In many jurisdictions, proof of spaying and neutering reduces the fee for a dog license. If you need to get a dog license, bring such documentation along with a rabies vaccination certificate with you.
Never leave your dog unsupervised near a swimming pool, since even adept doggy paddlers often have difficulty exiting pools.
Puppies left by themselves usually won't play solo. Take time to engage your puppy by walking it and playing fetch to help it stay active and develop a closer bond with you.
Stray dogs without tags might be embedded with a microchip, so if you find a dog that might be lost, take it to your local animal shelter or veterinarian so that staff can scan for the possible ID.
Dog breeds fall into specific classes: sporting, working, toy, herding, terrier, hound, and non-sporting or companion dogs. Find out which one your dog fits into and research it online or in books to learn more about how and why your dog was bred.
Train dogs to fetch by using two balls to teach the "fetch and return" pattern. First, toss one ball, and when your dog retrieves it, get your pet interested in the second.
For a cheap and easy puppy chew toy, freeze a clean, wet washcloth. Once frozen, the texture often appeals to gnaw-inclined pups.
Make sure your dog wears a weather/moisture-resistant collar ID tag at all times, even during bathing and while at the veterinarian's office.
Ingredients on pet food labels are listed in order by weight, so pay special attention to the first five or so mentioned ingredients.
Discard all tennis balls used as dog toys if they develop cracks. Otherwise, your dog might be able to ingest the ball's fabric and rubber materials.
Playful dogs often look for the "squeak" in squeaker toys by ripping them apart and trying to eat it. Be sure to select chewable toys without internal parts, or remove these after purchasing.
Size is important when choosing the perfect dog bed. Make sure your dog can lie on its side, with paws fully extended and fit completely on the bed.
Word of mouth is best when selecting dog trainers, since government agencies do not regulate or license these professionals. Ask your veterinarian, dog groomer, humane society and friends for recommendations.
Healthy, young dogs should receive at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. Break up the time and vary activities to keep your dog (and you!) interested.
Baby gates can help to block off your kitchen and dining area for desired dog-free events. They can also keep your pet protected from young, curious guests.
There's some truth to the saying that "a good dog is a tired dog." If you're expecting guests, exercise your pet and give it extra attention before the visit begins.
Teach your dog to shake a paw by picking up one paw and rewarding your dog with a treat. Now add the verbal command, "Shake!" until your dog associates the motion with your verbal cue.
Since canines only associate scolding with whatever it is they're doing at the exact moment you say "No," punishment after the fact never works. Focus on prevention training instead.
When housetraining a newly adopted dog, never end walks or playtime right after your dog relieves itself. Some pets, longing for more attention, will actually "hold it" until they're back at home and need to go out again.
Select dog names that present your pet in its best light and reflect your admiration. Many owners are now naming their dogs after favorite family members and friends, for example.
Always brush your dog in the direction of its hair growth. Begin at the head and work your brush toward the tail and then down the sides of your pet.
When picking up a newly adopted dog from a shelter, be sure to bring these items with you: a buckle collar made of leather or a non-stretch material, an ID tag, a training harness or collar, and a leash.
Baby wipes work well on dogs, too. Use them for quick fur cleanups and to wipe away carpet or floor messes.
Perks to adopting an adult dog: It's housebroken, won't teethe, will likely bond quickly with you and you'll know that "what you see is what you get."
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association, having pets in the workplace can create a more productive work environment. Consider organizing a "Bring Your Pet to Work Day."
Since dogs prefer short, intense bursts of activity, allow your pet some walking downtime in between jogs and runs with you.
To transition your dog to a new food, start off by mixing 25 percent of the new product to 75 percent of your pet's old chow. Every 1-2 days add approximately a quarter more of the new food while reducing equally the old food until 100 percent of the new food is being fed.
To alleviate separation anxiety, leave behind an old T-shirt or sock that has your scent on it before departing. Experts believe such tokens can help to relieve canine stress.
Never drive a truck with a dog in the open back, even if that dog is leash-secured to the vehicle. It's unsafe and illegal in many states.
Make sure you feed your dog an age-appropriate diet. Medium and small-breed dogs are considered senior by 7 years of age, while giant breeds are considered to be seniors by 5 years of age.
