There is nothing easy about dog ownership. You must care for a dog as you would a child with proper care, feeding and grooming, socializing, education and medical care. Can you expect to be a responsible dog owner without educating yourself on the topic, though? The following tips will teach you how to take great care of your dog.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. Food and supplies can run you over one thousand dollars a year. You should also look into purchasing a good pet health insurance policy to avoid high medical bills.

TIP! Keep in mind that dogs are expensive. You will have to spend between $700 and $1000 a year to cover food and medical expenses.

Don’t give in to the urge to feed your dog food meant for humans. This will make your dog beg all of the time and also will make it not want to eat its regular food as much. In addition, table scraps are simply not good for your dog’s health. They can cause obesity and other problems. Keep your dog away from the family dinner table for training purposes and to avoid any temptation.

Try not to force your dog to eat things. If you have food or treats your dog does not like, leave it alone. You need to find out what your dog does and does not like.

Correct bad behavior the first time you see it from your dog. Ignoring it can help your dog to establish lifelong bad habits. The longer you wait to address the problem, the worse the problem will become. Your dog could hurt somebody, including you, so keep him under control.

TIP! You should have your dog spayed or neutered. It is a known fact that doing this will lessen the probability of your dog getting cancer.

Make sure that your dog’s nails are trimmed weekly. If they start to curl, your dog may feel a lot of pain. Buy some clippers from a pet store and cut them yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own then you can hire a groomer to do it for a little bit of money.

Take the time to train your dog on a leash. Your dog should learn to walk by the side of you, teach them to ‘heel’. Doing this will not only be easier on you, but it will also keep your dog safe. Even if you decide to give him additional slack on the leash from time to time, teaching your dog to heel remains an important task as a pet owner.

You may need to trim hair that grows near the dog’s paws to help keep it from matting. A comb is a good tool to straighten the dog’s fur before trimming. If you’re uncomfortable trimming hair, you should probably have your dog groomed by a professional.

TIP! Always make sure to keep any prescription medications away from your dog. The same holds true for over-the-counter meds.

Some breeds have inherent health issues you need to watch for. Research his heritage and take preventative steps for problems you know he is a candidate for. Also, talk to your vet about things that can be done to increase the odds for your dog’s breed.

Pure Bred Dogs

When seeking pure bred dogs, you shouldn’t automatically rule out pounds. There are often pure bred dogs at shelters and rescues, and they are desperately in need of homes. Make a phone call to local pounds and shelters and see what kinds of dogs are there. You can save the life of a dog this way.

TIP! Talk to your vet about what kinds of foods you might want to keep your pet away from. Some foods can cause sickness or an upset stomach.

Exercise is vital when you own a dog. Teach him to get the newspaper and do other helpful things around the house. Doing this will help your pet to feel like a loved and needed family member, and teaching your dog these skills will give it some much needed mental exercise.

After reading this advice, start putting it to use on a daily basis. Starting with these techniques, you can keep learning more and become an experienced dog owner. Just use what you’ve read here and your dog will show its gratitude by loving you for it.