Dog ownership is a responsibility you have to take seriously. You must always understand that your actions are the key to your dog’s health and happiness. Knowing what to do comes from learning; read the article below to find out more.

An annual checkup at the vet is a great idea for your dog. Your dog can’t speak to you, which means it isn’t easy to tell if they’re having a tooth ache or issues with arthritis. A yearly checkup will help you find any problems before they become huge issues.

If you’re on any kind of medication, even if it’s over-the-counter, you need to keep it away from your dog. Even if the dog were to eat a couple of pills, it could have very life threatening effects. If your dog does ingest some of your medication, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.

Do not buy your dog a particular brand of food just because it is cheap. Cheap brands usually contain preservatives such as sodium and other additives that can be dangerous for your dog’s health. Use an animal advocacy group or some kind of consumer awareness group to see if you can get a list of good foods that are professionally recommended. Your dog is going to be healthier if he eats better.

When obtaining a shelter dog, you need to set up an appointment with your local vet immediately. Dogs in shelters could be sick or may have already been exposed to some viruses. That is why it’s important to have a full checkup and a course of vaccinations before you bring your puppy home.

Make sure that you’re giving your dog enough exercise. Dogs require metal and physical exercise to ensure a happy puppy. Throw a ball around the park with your dog and play fetch. Not only will you both get adequate exercise, these activities help you develop a long lasting bond with your dog.

If you think you want a dog, but are not sure if you are ready for the commitment involved, consider becoming a foster home. Shelters for abused or homeless dogs are often looking for temporary homes, called foster homes, where dogs can live until they are adopted out to a permanent home. Fostering a dog will both help the cause and allow you to test drive the responsibility involved with pet ownership.

Even if you are looking for a dog that is a pure breed, always check the local pound. There are often pure bred dogs at shelters and rescues, and they are desperately in need of homes. Contact your pound and ask them what breeds are currently there. You may get to save a canine’s life if you do this!

If your dog isn’t happy or is lonely, consider buying a second dog. Dogs come from packs, so it’s in their nature to prefer spending time with a member of their own species. Choose another dog whose energy level and temperament matches your dog’s, and you should have a good match.

Give your dog plenty of exercise for both his body and his mind. Teach your dog to retrieve the newspaper or perform chores in your home. He’ll feel helpful and like he is a member of the family. At the same time, the training is good for his mental and thinking skills.

If your female dog is in heat, be very careful with her around other dogs or she may become pregnant. A female’s scent can travel a very long distance. This causes fights as well as sexual behavior.

Your dog needs to wear some sort of identification in case he escapes your house. Consider purchasing a breakaway collar for your pet. Your dog’s name and your contact info should appear on the tag. Micro-chipping is an even better method.

If your dog has to listen to many people, he may end up confused. Many people do it differently than just having a few commands to give your dog. Have a single person focus on training your dog, and have anyone else work to reinforce what the dog is learning. No matter what their opinions are, they should stick to the rules set by the trainer.

Schedule a visit to the vet for your dog on a regular basis. It’s important that the dog sees a vet every so often to make sure there aren’t any shots that they might need. Puppies need to go to the vet more often then adult dogs. If your dog seems sick or hurt, you should go to the vet immediately.

If you are getting a second dog as a companion for one that you already have, consider taking your current dog along when you make your final selection. Dogs are very social by nature, but some get along better than others. Finding dogs that like each other will save you headache and heartache in the long run.

Before adopting a dog, be sure to give the matter careful consideration. It’s a great deal of responsibility, after all. Think it through carefully and talk to friends with dogs so you fully understand all that is involved.

This information is for you to use, so start now! Make an effort to accommodate your dog’s needs, and you will be rewarded. There is much joy in dog ownership when you take the care to do things right.