Caring for a dog is a lot of work and you should not underestimate the responsibilities of being a dog owner. It isn’t something you can do uneducated. Read through the following guide for some hints on how you can take better care of dogs.

It is a great idea to put hand signals in use when you are training your pet; use them in conjunction with words. Your dog can figure out things easier when they get these signals. Every pet is different though, so use a combination of both verbal and visual cues and then determine what works the best.

TIP! It can be quite costly to own a dog. You will have to spend between $700 and $1000 a year to cover food and medical expenses.

If you aren’t sure of the amount of food your dog needs on a daily basis, talk to your vet. Though some folks feed whatever the package recommends, those guidelines are not always appropriate and can lead to overfeeding. See what your vet recommends and adapt that to how your dog responds.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he needs a dog house. Wet feet and cold fur can bring on health problems. Your dog needs a space that is dry and provides him with adequate shelter.

Exercise your dog frequently. Regular play and exercise is essential to keep your dog happy, both physically and mentally. Regardless of the activity you choose, whether it is a game of fetch or a walk around the neighborhood, both of you will benefit. In addition to fulfilling the physical need for exercise, you will foster a strong bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.

TIP! If your dog is coming along on a family vacation, keep a picture of him handy or take one using your phone. This allows you to have a photo of him if he gets lost.

When selecting a brand of dog food for your pet, read the labels carefully and avoid the cheapest brands. When you look at the big picture, it is good for your dog to consume nutritious, good quality food. This may mean that you have to pay a higher price, but you will know your dog is receiving all of the nutrients he needs.

Some dog breeds are more likely than others to develop certain health issues. Research his background and prepare for problems he might have. Talk to the vet to find out what you are able to do to assist your dog in beating the prognoses of his breed.

Make sure you exercise both your dog’s mind and its body. 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 him feel like an active member of the family.

TIP! Don’t let your dog out of your property without wearing a leash, regardless of how well he behaves. You never know when something might spook him or distract him, leading to devastation.

Watch if your female dog is in heat if you do not want her pregnant. A male dog is able to smell her from up to five miles away. There can be numerous problems, such as causing conflicts with neighbor’s dogs, and getting impregnated with puppies that you don’t know a lot about.

You need to perform daily tick and flea inspections on your dog as spring and summer approaches. A flea comb can help you remove fleas that you see. You should invest in some quality products designed to kills fleas and ticks. Speak with your vet before using anything and ask them what your options are.

Carefully choose your dog’s food. Always consider your dog’s age, health status and size when selecting the brand and formula you want to feed your dog. Feeding leftovers to a dog can save money, but a proper diet is harder to maintain with them eating leftovers.

TIP! Speak to your vet about your dog’s eating habits. Sometimes the guidelines on pet food labels aren’t correct, and following them could lead to obesity.

Vitamins can be harmful to dogs. As long as your dog has a good diet, he or she needs no extra vitamin supplements. Do not give your dog too many vitamins as this can get them sick. Speak with your vet to determine the correct course of action for your dog.

Just because your dog’s nose is wet and cold doesn’t mean he’s healthy. There are many reasons for your dog’s nose to be cold and wet even if the dog is sick. The overall amount of energy your dog has, its eating habits, and its general behavior are what you should watch. These signs more accurately foretell the state of your dog’s health. Check a dog’s temperature rectally.

Your dog needs to be protected in the summer time. Dogs are very susceptible to overheating. Offer an area that has lots of shade during the summer. Keep some cool (and clean) water around. Also, your dog might not like the sun’s rays, so ask the vet if you can get some sunscreen for your dog.

TIP! Give your dog rawhide instead of real meat bones. Rawhide limits the danger when your dog is chewing.

With your new knowledge of dogs, you ought to be able to care for them with ease. 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. Try to learn as much as you can, and enjoy having a dog around.