Most of the time, dog ownership is a joy, but some pets can be a little more challenging. To get the most out of your relationship with your dog, you’ll need to know a few things. Continue reading to learn some helpful tips you can use when it comes to being a responsible pet owner.

Keep in mind that dogs are expensive. High quality dog food, medical care, toys and treats can easily run close to $1,000 in a year. Pet insurance can be a good investment because your pet may require emergency care for illness or injury.

TIP! A physical is good for you, and a yearly vet trip is good for your dog. Because your dog is unable to speak, you may not know for sure when your dog feels sick or has an injury.

Make your home doggie-proof. Take the time to tour your home with an eye for safety before you introduce your dog to your home. Do not have any pills out in the open and put all supplies in cabinets. Some house plants are poisonous, so keep them away from your dog’s reach or remove them.

It is fine to hug your dog, but avoid those wet kisses. Kisses seem nice, but dogs have very dirty mouths. Dogs will eat their own waste, dine on garbage, and gulp water straight from your toilet. Keep in mind that an animal’s mouth is full of germs. This is not true, at all!

If there are prescription medications in your home, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach. Your dog could have a heart attack or a seizure if it swallows some pills. If your dog gets to your medication, you should call your veterinarian right away.

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

Talk to your vet to learn which foods are appropriate for your particular dog. A lot of the time a dog might not want to eat some brands of dog food, this might make them sick. You should be careful when you are feeding your dog.

Take the time to correct bad behavior in your dog at the first sign of it. When you let it go, he thinks it is okay to do. You don’t want to be the owner of a dog who hurts someone, so get a handle on it now.

Do not buy cheap food items for your dog in an effort to save money. Long-term, the dog will do much better with nutritious, good quality food. Although it will cost you more, you can feel good about the fact that you aren’t skimping when it comes to what your pet eats.

TIP! Be sure to keep all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Swallowing even one pill can end very badly, with a sick or dying dog.

If you want a dog but don’t know if you can handle the responsibility, start out as a short-term foster home. Many abused and homeless animals are in shelters waiting for adoptions, but there is a lot of overcrowding and many resources are scarce. Fostering will help you become adapted to the life of a pet owner, and you will be making a difference in the life of a dog at the same time!

Make sure that your dog is not left alone outdoors all day. Dogs need companionship and interaction with their owners. If there is only one dog in your household, he may feel lonely outdoors. Keep in mind that your dog can also get sick if the weather is too cold or humid.

If you do not want your female dog to become pregnant, be careful with her when she goes into heat. Males can detect the scent from miles away. The end result of letting an in heat dog run free is not only an unwanted litter, but also a dog who is prone to fighting and the resulting injuries.

TIP! Dog training should take place on your property. Avoid training your dog where many people are present.

Be sure that your dog has some kind of identification in case it were to escape from your home. A breakaway collar that includes an ID tag will ensure the return of your dog if they should wander. This tag should include your contact information and your dog’s name. Have you considered micro-chipping your dog?

Stepping on sharp objects or glass is a common hazard for dogs waling outside. If your dog suffers from a little cut, it should be washed with some form of antiseptic and the bandaged. If the cut seems unusually deep, take your dog to see the veterinarian.

Check your dog for ticks and fleas daily once it gets warmer outside. Remove fleas with a special comb. A number of products are available to control fleas and ticks on your dog. Speak with your vet to find the best option for your dog.

TIP! If you are not sure how often you should feed your dog, ask your vet. Most dog food packages include guidelines but keep in mind that these instructions might not be adapted to your dog.

Carefully choose your dog’s food. A variety of foods are available, but that doesn’t mean they’re all perfect for your pet. While some choose to feed their dogs table scraps, this is not the best way to ensure that all of a dog’s health needs are being met.

You may not have known that some vitamins can harm your dog. If your dog eats commercial foods, he doesn’t need vitamin supplements unless your vet advises you to give them to him. Too many of some vitamins can damage joints, bones, and blood vessels. You should always speak to your vet concerning your dog’s vitamin regimen.

Being a good dog owner can be a lot of work, but it is also a very enriching experience. There is more to having a great dog than just choosing an adorable puppy to bring home. Do not adopt a dog if you are not ready for these responsibilities. Have the best experience with your pet by following the advice presented here.