There is a lot that goes into raising a dog. In fact, being a dog owner is a lot like caring for an actual human child. While this is a serious responsibility, you can care for them with knowledge and patience. The following tips will help you achieve this goal.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. You need to pay for high quality food, regular vet care, and various supplies. This can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars each year. Pet health insurance can help; although you will pay a monthly or yearly fee, you will often be covered if a big medical emergency occurs for your pet.

Your dog needs annual medical exams. Your dog is not able to talk, so it is not easy to know when he’s got arthritis or an aching tooth. Annual checkups can catch these things before they become major problems.

Hugs are great to give your pets, but kisses are not that great. In theory, giving a dog a kiss is cute, but realize that the mouth of a dog is generally very dirty. Dogs dig in trash cans, drink from toilet bowls and sniff and lick various body parts on themselves and other dogs. There is a belief that the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of a human. It is not necessarily true.

TIP! Hugs are great, but avoid kisses. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty.

Get your dog neutered. This helps reduce the probability of cancer and extends the life of your dog. 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.

Take a photo of your dog when you plan to take him on vacation. This way, if you find out that your dog went missing along the way, you will have a recent picture that you can show to people when you go out to look for you pet.

Choose a dog in that can easily and happily blend into your lifestyle. Joggers should get a high energy dog, for example. When you prefer to stay home, choose a small dog who doesn’t need much outdoor time. Keeping a mismatch out of play makes both of you happy.

Just as you need an annual physical exam, dogs do as well. Since your dog doesn’t talk, you may have difficulty figuring out if a tooth starts hurting or where arthritis is developing. Regular checkups will assure these issues are caught before they turn into something big.

TIP! A physical is good for you, and a yearly vet trip is good for your dog. 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.

Never give your dog a real bone to chew on. Bones can fall apart and become lodged between teeth or digestive system. Also, rawhide is better for the health of your dog’s teeth.

It is important that your dog’s nails are not allowed to get too long. If they begin to curl under, you dog could experience quite a bit of pain. You can use store bought clippers to trim them yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with this, invest a little money and take your dog to the groomers.

Always buy high quality food for your best friend. It is important that your dog get nutrient dense, good quality food. Although this could mean paying a higher price for a better brand, at least you know that your pet is getting the required amount of nutrients in their diet.

Whenever you bring your dog along on vacations, take a quick snapshot of him and keep it on your phone. If the worst happens and your pet gets lost, you have a current picture that you can show others or use to make “lost” posters.

TIP! If your dog is coming along on a family vacation, keep a picture of him handy or take one using your phone. If the worst happens and your pet gets lost, you have a current picture that you can show others or use to make “lost” posters.

Always teach your dog to walk properly on a leash. The dog needs to stay beside you, not behind or in front of you. It also needs to know the command “heel”. Walking this way will help to keep your pet safe, and it will make it easier for you to enjoy walks too. Even if your dog is sometimes walked on a loose leash, it should still know the command anyway.

Make sure you heed the vet’s instructions when it comes to medications and special care requirements. He might not want to wear that cone on his neck and head, but it’s there for a real reason! Any thing that your vet tells you to do should be done to ensure a healthy dog.

Bring your dog to the vet for an annual check-up. Vets can detect diabetes, kidney, and thyroid issues before you see signs. Yearly physical exams can save money down the line and save the dog from suffering unnecessarily.

In your backyard or in your house itself is the right place to start training your dog. This allows you to control how many people are there while the training takes place. The more people there are, the more difficult training will be. Your dog could become distracted and will be tougher to teach.

TIP! Train your dog indoors or in the backyard. You shouldn’t train your dog where many other people are present.

Dogs will commonly get cut when they’re walking because of the various debris on the ground. Wash any small cut your dog has with some antiseptic and then put a bandage on it. If the cut continues to bleed, go to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Those who want to care for dogs should take it seriously. Your dog will need everything it must have to survive, plus attention and love from you. It’s not going to be easy at first, but you should have the skills needed now to care for your pet. Follow the advice presented here to take good care of your best friend.

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