For people with allergies who want a dog, regular vacuuming, keeping the dog off the bed, commercial dander neutralizers and frequent hand washing after petting can help to alleviate, or even eliminate, many allergy problems.
Humans warm up before exercising, and dogs should, too. Start walks at a slower rate and then gradually increase the tempo every two-to-three minutes until you are at the desired pace.
Encourage your pet to swim. Low-impact swimming and water-based activities provide good exercise without forcing your pet to pound the pavement.
Symptoms such as difficulty walking or rising can be a sign of canine arthritis, which can be controlled with medicine, proper exercise, rest and a good diet. Consult with your veterinarian.
If you find a stray dog, contact your local animal services department and humane society to see if anyone has reported a lost pet. If no one claims the dog and you'd like to keep it, often shelters will give you priority.
If you plan to travel outside the country with your pet, check to see what restrictions, if any, may be imposed.
Your dog's favorite color may be violet, indigo or certain shades of blue, since other colors -- such as blue, green and orange -- all look alike, and blue-green appears white.
Leave out a sample, disposable item treated with either white vinegar or cayenne pepper mixed with petroleum jelly to deter a pesky pup from ruffling through your laundry hamper.
Before guests arrive, train your dog, with a food treat and positive reinforcement, to "sit" or "stay down" after approaching guests. This will avoid embarrassing surprise dog jumps.
Provide a healthy outlet for digging dogs by filling a child's plastic swimming pool with sand and burying toys in it. Set the pool on a large plastic bag to catch spills.
When buying toys and balls for your dog, make sure that the toy is more than twice the size of your dog's mouth. This helps to prevent choking.
House rules for dogs are essential, so train your dog to not chew on plants, nibble on electrical outlets or play with phone cords or window treatments -- all of which could injure your pet.
If you favor a certain breed of dog but worry about space due to the dog's size, investigate smaller versions of the same breed. Collie lovers, for example, would do well with a sheltie, which looks and behaves like a mini-collie.
Always reprimand your pet with words and not physical punishment. The latter not only is abusive, but it also could unintentionally train your dog to bite and to fear you and others.
Many types of outdoor foliage, such as hydrangeas, wisteria, delphiniums and foxgloves, are toxic to pets. Train your dog not to nibble outdoor plants in general, just to be safe.
When deciding upon a particular breed, ask your breeder or shelter how much exercise the dog needs, how it should be groomed, if it requires yard space, what its average lifespan is like, and whether it has any known health issues.
Dogs that are in the habit of chewing burrs, twigs or even grass when outside may be having dental, intestinal or other health problems. Check with your veterinarian.
A shopping list in preparation for bringing home a newly adopted dog should include the following: a 20-foot leash, a crate or puppy pen, machine-washable bedding, water and food bowls, grooming tools and pet-specific cleaners for quick wipe-ups.
Crate train your dog by allowing it to explore the container on its own, enticing it with a toy or treat. Reward with praising words and a head rub whenever your dog enters.
If you need to board your dog while on vacation, consider bringing its bed or crate to the boarding facility so your pet will have a familiar, secure place to rest while you're away.
If you decide to get a second dog, feelings of competitiveness can be alleviated if the new canine addition is of the opposite sex and is at least a year younger or older in age.
Manufactured foods are formulated to contain just the right amount of calories and nutrients, so give out leftovers and treats sparingly to avoid obesity and other problems.
If your dog frequently shakes its head and ears, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian. Shaking can be a sign of infection, parasites or other problems.
Neuter or spay dogs by the age of 5 to 6 months, to help prevent puppy overpopulation along with health problems that could emerge later, like certain cancers.
To find a lost dog, contact your local humane society, animal rescue groups, local veterinarians, neighbors and friends. Be sure to show them a photo of your furry friend.
Teach basic commands like "sit" and "stay" to your dog just before mealtimes, and your pet will then associate the commands with a tasty food reward.
Unless you and your pet are in an enclosed, leash-free park, always walk your dog on a leash. It ensures both your dog's safety, and that of other people and animals.
On sunny days, make sure your pet has access to shade, since dogs -- particularly those with short, thin fur -- are susceptible to sunburns.
When combing your dog for fleas, be sure to comb its underside as soon as you are finished with the back and side coat. This is the best way to banish fast-moving fleas.