Owning a dog may bring joy into your life, but it isn’t always a simple job. Owning a dog is a bit like raising a child: they need love and kindness, but also food, shelter, exercise, hygiene, and health care. How will you know what to do? The following tips will teach you how to take great care of your dog.

When training your dog, use hand gestures along with the verbal commands. It may be easier for your dog to learn commands if they see a visual signal. Not every dog will learn the same, so try different techniques with your dog.

TIP! It takes a lot of money to raise a dog. When you add up the medical care, food and supplies in general, your costs could run from $700-$1000 annually.

If a dog does something correctly like sitting before you leash them, give them lots of praise and affection. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. It also reinforces the idea that they will receive attention if they behave as you want them to.

Talk to your vet about how much to feed your dog. Many people look at the guidelines on the dog food bag; the problem with this is that some of the recommendations may be inaccurate and could cause your dog to gain weight. Speak to the vet about what makes sense for your dog.

Do not force your dog to eat things. If your dog doesn’t like the treat you’ve bought, don’t make him eat it. When you have a dog, get to know his likes and dislikes.

TIP! It is important to puppy-proof your home. It is important that you try to foresee any problems your dog might run into prior to bringing him home.

When you first notice behavior problems in your dog, take proper steps to correct the behavior. If you ignore it, you are going to make the problem harder to contain, and you aren’t sure what the result of bad behavior will ultimately be. It is possible that your dog could injure a person, and that person could be you! So correct unwanted behavior right away.

If you’re considering becoming a dog owner, but are unsure if you’re ready to take the step, you can foster one. Animals are overcrowded in shelters, and the resources available for them are not abundant. Foster one of these dogs to help and see if you wish to care for one.

For pure bred dogs, don’t discount local pounds to find one. Some owners leave their dogs, which gives you an opportunity to give them a better life. Call the shelter to find out which dogs they have available. This could help you save the life of a dog.

TIP! Be sure to have your dog spayed or neutered. This reduces the chances of cancer and helps keep the stray animal population down.

Exercise is vital when you own a dog. For example, train your dog to retrieve the newspaper or other helpful chores. This will make your dog feel helpful and simultaneously keep your dog sharp physically and mentally.

Be sure your dog wears identification so it can always get back home. Have your dog wear a type of breakaway collar with identification to make sure they’re returned to you. Put your own name and contact information on it, along with your dog’s name. Another option is to have a micro-chip put on your dog.

Dog Owners

TIP! Talk to the vet about which foods you should avoid giving the dog. A puppy’s stomach may not be able to properly digest certain brands, sometimes causing an adverse reaction.

Make political decisions which will help your dog! Keep track of local laws which affect dog owners. Many times new, overly-restrictive ordinances have incredibly broad impacts when they’re only intended to affect a tiny minority of pet owners. Be sure to voice your concerns in regards to dogs and dog owners by staying in touch with local officials.

Always go to your dog’s yearly check-up. The vet will be able to spot signs of diabetes, thyroid issues and kidney trouble a while before your dog shows any signs. It’s best to take your dog for annual physical, since that is the best way to ensure that there aren’t an problems that have gone undiagnosed for a long time. In the end, you will save money.

When you are finding out what kind of dog you want to get, you might want to introduce the prospective pet to your current pet. While dogs are social instinctively, certain breeds and temperaments get along better with others. You can prevent future problems if you are able to get a dog that is compatible with the dog you already have.

TIP! Trim the hair around your dog’s paws to prevent it from getting matted up. Try to comb the hair to straighten it before trimming.

Think about the changes your life will undergo, such as vacation and special events, before choosing to bring a dog into your life. No matter how much you may want a furry friend, you may realize that you aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility.

Be careful with your dog in the summer. Dogs have great difficulty dealing with extremely high temperatures. Reserve a cool and shady area for your dog to hang out. Make sure the dog has ready access to cool, clean water. You can also get doggie sunscreen to help keep your pet out of harm’s way.

Wash the dishes your dog uses on a fairly frequent basis. Just like you, your dog doesn’t want to use food and water bowls that are dirty. You need to wash the bowls on a daily basis.

Keep your dog clean. That doesn’t mean daily baths for the dog, but a bath once a week is recommended. This stops skin irritation and shedding.

Now you have this amazing advice in your head, ready to use. This information lets you take good care of your faithful pet. Your reward will be a long and loving relationship with your canine companion.