Dogs are an incredible addition to the daily lives of a significant number of people and provide amazing amounts of joy and companionship. To ensure the health and contentment of any dog, a good amount of research and understanding is in order. The information that follows below can serve as a tremendously valuable resource for any dog owner.

It is expensive to own a dog. When you add up the medical care, food and supplies in general, your costs could run from $700-$1000 annually. Emergency vet visits can cost a ton, so think about purchasing health insurance for your dog.

Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.

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.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.

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.

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.

Humane Society

Put your dog through obedience training. A well-trained dog is a joy to live with for both you and them. Teaching them simple commands like “Come,” “Heel,” “Sit,” and “Stay” can help curb or prevent troublesome behaviors in no time. You can either teach them yourself, or you can find out about obedience courses by contacting the SPCA or the local humane society for class recommendations.

The joy and delight a dog can provide is truly something amazing to behold. The fact remains, however, that a significant amount of know-how is required in order to make life with a dog the very best it can possibly be. Hopefully the insights found above have provided a strong foundation for canine aficionados everywhere.