There are a number of different pets available. You could pick a cat, dog, rat, chinchilla, fish, lizard or snake. However, the number one choice made by people continues to be a dog. This article helps you to become the best possible owner of your dog.

Consider the situation before allowing a dog to kiss your face. Dogs lick dirty things you don’t even want to think about. Dogs tend to dig through garbage cans, drink out of toilets and explore the hind quarters of other animals. There is an old wives’ tale that says that the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of a human. That tidbit of information is plain wrong.

TIP! Your dog speaks to you, but it is through non-verbal cues. Your job is to learn to listen carefully so you understand the message.

When you get a puppy, have him fixed at around two years old. This reduces the chances of cancer and helps keep the stray animal population down. It also keeps dogs from humping, running away from home or becoming violent at puberty.

When vacationing with your dog, use the camera on your phone to snap a quick picture. That way, if he happens to get separated from the family, you have an up-to-date picture of him that is easily accessible for showing people or can be downloaded for printing up “lost” flyers.

Never allow your dog to leave your yard without a leash even if he seems very trustworthy and calm. Wild animals could get the dog’s attention and lead him into dangerous places, or unanticipated circumstances could provoke conflicts with others. Understand that any damage your dog causes to other people and their pets is your responsibility, so you need to always use caution when off your property.

TIP! If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach. If your dog ingests your medications, it could be fatal.

Speak with your vet about the amount of food you should be feeding your dog each day. Some people refer to the label on the package to determine the quantity of food to feed their dogs, but those guidelines are not always right and using them can cause your dog to become overweight. Speak with your vet and work out an appropriate eating plan for your dog.

Clip your dog’s nails. Your dog will be in pain if the nails begin curling. Purchasing some nail clippers at your local pet store is a good idea. If you do not want to take this matter into your own hands, hire a professional.

If you choose to adopt a pet, take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Shelter dogs have numerous opportunities to be exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses; these can result in dangerous illnesses. You should also get your dog all of his shots before bringing him into your home.

TIP! Watch out for dog flea treatments. Many have ingredients that may put kids at risk for various cancers over 1000 times what the EPA may consider to be safe.

Make sure to exercise your dog often. Exercise and play are necessary for a dog. They keep the dog fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Playing fetch or going for a nice walk will be good for both you and the dog. It also grows your bond with the dog.

If you think you want a dog, but are not sure if you are ready for the commitment involved, consider becoming a foster home. Many abused and homeless animals are in shelters waiting for adoptions, but there is a lot of overcrowding and many resources are scarce. Fostering a dog will allow you to do some charity work and see if you really want a dog!

If your dog spends a lot of time alone, think seriously about adding a second animal to your family. Dogs are pack animals by their very nature and usually prefer the company of their own kind. Choose another dog whose energy level and temperament matches your dog’s, and you should have a good match.

TIP! Speak with your vet about the amount of food you should be feeding your dog each day. While there are those that feed their dog whatever it says on the package, this may not be good for your dog and can make it overweight.

Taking in a dog is a massive responsibility, but thanks to the tips you’ve read, you should be up to the task. Keep learning more about dogs and how to care for them. This will help you to take even better care of your dog.