rawhide is completely healthy and improves the teeth, and therefore is preferable to animal bones.

If you choose to adopt a pet, take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Shelter dogs could be sick or exposed to different viruses. Have your dog checked over and given vaccinations as soon as possible.

Some dog breeds are more likely than others to develop certain health issues. Take the time to read up on your breed so that you don’t get any surprises down the road. Also, see what advice the vet has in terms of helping your dog overcome breed liabilities.

Show the dog that he is loved. A lot of owners focus on correcting bad behaviors rather than displaying affection for their dog. That could be real trouble with the dog. Remember to praise and be affectionate with your dog more frequently than you discipline him. This will make it more likely that your dog will behave well.

Bad Apples

You should be an activist for your dog. Legislation aimed at dog owners is proposed every now and then, and you need to know if this affects you. It’s often only motivated by the actions of a specific breed or a few bad apples. Be sure you speak up and let your voice be heard by getting in touch with your local officials. Don’t allow bad apples to interfere with your rights.

Dogs often get cuts from stepping on glass and other debris. If you notice a small cut on your dog, use antiseptic to wash it, and then put a bandage around it. If the cut is deep, it is best to go to a veterinarian.

If you’re having a snack, you may feel like it would be okay to give your dog a bite. Some foods are fine to give, but others really are not. Dogs should never be given things such as grapes, chocolate and caffeine. Foods like these can cause huge medical problems.

When you train your dog, you will always want to use positive reinforcement. Do not hit your dog as this will only make him fear you. Humane treatment in training is not only better for the dog in the long run, but will be more effective as well. Therefore, be kind when training your dog and enjoy the great outcome!

Use different reward systems to find out what your dog prefers. This will make things more fun and enjoyable for your dog. If your dog is food driven, try using small pieces of hot dogs as a reward. You could also play tug of war for a few minutes to reward your dog. Some dogs will enjoy being petted and rubbed by doing this.

You must keep a close eye on what and how much your dog eats. As a puppy, it is okay for them to eat foods filled with calories, as they need it for their growth. However, when these same foods are eaten during adulthood, they could cause extreme weight gain, which can cause damage to your dog’s health.

Take precautions for your dog during the hot summer months. Dogs can overheat easily. Have a cool, shaded spot that they’re able to go to when it’s hot. Your dog should have access to water that is clean and cool. Also, the sun’s rays can affect your dog, so ask his vet about sunscreens that are made for dogs.

Wash your dog’s water and food bowls regularly. You wouldn’t want to always eat from the same dirty plate, so why should you expect your dog to? You need to wash the bowls on a daily basis.

Your dog should be as clean as you are. You may not need to bathe your dog daily, but it should get a thorough cleaning once weekly. This can help to maintain a clean home and will help prevent your dog from having skin issues.

Walk dogs each day, regardless of how busy you are. You need the exercise, so does he, and he will be having a good time while out. This is something that has to be done for a dog to properly grow, so be sure you walk your dog.

It may be cute when your plays with your slippers, but you won’t appreciate it if he chews them up. It’s important to nip habits like these in the bud. Reprimand your puppy right away so he learns what is not okay for him to do. That saves you trouble as time goes on.

Now that you know what to do, you can use these ideas every day as you care for and play with your dog. This information lets you take good care of your faithful pet. Just use what you’ve read here and your dog will show its gratitude by loving you for it.