Whether you’re an experienced dog owner or considering getting your first puppy, you probably have a lot of questions. Dogs may not be the most mysterious of creatures, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to understand. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find some excellent advice that will help you take care of your dog.
If you are looking for a great family pet, but are on a budget, consider rescuing an animal.You can get one at a local shelter for minimal costs and the dog will come with a clean bill of health and all his shots. If you are interested in a specific breed, contact a rescue group specializing in only those pooches.
Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.
Because dogs cannot speak to you, it is important to learn their non-verbal cues. If you notice that your dog is timid around strangers or other dogs, you shouldn’t attempt to force its interaction with them. If you do, someone may get hurt. Watch your dog and be aware of his actions.
When training your puppy or dog, keep the sessions short! Experts say that a dog has the attention span of a small child, sometimes less, and that longer sessions will actually cause him to forget everything you’ve learned together. Use positive reinforcement and limit your training sessions to no more than 15 minutes.
Take your dog to the vet regularly. This may seem like an added expense that you don’t need, but when you take your dog to the veterinarian, he can screen your dog for diseases and make sure he is in the best of health. This of course prevents problems down the road.
Unless you’re okay with your dog playing with your shoes and other things around your home, buy him some toys. He will enjoy having things of his own, particularly if they are interactive like pull-toys you can use together. Also buy him things he can use to occupy himself and stay out of trouble!
Keep your dog in comfortable housing. They should be able to rest off the floor and away from drafts. A training crate is a good choice or any covered shelter outside. Try placing a dog bed inside that has a warm blanket or a pillow inside. Wash the dog’s bedding frequently.
Before you have your dog fitted with a microchip, be sure and check the database of the company that will store his information. Not all of them are created equal and you want to know that you’ll get a fast response if your dog is lost. Look for a large database that connects to shelters and vets near you.
Getting a dog on a whim is rarely a good idea. You need to make sure you can afford to feed a dog and cover medical expenses before getting a pet. Research different breeds to figure out which dog would be best for your family, your lifestyle and the size of your home.
Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He’ll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.
If you breed your dog, do so responsibly. The AKC advises all owners of pure-bred dogs to make an effort to advance the breed and discard all other motivations, such as money or experimentation. Consider the repercussions of your actions before allowing your dog to mate and create a litter of puppies.
Always use a leash when your dog or puppy is out in public. This helps you make sure your dog always stays by you and prevents them from wandering off or getting into trouble. This can also help you restrain your dog if something upsets them so that they don’t hurt another animal or person.
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.
There’s so much to know about dog care that it can seem like too much to take in. However, if you utilize the recommendations that this article has given you, it should seem a lot less overwhelming. You know all you need to know to be a great dog owner. Now all you have to do is be one.