Dogs provide unconditional love, loyalty and affection. They are amazing family pets and a real comfort to those living alone. The following tips can help you care for your dog more effectively.

It can be quite costly to own a dog. The costs associated with general and medical care along with high-quality food can be upwards of a thousand per year. Health insurance for your pet can be a great idea to help you in emergency situations.

TIP! Always neuter or spay your pet. Research has shown that by doing this you can be sure your pet can have a longer life and not be at risk for things like cancer.

Your home needs to be ‘dog-proofed’. Make sure any area your dog will be in is safe. Do not have any pills out in the open and put all supplies in cabinets. Some houseplants are toxic and need to be kept out of your dog’s reach.

If you’re taking your dog on a trip, be sure that you have a recent picture of them on-hand. Therefore, if your animals get lost, there is a recent photo that can be used for the purpose of locating them.

Whenever your dog performs a good action, such as sitting or staying, give it praise and rewards. Make your dog understand you are pleased with the behavior and expect to see it again. Your dog will soon understand that good behavior is rewarded with praise.

TIP! Be wary of the flea treatment you’re going to use on your dog. There are ingredients in some of them that can risk cancer in your children.

If your dog needs to be outside during cold months, buy him a house or build him one. Particularly if his feet get wet, extended exposure to extreme temperatures causes stress and can lead to health complications. Always protect him from wind, sun and rain by making sure he has a dry shelter to go to.

Don’t feed your dog the cheap stuff. Over the course of the dogs life he will be much healthier if you stick to high quality food with plenty of nutritional value. While this could mean paying more for higher-end brands, your dog’s proper health will be guaranteed through eating healthfully.

When you get a new dog, schedule a visit with a vet. In fact, do it the same day as you bring the pet home so you don’t forget. The vet will examine your dog. Speak with a vet about getting your dog neutered or spayed since there is a massive dog overpopulation problem that you don’t need to add to.

TIP! Rawhide treats are better for your dog than real meat bones. Real bones chip apart and can become dangerously lodged in the oral cavity or digestive track.

If you are considering a dog but aren’t sure, why not trying providing a good foster home for a dog? Shelters are full of abused and homeless dogs and they are hard pressed to give them all proper care. Fostering a dog will both help the cause and allow you to test drive the responsibility involved with pet ownership.

Get your dog’s hair trimmed around its paws so that hair doesn’t get matted up. Prior to trimming it, straighten the fur using a comb. Another option is to take your dog to the groomers and ask for this task to be performed.

Certain dog breeds are susceptible to some health problems, so make sure you know what is typical for the breed of dog you have. Check out their heritage and try to prevent problems that you know they’re prone to. Speak with your vet to determine the correct course of action.

TIP! Don’t force your dog to do anything. If you purchase a treat your dog doesn’t appear to like, just try another brand rather than making him eat.

If your female dog is in heat be cautious – she could very easily become pregnant. Males can detect the scent from miles away. As well as possibly causing a fight amongst male dogs in the area, she might actually get pregnant.

When it comes to training your dog, you should never have several people in charge. Everyone has their own unique ways of training, and having multiple people trying to train a dog differently can leave it confused. Only allow one person to teach the dog things and then everyone else should learn what that person has taught the dog and stick with that.

Make sure that your dog goes to it’s vet for a checkup each year. This will give your dogs the best chance to avoid life-threatening diseases. By having a physical each year, you can avoid unnecessary expenses later on and your dog will not suffer.

TIP! You should carefully trim the hair near the paws to avoid matted hair. Use a comb and a small pair of scissors for this task.

It is not unusual for a dog to step on sharp objects that leaves it with cuts. If you find a small cut on your dog, wash it with antiseptic fluid and bandage that area. If the cut is relatively deep, bring your dog to the vet.

Always praise your dog when he does something good. Rewards and praise helps dogs learn faster than violence and dominance. In addition, kind and humane treatment during training periods is healthier for your dog. Be kind and you will enjoy great results.

When you start training your dog, experiment with different rewards systems. Take the time to learn what will motivate your pet the most. If find that your dog is motivated by food, a hot dog, cut into small pieces, is a great reward. If your dog prefers toys, have a quick game of tug of war once your pup does what you want. Petting can be the best reward too.

TIP! If your dog seems unhappy and is alone a lot, consider getting a second dog. Dogs come from packs, so it’s in their nature to prefer spending time with a member of their own species.

Stick to your guns. Dog owners think it is alright to bend the rules occasionally This happens even more with really cute dogs! Be firm with your dog if you want to prevent behavior issues. For example, you might not care that your dog begs for food from time to time, but eventually that dog will think it can just jump on the table and start eating whatever is on it.

There’s quite a bit behind taking great care of a dog. It can be challenging on some days when there’s additional responsibilities other than a simple walk or feeding. You need to be aware of how to properly look after your dog. Doing so will give you more enjoyable years with them.