Have you ever wanted to get a dog? Or, do you already have a dog? If yes to either question, you need to read the tips below. This information will make dog ownership a joy and help ensure that your dog lives a happy and healthy life.

Hugs are good, but kisses should be avoided. While those sloppy kisses may be cute, be aware that your dog’s mouth is apt to be crawling with germs and bacteria. Dogs dig in trash cans, drink from toilet bowls and sniff and lick various body parts on themselves and other dogs. Some believe the mouth of a dog is even cleaner than our own. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

TIP! Hugs are great, but steer clear of kisses. Dogs lick dirty things you don’t even want to think about.

Just as you need an annual physical exam, dogs do as well. Because your dog is unable to speak, you may not know for sure when your dog feels sick or has an injury. Taking your dog for a yearly checkup allows relatively minor problems to be detected before they turn into major issues.

You shouldn’t allow your pet off your property if it’s not wearing a leash, even if he is extremely well-behaved. You never know when something might spook him or distract him, leading to devastation. You’re responsible for everything your dog does, and for his safety. as well.

Praise your dog when he behaves or performs in the way that you have been training him to. You need to reward good behavior. It teaches the dog that he gets praised when he does what you’d like him to do.

TIP! Your dog needs to have an annual checkup, the same as you do. Your dog is not able to talk, so it is not easy to know when he’s got arthritis or an aching tooth.

You don’t want to buy the bargain dog food. Cheap brands usually are loaded with additives that can be bad for health. Try using animal advocacy groups or consumer awareness to get a list of great dog foods that have high professional recommendations. Better food will be very beneficial to your dog.

Bring your shelter dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt him. Shelters expose dogs to a number of illnesses, and your pet could be ill already. It’s smart to ensure your dog has all shots necessary before you take him home.

Take your new dog to the vet. Schedule a visit with the vet right away. A vet will make sure the dog is healthy and also set up a future schedule of vaccinations. In addition, consult your vet about spaying or neutering your dog. The shelters are already overcrowded, so you do not want to make that problem worse.

TIP! If you have medications at home, ensure that it is safely hidden away and out of the reach of your dog. Getting into those pills could seriously impact your dog’s health and even cause death.

If you’re considering becoming a dog owner, but are unsure if you’re ready to take the step, you can foster one. There are many animals who need a temporary home until they are adopted. Become a foster parent to test the waters.

You may need to trim hair that grows near the dog’s paws to help keep it from matting. Clean and comb the hair before you trim it. You can always use a dog groomer if you find the process difficult.

Always follow through with instructions from your vet if your dog has medication or needs special attention. For instance, your dog may need a cone and not like it, but your vet prescribed it for a reason. The directions that you get from your vet are focused on the health of your pet and ignoring them can be detrimental to your pet.

TIP! Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. There are quite a few things that could cause your dog to run off unexpectedly.

If your dog seems unhappy and is alone a lot, consider getting a second dog. Dogs naturally travel in packs and like to have fellow canines around. Find another dog that has the same energy levels and temperament and you’ll be sure to find something your dog will love!

Did you take the time to really absorb everything that you have just read? If you do not understand, read these tips again. You will feel a lot of relief when you have a problem and you know how to deal with it right away. To have a good balanced relation with your dog, implement these tips every day.