If you provide the proper care, dogs could be a great source of happiness. If you understand what a dog needs, you can provide it to them. Keep reading to learn more about the many things you can do to keep your dog happy.

It is expensive to own a dog. Food, vet care and supplies can add up quickly. Emergency care for animals can cost thousands of collars, so think carefully about getting pet health insurance.

TIP! It costs a lot to own a dog. You will have to spend between $700 and $1000 a year to cover food and medical expenses.

Take your dog to the vet at least one time a year for checkups. 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. Getting your dog checked up on annually will allow you to know if there are any problems.

Look into the flea treatments. Many have ingredients that may put kids at risk for various cancers over 1000 times what the EPA may consider to be safe. Ask your vet for recommendations instead, and keep children away while you’re applying flea treatments.

If you are teaching your dog, do it at home. You should avoid training in heavily populated areas. People will only distract your dog, making it more difficult to train him.

TIP! Go on and hug your dog, but do not kiss him. Dogs lick dirty things you don’t even want to think about.

It can be really helpful to incorporate hand signals with verbal commands when first training your dog. Signals like these help your dog learn things quickly. Find out the way that your dog prefers and use it.

If you want to keep your dog outside, build him or her a small shelter. If your dog happens to get his feet wet for a long period of time in cold temperatures, it can cause health complications. Protect your dog from wind and precipitation by giving him a shelter that has a dry floor and plenty of space.

When selecting a brand of dog food for your pet, read the labels carefully and avoid the cheapest brands. High quality foods are always your best bet. You’ll have to pay more, but you can be certain your dog gets the right vitamins and minerals from good sources.

TIP! Have your dog spayed or neutered. Statistically speaking, dogs who are “fixed” live longer lives and are less prone to cancer.

Dogs can be one of the most joyful presences in your household. Spend some time learning about the things that keep your dog healthy, loving, and energetic. Use what you learned here, and you can be a great and responsible dog owner.