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It’s natural that you would love having a dog. Dogs have been great pets for thousands of years. It’s always a great idea to get a dog, but you have to remember that you are also taking on some responsibility when you bring a dog into your house. Here are some ways you can handle those responsibilities.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. Expect to spend from $700 to as high as $1000 in a year to pay for medical attention, food and other items needed. Pet insurance can be very helpful since emergency medical care for your dog can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances.

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

Always make sure to keep any prescription medications away from your dog. The same holds true for over-the-counter meds. If your dog has access to these pills, there can be fatal consequences. You should contact your vet right away if your dog swallows some medication.

Always be prepared to pick up after your dog with a scoop and bag. Although most people think that this is simply a polite thing to do so that others don’t step in it, your dog’s excrement is actually hazardous!
It contains a bacterium that can contaminate local supplies when it washes through to ground water.

Be a good neighbor and discourage your dog from barking, unless he is alerting you to danger. Most people get used to the sound of their dog yelping, but others find it a constant annoyance. If your dog barks often, consider talking to your vet about what could be causing it and how you can put a stop to it, for everyone’s sake.

Keep your dog in good shape. He can suffer with the same weight-related issues that you can, so make sure he gets plenty of healthy exercise and eats a well-balanced diet. Remember that walking will benefit you as well, so make it a part of your daily routine together to be happier and healthier.

Avoid impersonating a medical professional when it comes to your dog’s health. In an attempt to save money, many people try to diagnose their pet’s conditions or use human treatments on various elements and that can be very dangerous to the animal. If you can’t afford full vet care, tell that to the doctor and ask their advice anyway or if they could arrange a payment plan for you.

Avoid buying your dog bargain-based food. Cheap brands usually contain ingredients that can be harmful to the health of your dog. You can get a list of veterinarian-recommended foods from your vet or from animal advocacy groups or consumer awareness groups. The higher quality food will benefit your dog profoundly.

It’s very important for your dog to get the correct amount of exercise. Regular exercise and play time promotes the health and happiness of your dog. Not only will your dog benefit from exercise, you will as well. Not only will you both get adequate exercise, these activities help you develop a long lasting bond with your dog.

Unless you’re okay with your dog playing with your shoes and other things around your home, buy him some toys. He will enjoy having things of his own, particularly if they are interactive like pull-toys you can use together. Also buy him things he can use to occupy himself and stay out of trouble!

Be cautious with your female dog if she’s in heat. If you don’t, she may become pregnant. A male can pick up on her scent from as far as five miles away! This may cause a fight or impregnation if a male dog spots her.

Always use a leash when your dog or puppy is out in public. This helps you make sure your dog always stays by you and prevents them from wandering off or getting into trouble. This can also help you restrain your dog if something upsets them so that they don’t hurt another animal or person.

If you already have a dog and want to get another one, allow your existing dog to meet the new one before you make your final decision. Dogs happen to be social creatures, but that doesn’t mean they all get along. Compatible dogs are always your best bet.

If you leave your dog with a boarder, there are certain things you need to tell them. First, make sure the boarder has a number to reach you in case of an emergency. Also, tell them of any behavioral issues you dog has. If the dog needs special foods or medication, let the boarder know this as well.

It is natural to want to get your dog trained as quickly as possible. However, remember that there is a limit as to how fast this process is going to go. If you are not realistic, you are much more likely to get frustrated with your pet, which could damage your relationship. Your pet will learn over time, but it may not happen as fast as you would like.

You should not let your dog go outside without supervision. It is best to provide your dog with a safe space such as a fenced yard. Inspect your fence to make sure your dog cannot escape. If you do not have a fence, always go outside with your dog so you can keep an eye on it.

Having a dog isn’t all fun and games. You have to give yourself some time to really think about what you’re doing, and to act accordingly. You can use the tips here to help you to know what you need to do. You can always have a happy dog, if you take the time to give it a little thought.