Dog ownership can be a joyful experience, but only if you know how to be a responsible owner. In order to have a great dog who you truly love to be around, there are some important things you must consider. The following tips give you a good idea of the responsibilities you will have.

Being a dog owner can be very costly. Not only do you have to buy food, but you have to pay their vet bills and purchase other items that they need. You could spend as much as a thousand dollars in one year on your pet! A sick dog could cost you tens of thousands! Look into doggie health insurance!

While you can hug your dog, you should avoid kissing your dog. Your dog’s mouth is fairly dirty at any given time. Dogs go through garbage cans, toilet bowls, and love smelling and licking specific body parts of some other dogs. It’s a folk tale that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans. This is absolutely a myth!

Take your dog to the vet at least one time a year for checkups. Even the best dog owner will find it difficult or impossible to detect the first signs of health troubles, like a tooth infection or arthritic joints. A checkup every year can make sure that issues are caught before he is suffering too much.

Don’t buy the cheapest food for your dog. Cheaper brands have tons of additives, preservatives, and ingredients that can harm a dog’s health. Professional associations and dog advocacy groups may offer lists of the highest quality foods available. Your dog will thank you for feeding him a better food.

Buy or build a dog house if he is going to be outside for long periods in the winter. Particularly if his feet get wet, extended exposure to extreme temperatures causes stress and can lead to health complications. Keep your dog safe from the elements by providing him the dry shelter he needs.

Trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis. If they get too long, they may start to curl under and cause your dog pain. Purchasing some nail clippers at your local pet store is a good idea. If you aren’t comfortable with this, invest a little money and take your dog to the groomers.

Fostering a dog teaches you about the responsibilities of dog ownership. A lot of shelters that take in homeless or abused animals have a way to let you adopt them for a while. Become a foster parent to test the waters.

If your dog is undergoing a course of treatment with medication or therapy, make sure you follow your veterinarian’s instructions precisely. The dog may not be fond of the treatment or medication, but it’s for its health. If your veterinarian recommends something, it’s because it’s what’s best for your dog. If you ignore recommendations, your dog could have some major health issues.

There are many different things needed to be the best dog owner you can be. There’s a lot more to it than choosing a dog you find cute and loving it bunches. Do not adopt a dog if you are not ready for these responsibilities. Use what you learned here to make your time with your pet enjoyable.