Even if you don’t have a dog yet, you likely know what a big responsibility dog ownership is. You probably don’t innately know the best way to care for your canine companion. The following article will give you some great dog care advice.

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. That way, if he happens to get separated from the family, you have an up-to-date picture of him that is easily accessible for showing people or can be downloaded for printing up “lost” flyers.

TIP! It costs a lot to own a dog. Expect to spend from $700 to as high as $1000 in a year to pay for medical attention, food and other items needed.

Store your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines in a safe place where your dog cannot get them. Swallowing even one pill can end very badly, with a sick or dying dog. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog swallows your medication.

Keep a leash on your dog at all times. Wild animals could get the dog’s attention and lead him into dangerous places, or unanticipated circumstances could provoke conflicts with others. Understand that any damage your dog causes to other people and their pets is your responsibility, so you need to always use caution when off your property.

You don’t want to buy the bargain dog food. Cheap brands usually contain ingredients that can be harmful to the health of your dog. You can get a list of veterinarian-recommended foods from your vet or from animal advocacy groups or consumer awareness groups. Your dog will be much healthier if you feed it some healthy food.

TIP! You must dog-proof your residence. Don’t take a dog into your home without being sure that it is safe from top to bottom.

There are more advantages to daily brushing of your dog than just keeping your home hair free. A daily brush will make their coat radiant and shiny. When you brush the coat, oils from the skin are distributed throughout, and this is makes the coat soft and silky.

A foster home is something you can provide for a dog that needs it. Dogs who have been abused or left without a home stay in shelters until someone adopts them. Since there are so many dogs in shelters, there are little resources. Become a foster parent to test the waters.

Never leave any dog outside for long durations. While this is what many people do, dogs require socialization with people and/or other animals. Dogs become lonely. In addition, during snowstorms and rainstorms, you need to bring your dog inside to avoid bad weather and extreme temperatures.

TIP! While hugging your dog will make both of you feel great, refrain from kissing him. Dogs lick dirty things you don’t even want to think about.

Trim any hair that’s around your pup’s paws so it doesn’t get matted up. Use a comb first, then start cutting. If you lack the confidence to attempt this, take the dog to a professional groomer.

Give your dog plenty of exercise for both his body and his mind. Teach your dog to retrieve the newspaper or perform chores in your home. This will make him feel like an active member of the family.

Keep a close eye on a female dog when she’s in heat to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. A male will be able to smell her from a far distance. This can lead to aggression among other males, and you certainly don’t want to be left with an unexpected litter of pups.

TIP! Get your dog neutered. A neutered dog will live longer and have less risks of developing cancer.

What new laws or regulations concerning pets will affect you? Watch to see if there are any laws passed that affect your situation as the owner of a dog. These pieces of legislation are typically motivated by a single incident, one particular breed or a limited number of misbehaved dogs. Take action and speak up on behalf of your pet by calling or emailing local officials.

It is not uncommon for dogs to get cuts on their paws from stepping on pieces of glass and debris. If your dog suffers from a little cut, it should be washed with some form of antiseptic and the bandaged. If the cut is relatively deep, bring your dog to the vet.

When the weather is hot outside, check your dog daily for ticks and fleas. Try to get rid of any fleas by using what is called a flea comb. A number of products saturate the market that help control fleas and ticks on your dog. Ask your vet what they recommend.

TIP! When it’s time for dog training, you’ll want to do it inside your house or in your yard. This allows you to control how many people are there while the training takes place.

Be careful about the kind of food your dog is eating. Find a type suited for your dog’s breed, age and condition and be sure to consider other factors such as potential allergens. Serving table scraps to your dog may be cost effective, but it does not provide a balanced and healthy diet for your dog.

When you are finding out what kind of dog you want to get, you might want to introduce the prospective pet to your current pet. While dogs are naturally social, some find it easier to get along with newcomers than others. You can prevent future problems if you are able to get a dog that is compatible with the dog you already have.

Now that you are more educated about your dog’s needs, it should be a breeze to properly take care of him. As long as you care for your dog with love and patience, your pet will let you know what a good job you’re doing. Continue learning all that you can to ensure a great relationship with your pup.