You cannot take owning a dog lightly. You must make sure your dog is always happy and healthy. If you know how to find a balance with your canine, make sure you learn by reading ahead.

It can cost a lot to take care of a dog. Dogs need good food, medical care and other supplies. This can add up to $500-$1000 a year. Emergency vet care is very expensive, in some cases thousands of dollars, so you might want to consider purchasing pet health insurance.

Make your home safe for your dog. Before bringing your dog home for the first time, make sure that the entire area is completely safe. Place any meds or household cleaning supplies out of reach, and place any trash cans in a cabinet. Make sure no toxic plants are in the vicinity of your dogs.

Your dog cannot speak, so you have to interpret non-verbal cues. If they seem hesitant upon meeting up with other dogs or people, don’t force interaction. If you do, someone may get hurt. Look out for non-verbal hints so that the dog can guide your actions.

TIP! Since your dog can’t talk to you, it’s crucial that you listen to their non-verbal language. If they seem hesitant upon meeting up with other dogs or people, don’t force interaction.

Be sure to have your pet spayed or neutered. Research suggests that this small thing can give extended life to your dog by reducing cancer risk. Dogs who have been neutered or spayed are also less likely to run or wander away from home.

Since dogs cannot talk, you’ll need to learn about your dog’s way of communication. Don’t force interaction with other pets or people if your dog is showing reluctance. This may cause another dog or person to get bit. Pay attention to the posture of the dogs and let them take their time.

If you have prescription or over-the-counter medication in the house, make sure that your dog does not have access to it. Consuming even a single pill can cause serious health problems or your dog. Make sure you have your veterinarian’s number handy in case your dog does accidentally swallow your medicine.

You shouldn’t allow your pet off your property if it’s not wearing a leash, even if he is extremely well-behaved. Something could distract him, like a squirrel or a cat, causing him to leave your side. You are responsible for anything your dog does, as well as for his safety.

TIP! 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.

Never let the dog go off your land without its leash, regardless of its good behavior. A feral animal might catch their attention, causing them to pursue them, or an unplanned incitement might lead to a bad situation with other pet owners. You’re responsible for their actions and safety.

Think about your own lifestyle when considering the dog breed you want. For instance, if you love to run, get a dog that loves to run too, and leave the miniature breed for someone who is less active. If you much prefer to be at home, a small dog that enjoys a lot of inside time is an ideal choice. You should find a dog that fits well with your personality.

Bring your shelter dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt him. You need to find out if they picked anything up at the shelter. It’s smart to ensure your dog has all shots necessary before you take him home.

Ask your vet how much food your dog should get every day. Even though many people stick to the label on the can or package of the dog’s food, sometimes these guidelines might not work for the type of dog that you have. This could lead to your dog becoming obese. Check with you vet to find out about the feeding guidelines for your particular dog.

TIP! Speak with your vet about the amount of food you should be feeding your dog each day. Some people refer to the label on the package to determine the quantity of food to feed their dogs, but those guidelines are not always right and using them can cause your dog to become overweight.

Become acquainted with dog food labels and avoid buying based solely on cost. In the long term, it’s crucial to feed healthy, high-quality food to your dog. Quality brands are more expensive but they will significantly increase the life expectancy of your dog.

Keep dogs mentally active by giving them many opportunities for physical exercise. Teach them to do things around the home to help or get a newspaper. This will make him feel like an active member of the family.

Be sure your dog wears identification so it can always get back home. To make it more likely that your dog finds its way home to you should it become lost, outfit it with a collar that has identification tags attached. Keep the ID tags updated with your current contact information. You may also want to install a micro-chip into your dog.

Don’t buy the cheapest food for your dog. Less expensive brands of dog food often contain artificial coloring, additives, preservatives and so on that can be very bad for your dog. Looking at a pet advocacy group website can give you recommendations of the best food for your dog. Your dog will get good benefits from the right kind of food.

TIP! Try not to base your dog food choices on the price of the food. Cheap dog food contains lots of preservatives and additives that your dog doesn’t need.

When selecting a new dog to come and live with an existing dog, take your current dog to meet him if at all possible. Dogs happen to be social creatures, but that doesn’t mean they all get along. Finding dogs that like each other will save you headache and heartache in the long run.

Be firm with your rules. Some dog owners put up with destructive behavior and allow their dog to break the rules they have made. This is particularly the case when the dog is very cute! Be firm with your dog if you want to prevent behavior issues. For instance, you may like to give your dog table scraps when you have finished your meal, but doing so may encourage your dog to abscond with your entire meal if you are not vigilant in the future.

When you buy a puppy, socialize him with dogs as much as possible. A good way to teach your pup to be social is to take him to be groomed or to the dog park.

If your dog must be outside, build him a house. If his feet get wet, being exposed to extreme weather can cause health issues and stress. Make certain your dog house has a good floor that keeps your dog up off the ground and dry.

TIP! Purchase or construct a dog house if your dog must stay outside when the weather is cold. This is especially important during wet weather.

This information is for you to use, so start now! You’ll get the greatest benefit from making the most changes. When your dog is happy, you’ll be happy too.

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