When your dog is well behaved and happy, you’ll have a great relationship. When your dog isn’t happy, you’ll find your pillows torn into bits of fluff. You’re not the only owner who wants to learn how to deal with their dog, so we’ve collected a bunch of advice from other owners who have been through it all before.

Hugs are great to give your pets, but kisses are not that great. Dog kisses are very unsanitary. Dogs poke around trash cans, love smelling and licking other dogs’ body parts and enthusiastically drink from toilet bowls. Some believe the mouth of a dog is even cleaner than our own. This is not true, at all!

Be sure to have your pet spayed or neutered. Your pet stands to enjoy a significantly better (and longer) life. It’s been verified through research that this simple procedure reduces cancer risks and provides other benefits, too. In addition, spayed or neutered dogs aren’t as likely to roam away from your home, which can result in them getting run over by a vehicle, killed by a bigger animal, shot, or kidnapped.

Never bring your dog with you while flying during the hot summer months, unless the airline provides a climate-controlled cabin for him. Most of the major carriers use the same area for pets as they do for cargo, meaning your dog will have to endure some pretty high temperatures as you travel to your destination, jeopardizing his safety.

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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.

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.

Pick and choose when you are going to groom your dog. You do not want to attempt grooming when your pet is in a particularly frisky mood, because the process will not go well. Instead, do so only when your dog is calm and tired, like after you have taken him for an especially long walk.

When preparing to groom your pet, start the session off on the right foot by helping your dog relax. Spend a few minutes simply petting him, starting with the head and then rubbing the back, paws, belly and even tail. Once you feel your dog is happy and content, begin grooming him.

Whether your dog is fabulous or frustrating, remember that it is how you treat them which gives you the outcome you receive. You have to teach them right from wrong, give them entertainment and keep them healthy. It is no simple task! There are answers out there, including in this article, so put your new knowledge to work.