There are a lot of different kinds of pets you can get. You could have a reptile or fish, a small rodent, or a cat. Dogs are among the most versatile pets to have around the house. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find advice that will help you be a great dog owner.

It can cost a lot to take care of a dog. Good quality dog food and medical care can cost between $700-1000 a year. A sick dog could cost you tens of thousands! Look into doggie health insurance!

TIP! Owning a dog is quite a large financial commitment. Food, supplies and vet bills can add up to $1,000 or more per year.

Be sure your house is dog-proofed. It is important that you try to foresee any problems your dog might run into prior to bringing him home. Hide medications and chemicals, cover your trash, and put food where he can’t get to it. Research the toxicity of plants you own, and move or remove anything that might be an issue.

While you can hug your dog, you should avoid kissing your dog. Dog kisses are very unsanitary. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. Many people believe that dogs’ mouths do not have as much germs as humans’ mouths. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If your dog is coming along on a family vacation, keep a picture of him handy or take one using your phone. If he just so happens to run away from you, you should have a picture so you can find him.

TIP! Hug your dog, but don’t kiss him. Dog kisses may be seen as cute, but their mouths aren’t all that clean.

Ask your vet how much food your dog should get every day. Most dog food packages include guidelines but keep in mind that these instructions might not be adapted to your dog. Speak with your veterinarian about what your dog’s needs are and what amounts are proper.

Make sure your dog engages in sufficient amounts of exercise. A dog requires regular exercise and game time; it keeps him healthy and happy, both mentally and physically. Whether you take a dog on an extended walk or toss a ball around, your dog and you will both benefit. In addition to fulfilling the physical need for exercise, you will foster a strong bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.

Schedule a veterinary checkup for your new dog. Make an appointment as early as possible. The veterinarian will make sure your pet is as healthy as you think he is and also talk to you about vaccinations. Set up an appointment to have your dog fixed, too.

TIP! If you bring your pet on vacation with you, keep a picture of him with you, particularly on your phone. If he is ever separated from you, it will be easy to show people what he looks like or print out flyers with a recent picture showing that you are looking for him.

Teach your dog the proper way to walk while on a leash. He needs to know to heel next to you, not behind you or in front of you. This will not only make your walks more enjoyable, but it will also help keep your dog safe. Understanding that command is great, even if you choose to still walk with a loose leash periodically.

If you want to get yourself a new dog, but aren’t totally sold on the idea, you could try to get a foster pet. Dogs who have been abused or left without a home stay in shelters until someone adopts them. Since there are so many dogs in shelters, there are little resources. 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!

Do not leave your dog outdoors for extended periods of time. While this is what many people do, dogs require socialization with people and/or other animals. Only having one dog can cause him to get lonely. Plus, bad weather can be health and even life threatening to your pet.

TIP! Always have your dog on a leash when he’s off your property. Dogs are easily distracted by other animals, cars, and kids, so always make sure to keep your dog on a leash for his own safety.

Listen to your vet when he tells you how to administer medication or care. He might not want to wear that cone on his neck and head, but it’s there for a real reason! Recommendations that a vet makes are for the good of your pet and if you don’t adhere to these things it could be bad for your pet.

Owning a dog is a big deal, but with the help of these tips, it should be no problem for you! Make sure you are always expanding your knowledge into healthy dog care. You’ll be better able to care for you dog and have a wonderful hobby!