Are you considering the idea of adopting a dog? Do you already have a dog? If so, you stand to benefit from the tips that follow. You should go over the following article to learn more about what being a dog owner entails.

Hugs are great, but steer clear of kisses. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Dogs dig in trash cans, drink from toilet bowls and sniff and lick various body parts on themselves and other dogs. It’s just a myth that your dog’s mouth is just as, or cleaner, than yours. This is simply false.

Since your dog cannot talk to you, you have to learn how to listen to your dog’s non-verbal language. If they seem hesitant upon meeting up with other dogs or people, don’t force interaction. This may cause a human or the other canine to get bit. Watch for these non-verbal hints and let the dog guide your actions.

Owning a dog takes a bit of money. When you add up the medical care, food and supplies in general, your costs could run from $700-$1000 annually. Getting emergency care from the vet is costly, so you may need to take a look at health insurance for your pet.

TIP! It costs a lot to own a dog. Dogs need good food, medical care and other supplies.

Keep your medications out of paw’s reach. Getting into those pills could seriously impact your dog’s health and even cause death. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog swallows your medication.

Practice training your dog in your house or yard. Don’t train them in any areas full of people. Being around others can cause distractions, meaning it is more difficult for your dog to master basic commands.

If you’re training your dog, don’t just use verbal commands. Try hand signals as well. Using signals such as these, your dog may learn things more easily. Give both methods a try, and see for yourself which your dog responds best to.

It is fine to hug your dog, but avoid those wet kisses. Dog kisses may be seen as cute, but their mouths aren’t all that clean. Dogs poke around trash cans, love smelling and licking other dogs’ body parts and enthusiastically drink from toilet bowls. It’s an old wives’ tale that a dog has a very clean mouth. It simply is not true.

TIP! It is fine to hug your dog, but avoid those wet kisses. Dog kisses are very unsanitary.

Makes sure your dog gets adequate exercise. Dogs need game time and regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically healthy and happy. From a simple walk to a vigorous game of fetch, both of you will find the time well spent. You can get a lot of much needed exercise and build a stronger bond with your dog.

If you’d like to be a dog owner, but think you might not be able to handle the commitment, consider fostering dogs. The shelters are full of homeless pups and lack many resources because of the overcrowding. Lend a hand by fostering a dog, and determine if it is a good fit for you and your family.

Always follow through with instructions from your vet if your dog has medication or needs special attention. He may not like wearing a cone over his head, but it’s prescribed for a reason! If you fail to listen to your vet, your dog may end up sick or injured.

Just like humans benefit from an annual physical, your dog should see the vet at least once a year. Even the best dog owner will find it difficult or impossible to detect the first signs of health troubles, like a tooth infection or arthritic joints. Taking your dog for a yearly checkup allows relatively minor problems to be detected before they turn into major issues.

TIP! Just like people need regular yearly physicals, dogs need the same thing. Since your dog cannot talk to you, it may be hard to determine when arthritis is setting in or a tooth begins hurting.

Stimulate your dog mentally by giving him exercise and physical activity. Teaching your dog tricks, such as fetching your shoes or the paper, is a fun activity and it also will stimulate your dog’s mind, keeping him alert and attentive. This will make your dog feel helpful and simultaneously keep your dog sharp physically and mentally.

Be proactive politically for your pet dog. Keep track of local laws which affect dog owners. It’s often only motivated by the actions of a specific breed or a few bad apples. You can be a great help by showing the local officials that responsible owners should have rights.

Have your pet checked out by your vet on a regular basis. Dogs need to be checked for heartworm and other health issues, and need to have any and all necessary vaccinations. Puppies must visit the vet more often. At the first sign of illness or if your dog is injured, don’t hesitate to take him to the vet.

Neuter or spay your dog. Studies have shown that this leads to the pet living a longer and much healthier life. Also, dogs that are fixed lose their desire to stray from the home, lessening the chance of them getting lost or hurt.

TIP! You should have your dog spayed or neutered. Research has shown that by doing this you can be sure your pet can have a longer life and not be at risk for things like cancer.

If you have a dog that has an accident in your home, be sure that you get rid of it completely. Use a professional strength cleaner, followed by a proven odor remover. If you still smell dog waste, the dog could be emptied to return to the scene of the crime and repeat the actions.

Be very careful when choosing your dog’s food. There are a lot of foods out there, but you have to choose foods that are right for the size and age of your particular dog. Though just giving your dog your own leftovers is cheaper, it is not good for their health.

If you have a snack, you might think that it’s okay for your dog to take a bite. Certain foods are okay for this, but some foods are not good for dogs. Chocolate, caffeine, and grapes are some examples of food that should not be given to dogs. They won’t agree with your dog and could even cause him to become very sick.

If you’re taking your dog on a trip, be sure that you have a recent picture of them on-hand. This allows you to have a photo of him if he gets lost.

TIP! It’s a great idea to keep a snap-shot of your dog handy (a digital pic on your phone is ideal) whenever you’re traveling with him. This ensures that, should he get lost, you have a current photo, ready for showing around or being used in flyers.

When you start to train your dog, try out various reward systems. You will quickly notice that some rewards are more appreciated than others. If your pet loves food, try giving it its favorite vet approved treat. Dogs that are more responsive to some play time can be rewarded with a game of catch. Some dogs just like to be shown attention as a reward.

You have to watch what kind of food your dog consumes. As a puppy, it is okay for them to eat foods filled with calories, as they need it for their growth. These rich foods can cause health issues when your dog reaches its adult size and.

You should regularly clean out your pet’s food and water dishes. Dogs require a clean environment to drink from just like humans. Make sure to wash out the bowls each day to disinfect them.

If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach. Many medicines that benefit you can be harmful or fatal to your dog. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog swallows your medication.

TIP! When you have medications of any sort, keep them where your dog cannot get to it. Swallowing just a few pills could lead to catastrophic health issues for your dog, including a seizure or heart attack.

Did the article above give you some great advice to consider? If you have not, give the article another look. Knowing how to care for your dog takes a load off of your mind. Use the techniques every day to have the best relationship possible with your dog.

We hope you found our article interesting. If you have a dog and need help learning about his or her behavior, we would strongly recommend that you take a look at the resource below which provides a lot of relevant information about puppy training: