When you own a dog, you have a ton of work on your hands. From brushing their fur to feeding them, you need to keep on top of all of their needs. That said, this article will teach you all about what it takes to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Owning a dog is quite a large financial commitment. You will have to spend between $700 and $1000 a year to cover food and medical expenses. Pet insurance can be a good investment because your pet may require emergency care for illness or injury.

Start training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Create a vocabulary list that all your family members will use to command the dog and stick to it. Dogs can become confused if the same words are not used to give them directions. The dog will see “get over here”� and “come”� as two different commands.

Be sure to keep all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Your dog could be seriously injured or killed by ingesting a couple of small pills. Make sure you have your veterinarian’s number handy in case your dog does accidentally swallow your medicine.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Although the sound may be cute, your dog’s nails shouldn’t click along the floor when it walks. That’s a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

Don’t be upset if your dog does not want to get dressed up. It’s becoming more popular to dress your dog in dog clothes, but some dogs just don’t like the feeling of having clothes on. If your dog does not relax after the clothing is on, you should remove the clothing to avoid your dog trying to remove it by itself.

Check and double check your fenced in yard for spots your dog could escape through before letting him roam. The most secure method of keeping your dog outside is on a long run with a strong collar, but if you are comfortable that your fence can hold him, he’ll enjoy that even more. Just make sure there’s no room for error!

Have a rotating schedule for dog-related responsibilities in your home. It’s not fair for one person to always be taking care of him, and he’ll feel more like a family pet if everyone pitches in. Kids often lose interest in a pet and leave the work to parents, but it’s important that you teach them to keep up the commitment!

Feed your dog dry, premium-quality dog food. This kind of dog food helps to make sure your dog gets all of their vital nutrients. Making sure that they get proper nutrition helps them live a longer life and reduces their chances of obesity, malnutrition, skeletal problems, muscular problems, and many more conditions.

Don’t forget to trim your dog’s nails regularly. Long nails can make him uncomfortable, cause injury to his feet and will ruin your floors. If he makes a “click” sound when he walks on hard wood or linoleum, that’s a good indication it’s time for a trim. Ask your vet to do it if necessary.

Be prepared for natural disasters that also impact your dog. Have an emergency supply of water and food for him and know in advance if your local shelter for people will allow pets inside. Too many pets are injured or lost following storms, floods and other situations that cause chaos in a community.

When taking your senior dog to the vet for an annual visit, make sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is often minimally invasive and less costly. This is a great way to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

If you’re going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren’t able to watch it for a period of time.

If your dog is prone to getting burs in his coat, keep a can of Crisco in your kitchen cupboard. Next time you notice a bur, put gloves on to protect yourself and work the Crisco around until you can pry the bur out. Give him a nice shampoo to get the shortening out later.

When selecting a new dog to come and live with an existing dog, take your current dog to meet him if at all possible. Dogs are quite social, though not all get along well. Finding dogs that like each other will save you headache and heartache in the long run.

Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. Playing a game of fetch or Frisbee is a great way to get your dog to burn some calories, while having fun at the same time. Dogs should also be walked everyday. Some dogs require more exercise than others, which is why it is so important to understand your dogs needs.

Be thoughtful about breeding your dog. Repeated breeding of a female can evetually lead to severe health problems for both the dog and the puppies that is born from her. If you plan to breed be sure to do your research first so that you can be sure that you are doing the right thing for your animals.

Now that you understand the undertaking of owning a dog, you should feel confident in the fact that you can now provide for your pet fully. When he pees on the floor, forgive him. When he barks at the moon, bark with him. And when he gives you a big kiss, return the favor!