Dogs need more than feeding and petting. A dog needs total care. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to properly care for your dog. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a veteran of many previous canine relationships, you just might pick up a new trick or two from the handy dog advice tips this article has to offer.

Owning a dog is quite a large financial commitment. Food, supplies and vet bills can add up to $1,000 or more per year. Pet health insurance can help; although you will pay a monthly or yearly fee, you will often be covered if a big medical emergency occurs for your pet.

TIP! It is important to puppy-proof your home. Make sure any area your dog will be in is safe.

Your dog cannot speak, so you have to interpret non-verbal cues. You should never pressure your pet into interacting with strangers, be they human or canine. This might lead to a bite to another dog or even to a person. Look out for non-verbal hints so that the dog can guide your actions.

Beware of flea treatments for your dog. Many contain ingredients that are dangerous to children. Ask your vet for recommendations. Be sure to keep children away while you’re applying any flea treatment.

In addition to verbal commands, employ a variety of hand signals when training your dog. This is a very effective way to communicate with your dog. Try both ways of giving commands to see what works best.

TIP! It is fine to hug your dog, but avoid those wet kisses. Dogs are prone to tartar build up and cavities just like people.

Purchase a dog that can keep up with your lifestyle. If you are a hunter for example, perhaps a retriever is the dog for you. If you spend more time in the home, a more sedate, indoor dog will fit your lifestyle best. Don’t get a dog that you don’t fit in with if you can avoid that.

Positive reinforcement is very important in training your dog. By rewarding your pup when it does the right thing, you’ll be teaching it to do these behaviors more often. It also teaches your dog that when he does the things you want, he will get praised.

Do not leave your dog outdoors for extended periods of time. A lot of people allow this, but dogs are social creatures that need other beings. If there is only one dog in your household, he may feel lonely outdoors. Not only that, but during heavy rainstorms and snowstorms, it is imperative that you bring your dog indoors as well, to avoid the inclement weather and temperatures.

TIP! Just as you need an annual physical exam, dogs do as well. Since your dog can’t speak, it may be difficult to know when he is having health issues.

You should carefully trim the hair near the paws to avoid matted hair. A comb should be used first to straighten it before you do any cutting. Another option is to take your dog to the groomers and ask for this task to be performed.

By learning more about caring for your dog, you can give him the love and attention he deserves. You can reward your dog’s loyalty by returning the love and being a great friend. Let’s say you were the dog–it would make you happy to know your owner has researched everything about you.