Dogs bring people joy, companionship and unconditional love. Their owners must provide them with food, entertainment, medical care and attention. Together, owner and dog make each other’s lives complete. If you already own a dog or are planning on adopting one, you have to understand what lies ahead. This article will guide you through some tips to make dog ownership easier and better for both parties.

Your home must be dog-proofed. You need to look for hazards around your home that your dog might run into. Put up all of your cleaning supplies and medications, and be sure you put away any trash cans. Some very common plants are quite toxic to animals, so always make sure they are out of reach.

Your pet needs vaccinations, much in the same way that your baby does. Some common vaccinations that dogs require include rabies, hepatitis and distemper. Each pet is different, and each will have a different immunization schedule. Your veterinarian is a great resource when it comes to which vaccinations are right for the age and breed of your pet.

Keep your dog’s teeth in tip tip condition. Just like humans, a dog can suffer from toothache, gum disease and even tooth loss. Regular brushing will ensure that that his teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Without regular brushing, it is estimated that dental disease will affect up to 80% of dogs by the age of three. As well as dental cleaning by a vet, make sure that you brush your dog’s teeth regularly.

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 training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

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Never give your dog milk! It’s not necessary for his body and he doesn’t have the proper enzymes to digest it anyway. Feeding your dog cow’s milk can lead to chronic diarrhea and leave him with an upset stomach, among other health problems. Stick with plain old water for a healthy and hydrated dog.

If you’re going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren’t able to watch it for a period of time.

When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use the advice you read. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and ends with putting that knowledge to use. Start today, for your dog’s sake!