Dog ownership is a special thing, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. In order to have a great dog who you truly love to be around, there are some important things you must consider. Keep reading for some helpful advice on becoming a great dog owner.

Having a dog at your home is a big financial commitment. Good quality dog food and medical care can cost between $700-1000 a year. Getting into a vet if you have an emergency can cost quite a bit of money, sometimes in the thousands, so you may need pet health insurance too.

Get your dog spayed or neutered. Research shows that doing this can make your animal live longer and reduce their cancer risks. Furthermore, altered dogs do not have the tendency to wander off, so they will stay safer.

Get your dog neutered. Statistically speaking, dogs who are “fixed” live longer lives and are less prone to cancer. Spayed and neutered dogs wander less often as well, so this reduces likelihood of your dog getting hit on the road or lost.

TIP! Neuter or spay your dog. Research shows that taking this simple action can help your pet live a longer life, as it can reduce the risk of cancer.

Since dogs cannot talk, you need to learn your dog’s cues. When dogs seem hesitant upon meeting others, never force an interaction. This could cause the dog to bite. So pay attention to your dog’s demeanor and make your judgement from these cues.

Always make sure to keep any prescription medications away from your dog. The same holds true for over-the-counter meds. If the dog gets near the pills, then just a few of them could do serious harm and result in a trip to emergency room. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog swallows your medication.

Be careful with canine flea treatments. A lot of the ones on the market have ingredients that are 1000 times more potent than what is considered safe by the EPA and it may be a cancer risk for children. Ask your vet about alternative treatments that are more family-friendly, and be sure to keep small children away during applications.

Whenever you bring your dog along on vacations, take a quick snapshot of him and keep it on your phone. You’ll be prepared to take effective action in case your pet gets lost. You can use your recent photo to illustrate just what your dog looks like as well as to print up flyers, if necessary.

TIP! If your dog is coming along on a family vacation, keep a picture of him handy or take one using your phone. If he just so happens to run away from you, you should have a picture so you can find him.

Talk to your vet about which foods you should be feeding your dog. Following his advice on the different foods for different stages of your dog’s life can avoid sickness and stomach upset. Use care when feeding your dog.

Try not to base your dog food choices on the price of the food. Less expensive brands of dog food often contain artificial coloring, additives, preservatives and so on that can be very bad for your dog. Check with an animal advocacy group for a list of foods you should be feeding your dog. Food that is healthy will benefit your dog.

Never give your dog a real bone to chew on. Real animal bones can chip and pose a danger to your dog’s digestive tract and mouth. Rawhide is a healthy alternative and will help keep your dog’s teeth clean as he satisfies his need to chew.

Watch out for dog flea treatments. Some of them contain chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer in children, and are 1,000 times as strong as the safe levels recommended by the EPA. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, and see if he has more holistic treatment options that might help to keep your pet free from fleas and your family safe.

TIP! Make sure you are informed of what flea treatments you are using for your dog. A lot of them can cause cancer in children.

Don’t force your dog to do anything. If your dog doesn’t like the treat you’ve bought, don’t make him eat it. When you have a dog, get to know his likes and dislikes.

Becoming a foster home is a good way to work with dogs without committing to one on a long term basis. The shelters are full of homeless pups and lack many resources because of the overcrowding. Fostering an animal will help animals and help you decide whether or not you would like to keep a dog of your own.

Avoid leaving your pup outside all day. Dogs need companionship and interaction with their owners. A dog left alone outside will get very lonely. It’s especially important that your dog be inside if the weather outside is nasty.

Don’t take your dog off of your own property without a leash, no matter how well-behaved he is. Wild animals could get the dog’s attention and lead him into dangerous places, or unanticipated circumstances could provoke conflicts with others. You will be to blame if your dog gets hurt for being off his leash.

TIP! Don’t take your dog off of your own property without a leash, no matter how well-behaved he is. There are quite a few things that could cause your dog to run off unexpectedly.

Certain dog breeds are prone to specific health issues, so be aware of what is typical for your dog’s breed. Research the breed of your dog and take steps to ensure he does not get any infections or diseases. Talk to the vet to find out what you are able to do to assist your dog in beating the prognoses of his breed.

Male Dog

You need to make sure if your female dog is not fixed and is in heat that she doesn’t come into contact with a male dog so she does not get pregnant. A male dog is able to smell her from up to five miles away. This could also lead to unplanned pregnancy, or cause other dogs in the area to fight.

Whenever your dog performs a good action, such as sitting or staying, give it praise and rewards. Make your dog understand you are pleased with the behavior and expect to see it again. This will teach the dog that when they do what you wish, they’ll get praised.

TIP! Be sure to praise your dog freely and consistently whenever he exhibits a desired behavior. Make your dog understand you are pleased with the behavior and expect to see it again.

Get into puppy politics. Keep track of local laws which affect dog owners. Many times new, overly-restrictive ordinances have incredibly broad impacts when they’re only intended to affect a tiny minority of pet owners. Be sure to voice your concerns in regards to dogs and dog owners by staying in touch with local officials.

Be careful when choosing what to feed your dog. A number of dog foods are available, but you must choose one that suits your dog’s age and size. While some choose to feed their dogs table scraps, this is not the best way to ensure that all of a dog’s health needs are being met.

If you are shopping for a new dog and already own another dog, it is a good idea to take your old dog along. Dogs happen to be social creatures, but that doesn’t mean they all get along. Finding a dog that gets along well with your current pet will be best for everyone in the long run.

Speak with your vet about the amount of food you should be feeding your dog each day. Sometimes the guidelines on pet food labels aren’t correct, and following them could lead to obesity. Talk to your vet about what is acceptable and what your dog’s particular needs are.

TIP! Talk to your vet about how much your dog should eat. Some people feed the dog based on their food package recommendations, but these can be wrong and cause them to be overweight.

There are various techniques to follow when caring for your dog. Bringing him home is only the start of the journey. It requires responsibility on your own part too. By applying what you have learned from this article, the time you spend with your pet will be made enjoyable.

We hope you appreciated our article. If you own a dog and need help making sense of his or her character, we would suggest that you check out the resource below which features a lot of information about puppy training: