Dogs need more than a bowl of food and a scratch behind the ears. Your dog also needs constant TLC. What steps must one take to keep their dog happy? The following article is filled with helpful tips you can use to care for your dog and train it properly.

Take the time to make sure your house is dog-proofed. Prior to bringing your dog into your home, be sure that it is entirely safe. Do not have any pills out in the open and put all supplies in cabinets. Certain plants are toxic, and it’s best to move them, too.

TIP! Yearly physicals help you and yearly vet checks help your dog. Since dogs cannot talk, it’s difficult to know if your dog is in pain.

Always make sure to keep any prescription medications away from your dog. The same holds true for over-the-counter meds. Just a few of your pills can be disastrous for the dog, inducing a heart attack or seizure. If your pet does manage to ingest some medicine, contact the vet right away.

Practice training your dog in your house or yard. This prevents some of the problems that are associated with training around a lot of other people. Your dog may have trouble paying attention, and even the simplest commands could go right over their head.

Make use of hand signals when training your dog versus relying only on verbal commands. This is a very effective way to communicate with your dog. Always associate the spoken command and the hand gesture at first and choose the system that works best later on.

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.

A dog that spends a lot of time outside should have a warm and safe shelter in case it is needed. Getting cold or wet can cause your dog to be stressed and can cause health problems. Keep your dog safe from precipitation and winds by providing him with a place that is spacious, with a dry floor.

When you brush your dog every day, you reduce shedding problems and benefit your dog’s health in many ways. Brushing them daily can help them keep a shiny and beautiful coat. The reason for this is that brushing distributes a dog’s oils from its skin so it looks soft and shiny.

If you’re adopting your pet from a shelter, it’s important that you take it to see a vet immediately. Dogs from pounds are exposed to more illnesses than others. Make sure the new puppy gets their required shots before going home.

TIP! Resist the urge to give your dog table scraps. This can make your dog not want to eat his dog food, and it will promote begging.

Always teach your dog to walk properly on a leash. Your dog should learn to walk by the side of you, teach them to ‘heel’. If you do this, your dog will be safe, and it will be easy for you to handle. Understanding that command is great, even if you choose to still walk with a loose leash periodically.

Let your dog know that you care about him. Many owners inadvertently spend more time focusing on their pet’s negative behaviors than on all the good things they do. This may spell trouble in the future. Remember to praise and be affectionate with your dog more frequently than you discipline him. Dogs stand a much better chance of displaying good behavior if that is the case.

Proper identification can help ensure that your pet is returned to you if he becomes lost. One thing a lot of people do to be sure they get their dog back is they fit them with a collar that’s breakaway and has an ID tag. The tag needs to have your name and phone number on it. Additionally, you can put a micro-chip on your dog.

TIP! Find out what is going on that is causing your dog to act out. When you ignore this behavior, your dog thinks that it is okay.

Stay politically active for the sake of your dog. Look to see if your local government is passing laws which limit dog owners’ rights. Breed-specific laws are typically the result of media hype. Make sure that your voice is heard on behalf of other dog owners.

Have your current dog choose your new dog. Just like people, dogs can have a personality clash. Having dogs that get along with each other makes your life that much easier.

You might feel the urge to feed your dog a piece of your snack. You can do this with some foods, but not all. A few foods that you should not allow your dog to have include grapes, chocolate and caffeine. They won’t agree with your dog and could even cause him to become very sick.

TIP! Clip your dog’s nails. If they get too long and start to curl, the result could be painful injuries to the nail beds and your dog’s paws.

When it is hot outside, do everything necessary to keep your dog safe. Dogs are very susceptible to overheating. In the summertime, be sure they can lay in a cool, shaded area. Make sure the dog has ready access to cool, clean water. You can also get doggie sunscreen to help keep your pet out of harm’s way.

Be consistent. When someone owns a dog they sometimes think that they should sneak the dog a snack or allow it to break things in the home. Regardless of how they look, you will need to stand firm. Consistency is key. 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.

Wash your dog’s water and food bowls regularly. Germs can develop on a dirty bowl, especially if food or water stays in it for a long time. Make sure to wash out the bowls each day to disinfect them.

TIP! You need to make sure your dog can walk on a leash. The dog needs to stay beside you, not behind or in front of you.

Schedules play a key role in the lives of children. Dogs are similar to kids in this way. Uncertainty about where the day is going will make your dog irritable and prone to disobedience. The behavior they exhibit is a reflection of their mood. You should have specific times for training, play, and meals.

You will be able to master dog training if you invest a lot of time. Give your dog the long life he deserves. If the roles were reversed, you want your dog to find out all about you.