Owning a dog is a serious matter. It’s important for your dog to always be happy and healthy. However, you can’t take good care of your dog if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this article, you’ll find some important tips.

It is expensive to own a dog. Every dog is going to need supplies, good food, and will also need medical care. After all is said and done this could cost about $800 or more. Emergency vet care is very expensive, in some cases thousands of dollars, so you might want to consider purchasing pet health insurance.

TIP! It can be quite costly to own a dog. Dogs require quality food, medical care, and general supplies that can vary in costs.

Speak with a vet as soon as possible if you are adopting a dog. Shelter dogs have likely been exposed to all kinds of viruses, such as parvo and distemper, which are deadly. Error on the side of caution and get your dog all its shots.

You need to make sure your dog can walk on a leash. Your dog should walk beside you, not lag behind or run ahead, and should obey the command “heel.” Doing this will not only be easier on you, but it will also keep your dog safe. This command will be very useful if you walk your dog while keeping the leash very loose.

If you want a dog but don’t know if you can handle the responsibility, start out as a short-term foster home. Shelters are full of abused and homeless dogs and they are hard pressed to give them all proper care. Fostering a dog could help the cause as well as find you a new companion you cannot bring yourself to return.

TIP! Be sure to have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that these operations help your dog live longer and can reduce cancer risks.

Do not keep your dog outdoors all day. While this happens quite often, a dog needs interaction during the day. Especially if it’s only one dog, it can get very lonely. Keeping them out for too long also exposes them to the elements, so its best that you bring them inside so they don’t get sick being outside in really bad weather.

Certain health issues plague particular dog breeds, and you need to know what those conditions are for the type of dog you own. Find out what health problems to expect and learn how to prevent those that your dog is prone to developing. Talk to the vet to find out what you are able to do to assist your dog in beating the prognoses of his breed.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog that is pure bred, keep the local pound in mind. Lots of dog owners will leave their dog stranded whenever they don’t want it anymore. Paying a trip to your local shelter might help you to find the exact dog you have been searching for. You may even save a poor dog’s life.

TIP! When you take your dog with you on vacation, take a picture and save it to your phone. 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.

Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise- both physical and mental. By teaching your dog tricks that he can do around the house, such as grabbing the newspaper, you’ll be keeping your dog mentally stimulated. Your dog is always going to feel like it’s a part of your family while getting trained so that it’s mentally fit.

You need to ensure your dog will come back if he runs away; that is why you need to have a collar with his information on it. Keep identification on your dog’s collar. Make sure that a current telephone number and the dog’s name are included on the tag. Additionally, you can put a micro-chip on your dog.

Always go to your dog’s yearly check-up. Your vet can identify health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease and thyroid abnormalities before the problem is apparent to you. Giving your dog an annual physical can prevent unnecessary suffering to the animal and unnecessary expenses later on.

TIP! Be wary of the flea treatment you’re going to use on your dog. A lot of these medications have ingredients that can be harmful to children and can cause cancer.

Dogs sometimes get tiny cuts on their paws. Wash the cut with antibacterial soap, dry it thoroughly, and leave it to air dry unless it is bleeding or the dog is licking it. If you think the cut is fairly deep you should see a vet.

Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. At regular intervals your dog needs heartworm testing, vaccinations, and general check-ups. When you own a puppy, you may need to see a vet more often. This will help your vet diagnose any physical issues with your dog.

There’s nothing stopping you from putting these tips into action immediately. Alter your life to be sure you and your dog will benefit. Surely you want your dog to be as happy and healthy as possible.