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Dogs have an uncanny ability to provide unrivaled levels of loyalty and friendship to their human counterparts, and are therefore a valuable part of the lives of many. The key, though, is for any dog owner to learn everything they can about what dogs need and what helps them live their best possible lives. The article that follows is a terrific resource for helping them do that.

Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.

You may know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but you may not know the specifics. Chocolate is dangerous because of the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous, with a high amount of stimulants. White chocolate contains the least amount of stimulants. Take you dog to vet if he ingests chocolate.

If your dog is very rowdy or easily excitable, experts recommend that you don’t bring them along on vacation. Many times the thrill and confusion of a new area filled with strangers is too much for the hyper dog and unpleasant incidents may occur. Find a great kennel to care for your pooch instead.

If you are on any kind of medication, you should ensure your dog never gains access to it. If your dog has access to these pills, there can be fatal consequences. If you notice that your dog has consumed any of your medication, you need to immediately contact your vet.

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.

Don’t take your dog off of your own property without a leash, no matter how well-behaved he is. A wild animal may set your dog off and send it running into traffic, or someone could provoke your dog and get injured by accident. You are responsible for anything your dog does, as well as for his safety.

It is important for you to take your dog in to see the vet on a fairly regular basis. Just like humans, dogs can develop health problems like toothaches, arthritis and weight gain. Do not wait until you think your dog is sick before taking him in to be seen.

Avoid pushing things that your dog dislikes onto him. If you’ve bought a treat that your dog doesn’t seem to interested in, don’t try to make your dog eat it. When you first get a dog, you should take some time to get to know what it likes and what it dislikes.

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.

If you are struggling to get your pet to behave during a grooming session, apply positive reinforcement. With your words and your tone, praise your dog for anything little thing that he or she does well during the time you are working with him. Give him a treat when you are finished, so he begins to associate grooming with something good. You should turn your dog’s behavior around in no time!

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!

Send your dog to school! He will feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of him and obedience school will help him learn that. It will also boost his self-confidence, and of course, make a more well-behaved pet of him. Call around locally and see if you can sign him up for a trial class and take it from there.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

If your dog isn’t happy or is lonely, consider buying a second dog. Dogs are naturally pack animals, and they like to be around other dogs. Match them carefully by energy levels and temperament so that they can enjoy themselves.

To ensure that your dog is safe, you should try to make your home as dog-proof as possibly. This includes making sure that only safe play toys are within your dogs reach. If you have a problem with your dog getting into your kitchen trash or the things on your counter, you could consider getting a baby gate to prevent your pup from entering the kitchen.

If you have a smaller breed dog, make sure everyone who touches him knows the proper way to hold him. Small dogs can be easily injured by inappropriate handling and many owners find this out the hard way. Gently lift at the belly from under his front legs and secure him with both hands.

It is hard to dispute the critical role dogs play in the lives of countless individuals. From providing companionship to offering legitimate service for the disabled, dogs can do amazing things to improve the daily experiences of humans. The piece above has hopefully offered some useful insights as to how any dog owner can facilitate this type of beautiful relationship.