Dogs are wonderful pets. They are reliable, loyal and often very loving to their owners. Many people, over time, begin to see their dog as another member of their family. Therefore, it is important that you care for your pet in the best way possible to ensure that they live a healthy, happy and productive life. The following tips will help you as you attempt to raise and care for a canine companion.

Always have your dogs spayed or neutered. Statistically speaking, dogs who are “fixed” live longer lives and are less prone to cancer. They are also more likely to remain close to home, reducing their risk of becoming lost or getting injured by a car or another animal.

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.

Your dog needs a stimulating environment if it is going to live a long and healthy life. Providing him or her with one is not really that hard. Simply make sure you take your dog for walks each day, and purchase a few toys that you and your pet can play with together.

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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 giving your dog a bath, make sure that you only put on shampoo that is intended for canines. Using lukewarm water, get the entire body wet and then begin applying the shampoo to their face, working your way down their body. Wait a few minutes and then take a washcloth and wipe off the suds from your pet’s face. Wash off the rest of the shampoo as well.

To protect your dog in the event he is lost or stolen, have a microchip surgically implanted by your vet. These handy chips store data that can be retrieved by a shelter or animal officer and used to contact you. They are painless to put in and offer peace of mind for the pet lover!

Prove to your canine friend that your love for him is true. As it usually happens, many times owners focus more on bad behavior rather than good ones. With dogs, this can lead to trouble. Give your dog positive reinforcement every time they do something right. Your dog will be better behaved.

Dogs and the people they belong to often develop a very special bond. You owe it to your pet to do everything you can to make sure they are safe and happy while they are in your care. The advice included in this article will give you a head start on making sure you give your dog the life that it deserves.