Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years. Because dogs are considered to be “man’s best friend”, it is obvious that owning a dog can be a wonderful thing. However, dog ownership comes with a great responsibility to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and well-cared for. Read this article for information on how to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Your dog needs to have an annual checkup, the same as you do. Your dog will not be able to express its concerns, so make sure that you get it a checkup periodically. Taking your dog for a yearly checkup allows relatively minor problems to be detected before they turn into major issues.

TIP! Hugging is okay but kissing should be avoided. Dog kisses are cute, in theory, but understand a dog’s mouth is typically very dirty.

Be sure to have your dog spayed or neutered. Research has proven that this can reduce your dog’s risk of cancer and make them healthier in general. Also, dogs that get fixed won’t feel the need to wander away so that may mean that they won’t get into accidents like getting hit by a vehicle.

Be wary about certain flea treatments to use for your dog. They contain carcinogens proven to cause cancer in kids. Ask your vet for recommendations. Be sure to keep children away while you’re applying any flea treatment.

You need to ask your vet to make sure the food you are feeding them is good. Puppies may lack the development needed to tolerate certain kinds of food without getting sick. Be careful when deciding what to feed your dog.

TIP! You need to take your older pet to the vet at lease once a day. Because your dog can’t speak with you, you may have trouble knowing when your dog is feeling pain like if it has arthritis.

If your dog does something the correct way, such as sitting before you put the leash on, make sure that you give it tons of affection and praise. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. This will also give your dog incentive to be good.

Grooming your dog every day will ensure it doesn’t shed all over the place. A daily brush will make their coat radiant and shiny. This is because the motions you go through while brushing evenly distributes the skin’s oils and helps keep the skin healthy, shiny and soft.

Be sure your dog is physically active. Exercise keeps your dog healthy, both physically and mentally. Regardless of the activity you choose, whether it is a game of fetch or a walk around the neighborhood, both of you will benefit. Every time you play with or exercise your dog, you will find that you are promoting a lasting bond.

TIP! Your dog cannot speak, so you have to interpret non-verbal cues. If when meeting a new dog or person you find your dog is filled with dread, remove him from the situation.

Your dog should not be left outside for the entire day. Understand that dogs need to interact with other people and animals. A dog with no companions can feel very isolated and stressed out if he is left alone outside. In addition, if severe weather strikes, your dog needs to come inside in order to ensure its protection.

Trim hair around a dog’s paws so that hair mats don’t form. You ought to use a comb as a means to straighten it before trimming. A professional groomer may be a good solution if you are confident about trimming the hair yourself.

If your vet prescribes medication, always carefully follow the provided instructions. He may want out of that cone immediately, but he needs to keep wearing it! If you fail to listen to your vet, your dog may end up sick or injured.

TIP! Practice training your dog in your house or yard. It’s a bad idea to train a dog in a busy place.

Make sure your let your dog know you love him. Like many things in life, many owners pay much more attention to bad behavior than good behavior. If that persists, your dog may begin to act inappropriately to get your attention. Try keeping track of how often you praise and scold your pet in a day. For every one negative thing, make sure you say five positive things as well. Your dog’s behavior will improve because of your new technique.

Too many trainers spoil the process. Training methods vary by person, and multiple trainers can confuse the dog. Pick a single person to be the main person doing the training, and let the others know what that person’s methods will be so they can follow along.

Did you know that vitamins could actually be harmful to your dog? Your dog does not need vitamins if you feed it a good diet. Too much of some vitamins can cause injury to the bones, joints and blood vessels. Speak to the vet before you give your dog any vitamins.

TIP! Rather than purchasing an actual meat bone for your dog, go with rawhide instead. Real bones can chip or break and are dangerous for the dog.

Your dog might be contained outdoors, but he needs as much of your attention as any indoor dog. The dog could get bad habits still such as chewing, digging, or even barking if you don’t pay attention to it. He could also develop an aggressive attitude. Be sure to play with your dog and show him friendship and affection so he will feel happy.

Take steps to keep your dog cool in the summer. Dogs become overheated very quickly. Provide a shady, cooler place for them to relax. Make sure your dog has access to clean and cool water. Dogs are also affected by sun rays, so speak with the vet about dog sunscreen.

As a dog owner, you must take the time to care for your dog’s physical and emotional needs. When learning from this article how to approach it, it becomes easier. Just use the things you’ve learned here on a daily basis and you will have a happier pet.