Nothing beats a dog in terms of the loyalty and love that can be received. Dogs can be great pets that the whole family can love and they are also great companions for just one person too. Continue on for some excellent tips about understanding how to properly care for your dog.

Your home must be dog-proofed. Create a safe area to bring a new puppy into the home. Put all medication and cleaning supplies away, and keep your indoor trash can inside a cabinet. Many common types of house plants can be toxic, so it pays to eliminate or move them.

TIP! Yearly physicals help you and yearly vet checks help your dog. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing.

Spay or neuter your dog. Your pet stands to enjoy a significantly better (and longer) life. It’s been verified through research that this simple procedure reduces cancer risks and provides other benefits, too. Dogs who have been neutered or spayed are also less likely to run or wander away from home.

Keep your dog on leash any time he leaves your fenced yard, regardless of his gentle nature and good behavior. Dogs are easily distracted by other animals, cars, and kids, so always make sure to keep your dog on a leash for his own safety. You are responsible for anything your dog does, as well as for his safety.

You should talk to your vet about the foods you give your dog. A puppy’s stomach may not be able to properly digest certain brands, sometimes causing an adverse reaction. Be cautious about what types of foods you feed your dog.

TIP! If you are going to taking your dog on vacation, take a pic of him on your phone. This allows you to have a photo of him if he gets lost.

Allow your lifestyle to dictate the type of dog you adopt or purchase. For example, if you live an active lifestyle it is probably best for you to find an active dog instead of a little dog. Also, if you like to stay at home, find small dogs that prefer sitting on laps and being stroked. By selecting the right dog breed, both you and your dog will be more content.

If you have an outdoor pet, build a shelter for him or buy one that is ready to use. If the dog gets wet feet that could make him stressed out and cause other health problems as well. Protect your dog from wind and precipitation by giving him a shelter that has a dry floor and plenty of space.

Try not to force your dog to do new things. If your dog doesn’t like a particular treat, don’t force him to eat it. Learn about your dog’s various likes and dislikes when you first bring it home.

TIP! If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach. Many medicines that benefit you can be harmful or fatal to your dog.

Do not buy the cheapest dog food you can find. After a while it’s good for the dog if it has been eating nutritious and high quality food. Although the food may cost more, you know that your dog is receiving the correct nutrients from quality food.

If you think you want a dog, but are not sure if you are ready for the commitment involved, consider becoming a foster home. Shelters are full of animals who need a loving home, and there’s not room to hold all of them. Fostering an animal will help animals and help you decide whether or not you would like to keep a dog of your own.

Make sure that you show your dog affection at all times. As with most things, owners tend to focus more on the bad behavior instead of the good. That could mean trouble later with your dog. You should mostly focus on praising and petting your dog when you notice a good behavior. This will reinforce that positive behavior brings due rewards, and thus lead to a better behaved pet.

TIP! In your backyard or in your house itself is the right place to start training your dog. It is unwise to do it where there are many strangers around.

It takes a lot to properly care for a dog. It’s not just going for walks and providing food. Give the proper affection to your dog, and show him a lot of compassion. This will help you to have many healthy years together.