Owning a pooch is a huge responsibility. In some ways, it’s almost like taking care of a child, except this child barks instead of crying. While taking care of your dog is a lot of work, all you need is the right knowledge. To pick up some handy suggestions on dog ownership, just keep reading.

Hugs are good, but kisses should be avoided. Dog kissing may be adorable, but dogs have awfully dirty mouths. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. It saying that the dog’s mouth is much cleaner than a human’s is folklore. This is not in the least bit true.

TIP! A physical is good for you, and a yearly vet trip is good for your dog. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing.

If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach. Getting into those pills could seriously impact your dog’s health and even cause death. Call the vet immediately if you suspect that the dog has swallowed the medication.

Speak with your vet to determine whether or not certain foods are okay to give to your dog. Puppies can’t eat adult food and vice versa. You should be careful when you are feeding your dog.

Don’t buy cheap dog food. The brands that are cheaper actually have lots of additives, preservatives and other harmful ingredients that can endanger the health of your dog. Find an advocacy group that can provide you with a list of vet recommended foods. Your dog will benefit greatly from better food.

TIP! Do not feed your dog from the table. This will make him want human food every time you have a meal.

Try not to force your dog to eat things. If you’ve purchased your dog treats that it doesn’t want to eat, set them aside. Learn what he likes and what he doesn’t.

Should you visit a shelter to adopt a dog, take the animal to the vet as soon as possible. Shelter dogs have likely been exposed to all kinds of viruses, such as parvo and distemper, which are deadly. That is why it’s important to have a full checkup and a course of vaccinations before you bring your puppy home.

Whatever your vet recommends, do it. The dog may not be fond of the treatment or medication, but it’s for its health. You will leave your dog open to serious health problems down the line if you do not follow the advice from your vet for the health of your dog.

TIP! If you’re training your dog, don’t just use verbal commands. Try hand signals as well.

If your female dog is in heat be cautious – she could very easily become pregnant. Male dogs can tell your dog is in heat when they are five miles away. The end result of letting an in heat dog run free is not only an unwanted litter, but also a dog who is prone to fighting and the resulting injuries.

Dog ownership is not a decision that should be made on a whim. Do the best you can to keep your dog happy and in good shape. Although it takes work, you can handle it. If you need help, just use this article and give your dog the care it needs.