When you are doubting your dog ownership skills, you may feel very alone. There are many other dog owners out there who feel exactly the same! Mistakes are made, and we can learn from each other through those situations. Here are some simple tips on being a better owner for your dog.

Be careful if you’re searching for a new dog on Craigslist or other classified ads. Many people exaggerate the truth in order to unload problems or challenging training issues and you could end up with an impossible situation on your hands. Only talk to people who are verifiable through vet records and demonstrate positive handling experience.

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.

If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.

Lift your dog properly. If you have a little dog or puppy, place your one hand under their chest and use your other hand for supporting their rump and hind legs. If you’re lifting a big dog, lift them from their underside supporting their chest using your one arm and using your other arm to support their rear end. Never lift a dog by their back legs, tail, or the nape of their neck.

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.

Although some dogs do well on the recommended amount of food to be given each day, some dogs need more or less. Instead of just going by what your food says to feed your dog, try to keep an eye on your dog’s body. If you notice that your dog is gaining a bit of weight, cut the food intake back a bit.

If your dog suffers from constipation or diarrhea, you can try feeding the pet canned pumpkin. This is not same as pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin contains fiber which helps with constipation. In addition, it also absorbs water which helps with diarrhea. Don’t give the dog much, just a teaspoon or two with the dog’s regular meal.

If you have younger children in the home, make sure that you try to teach them what behavior is appropriate with your dog. Let them know the rules and what they are allowed to do. Some dogs are more tolerant of being jumped on, pulled on, and played with than other dogs.

The kind of leash you use when walking your dog is very important. A small leash that would fit a small dog, like a chihuahua, is not going to fit a Rottweiler or pit bull. Get a leash that will fit your dog comfortably but also provided them with safety.

Think about how you live your life on a daily basis, as well as vacations and other events you participate in before deciding to get a dog. Lots of people want dogs, but actually caring for them requires a real commitment.

Always try to do your training in an area where the dog has some distractions around them. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It is best for you to practice your training with the television on, kids running wild and maybe some music playing.

Watch what your dog is eating. When they are small, puppies can eat a lot of calories, as it helps their growth. If an adult eats this food, he’ll quickly become overweight and unhealthy.

Keep in mind that some behavioral problems in your dog could be connected to health issues, especially if your dog is displaying a new behavior. Your dog might become aggressive when you touch it because of a pain and it might have a hard time with house-training because of an infection.

Don’t be afraid to be stern when disciplining your dog for bad behavior. Dog owners sometimes think that it is alright to occasionally let their dog have table scraps or destroy a toy. This happens even more with really cute dogs! By being firm in your actions, you can avoid incidents all together. You might think it is okay to give your dog table scraps, but pretty soon he’ll be jumping up on the table and helping himself.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, you may want to enlist in a dog training class. Owning a dog will be much easier if the animal is properly trained and obeys your commands. Even if you adopt an older dog, they can still be trained.

Walk your dog each and every day, no matter what. Your dog needs exercise, and walks allow your dog to have new experiences with people and new sights. Your dog will grow up strong and healthy if you make this a priority.

Visit your dog’s veterinarian at least once a year to keep your pet healthy. Your vet can perform essential tests, offer vaccinations and help you with behavioral problems too. By visiting him regularly, you can lengthen the life of your pet by realizing any health problems before they become major ones.

Hold on, take some deep breathes and tomorrow will be better than today. Use the advice you have read here and allow it to give you ideas of your own. There is nothing like loving a dog, and while the job of caring for them is hard, it is worth every second.