Dogs are wonderful companions, and owning one can be a lot of fun. If you are considering owning a dog, knowing how to properly care for him is essential. This article contains some great tips that can help you to select the perfect pet for you and also care for him properly.

Start training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Create a vocabulary list that all your family members will use to command the dog and stick to it. Dogs can become confused if the same words are not used to give them directions. The dog will see “get over here” and “come” as two different commands.

Never allow your dog to ride in a car unsecured. Sitting on your lap or in the front seat is dangerous both to him and your ability to drive. Always place him in an appropriately sized pet carrier or invest in a pet seat belt that will keep him snug and safe in the middle of the back seat.

If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then do not choose a dog as a pet.

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

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.

Giving your dog a bath is essential to his health. Depending on his size and activity level, toss him in the tub weekly or monthly and always use a shampoo that is made for dogs and is pH balanced. Pets have different pH levels than humans and a good dog shampoo will leave your canine clean with a beautiful shiny coat.

Humane Society

Put your dog through obedience training. A well-trained dog is a joy to live with for both you and them. Teaching them simple commands like “Come,” “Heel,” “Sit,” and “Stay” can help curb or prevent troublesome behaviors in no time. You can either teach them yourself, or you can find out about obedience courses by contacting the SPCA or the local humane society for class recommendations.

Owning a dog is a lot of fun, and it is even more enjoyable when you pick the right one and care for him properly. Here we have outlined some essential tips that any potential dog owner should follow. Keep them in mind to make life with your new dog happier and healthier for both of you!