Bringing a dog into the home is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you are considering, or have already extended your family to include a dog, there are things that you should know. Below, you will find a list of quality tips to use to help the transition easier for you and your dog.

If you’re on any kind of medication, even if it’s over-the-counter, you need to keep it away from your dog. Swallowing just a few pills could lead to catastrophic health issues for your dog, including a seizure or heart attack. If this does happen, call your vet immediately.

Keep your dog in good shape. He can suffer with the same weight-related issues that you can, so make sure he gets plenty of healthy exercise and eats a well-balanced diet. Remember that walking will benefit you as well, so make it a part of your daily routine together to be happier and healthier.

Some people think that it is necessary to bath a dog often. The truth is that unless your dog gets into something to get dirty, they only need bathed once every two to four months. Bathing more often could strip their skin of the oils they need for a healthy coat and skin.

If you want a dog that behaves well you must take the time to properly train it. If you do not do this then you will almost surely be dealing with behavioral problems for the length of the dog’s life. Training is the only way that you can prevent this from happening.

A foster home is something you can provide for a dog that needs it. Dogs who have been abused or left without a home stay in shelters until someone adopts them. Since there are so many dogs in shelters, there are little resources. Fostering is a good way to do a good deed and determine if you want a dog of your own.

It is very common for objects to get lodged in the pads of your dogs paws. Check them regularly to make sure that nothing is in there. If you see something, be very careful about taking it out, or it may become lodged even deeper. It is a wise to use tweezers for this.

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.

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.

When you are walking your dog in the wintertime, there may be rock salt or chemical ice melters that come in contact with his feet. Once you get back in the house, wash his paws and dry them gently. This will prevent these items from causing any type of infections.

Make sure that you buy an appropriate sized collar for your dog in order to ensure its health and safety. If the collar is too lose, it may become snagged on something. If the collar is too tight, it may restrict the dog’s breathing ability. Allow for a two finger space between the dog and the collar.

Not all dogs are meant to be outdoor dogs. If you plan to keep your dog outside, carefully choose the breed. Small dogs, short-hair, or older dogs will not do well being kept outside. Choose one that has a nice thick coat, that is mature and one that is extremely healthy.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. Do not hit your dog as this will only make him fear you. Humane treatment is more effective and works better over time. So treat your dog kindly when training and you will see better results.

Do you feel stressed out a lot? Dogs have been proven to help lower your blood pressure and help you to feel calm. People who own dogs often live longer than those who do not. Dogs can also bring you happiness and comfort if you are suffering from an illness.

Never allow a puppy to climb up or down steps in order to prevent joint problems in the future. This is extremely important, especially with breeds that are at high risk for hip dysplasia. Any sort of high impact shock such as jumping or stair climbing should be avoided due to the fact that their growth plates are still developing.

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. Wash the bowls every day and fill them with fresh food and clean water.

Remember, your body language tells your dog a lot about what you want and expect. In fact, body language is often a more effective training tool than simply using your words. Therefore, if you are training your pet, have someone else observe your training sessions and give you feedback on what kind of body language you are using.

A dog needs to be clean – just like a human. While a daily bath might not be the answer, a weekly bath is definitely a good idea. This will help to prevent any skin issues, and will keep your home clean as well.

It is important that you choose the best veterinarian for your dog. Randomly picking out a name from the phone book may not be such a good idea. Instead, ask friends or family members if they know of a good vet or look online for reviews on vets in your area.

Time, energy and knowledge will make the living arrangement with a dog more enjoyable for everyone. Use what you have just learned to help the household adapt to the addition. Dogs can be great friends and companions if you take the time to train, love and care for them properly.