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.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. Food, supplies and vet bills can add up to $1,000 or more per year. A sick dog could cost you tens of thousands! Look into doggie health insurance!

Be careful with your dog around Christmas season, many dangers are lurking just under the festive ambiance. For instance, electrical chords are typically strewn about during the holidays, and dogs often chew them, creating an electrical hazard. Dogs may be tempted to eat the decorations on the tree. They may also be tempted by the tree water, which can be toxic.

Your dog needs annual medical exams. Dogs can’t talk, so how do you know he has arthritis, for example? Annual checkups can catch these things before they become major problems.

Obviously, dogs are unable to sleep. Therefore, you have to pay attention to your canine’s non-verbal cues. If your dog is fearful or shy, do not insist that they interact. This could cause the dog to bite. Watch for any of these non-verbal cues and let these guide your actions.

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Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause infection in your dog, if one is swallowed, your pet can get tapeworms as well. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, but remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts over the life of your pet.

If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then do not choose a dog as a pet.

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.

Do you have a “wrinkly” dog, like a bulldog? If so, you have to be conscientious about the grooming process in order to help keep your pet clean. After you brush, take a baby wipe and use it to get in between the folds on their body. Make sure, though, to get them fully dry after doing so.

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!