Having a dog can be among life's true pleasures, but sometimes, things do not work out that way. You need to learn a few things in order to properly care for your dog. Keep reading for some helpful advice on becoming a great dog owner.
Never allow your dog to be alone with small children, no matter how much you trust his temperament. Many little kids have been attacked by family dogs who have otherwise never demonstrated a tendency towards violence. Sleeping dogs may be woken by a toddler and react negatively or some other offense is committed against the animal that sets him off.
Your dog needs a stimulating environment if it is going to live a long and healthy life. Providing him or her with one is not really that hard. Simply make sure you take your dog for walks each day, and purchase a few toys that you and your pet can play with together.
Schedule regular veterinary visits. Regular veterinary exams are extremely important for your dog's overall health - as with humans, it is important to catch any health problems early on. The vet will make sure that your dog is up to date on his vaccinations, and check for any other issues such as weight and dental problems or parasites.
Your dog has teeth just like you, so it makes sense that he needs proper dental care. Invest in a dog toothbrush and brush his teeth often. Simply allowing the vet to do it at his regular checkups is not enough. You can also purchase treats that are specifically meant to help with your pet's teeth.
Avoid issues of jealously if you have more than one animal. Particularly if you bring a young dog into the home of an older dog, problems can arise. Be considerate of the patience and energy levels of your senior dog and make sure his feelings aren't hurt by giving the new guy all the attention.
When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It's better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.
House-training your dog will be much easier if you adopt a routine. You should go for walks regularly throughout the day and come home during your lunch break if necessary. If your dog has to be home alone for long hours, do not leave a bowl full of water unless it is very hot.
Talk to your vet about how much your dog should eat. 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. Talk to your vet about what is acceptable and what your dog's particular needs are.
If you are having trouble training your dog, see a professional. A lot of people wait until their problems are enormous, but if you would see a dog trainer as soon as you start having difficulty, you will find training goes more easily. Not only that, but you will save yourself a major headache.
If you've got the most well-behaved and lovable dog around, share his good nature with those less fortunate. You could bring him to visit the elderly in nursing homes or sick children in hospitals. Not only will you be improving the quality of life for those people, but your dog will love being a super-star wherever he goes!
Before you head out for a day of fun in the sun with your dog, dab a little sunblock on him! Dogs can get very serious burns on their noses and the inside of their ears, so include him in your sun-protection regimen. Just make sure there's no zinc or PABA in the product you use.
Make sure that you carry small bags and gloves with you while you are out walking your dog. If he uses the bathroom outside, it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. It is unsanitary for you to leave it there, and it some places you may receive heavy fines for that.
Make sure that you're feeding your dog a good quality food. Most dog foods available at your grocery store are mainly made up of grains or corn. Instead of this, you should try to find a dog food that is mostly made of meat. Foods that are high quality can provide you with many benefits, such as having a healthy pup, less vet visits, and your dog's coat will shine more.
If your dog seems to be struggling with learning commands, consider getting a clicker. A clicker is a tool that is useful when training as it teaches your pup that when he does something correctly, a click will happen which is immediately followed by a reward. Clicker training can be helpful for teaching commands, tricks, and walking manners.
If your dog is ruining your home while you are gone, it is probably suffering from anxiety. This issue is very common in young puppies, especially if they are still getting used to being home alone. You should find some toys your dog can play with and let your dog have a shirt or a blanket that smells like you.
In order to potty train a puppy, it is of utmost importance to take the dog outside frequently. Doing this will familiarize your puppy with the association between outside and going to the bathroom. Failure to do this will result in a harder time breaking your new family member of his/ her bad habits.
You should be giving your dog clean water regularly. Even if your dog does not drink too much water, you should still change his bowl twice a day. Also, if the tap water in your area isn't great, give him or her bottled water. When it comes to drinking water, your dog should have the same quality as you have.
As you can see, it's not terribly difficult to deal with caring for a dog. It does take a some time and patience, but it is possible to do well at it. Just take in everything you've read here and you should be able to help your dog live a happy and healthy life.