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Dogs can be great to have around, as they are loyal and friendly. But, it may take some work to get them to that point. If you own a dog, it is essential that you teach your dog proper behaviors and properly care for them. You will learn some things here, keep on reading.

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.

Whenever you travel with your pet, don’t skimp on the packing. Of course you need to be well supplied with his food, water and any medications he may be on, but experts advise that you also bring his grooming supplies, vaccination paperwork, tags and an extra leash. Also, bring a flat sheet for when your dog will be on hotel furniture.

When you are trying to teach your dog new tricks, you should always be patient. Different dogs will learn things differently. If your dog isn’t picking up a new trick right away, give him time. You could also try changing your teaching method. Your dog may respond better to a different approach.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Try not to base your dog food choices on the price of the food. The cheaper dog foods have tons of additives and preservatives which aren’t the best for your dog. Use a consumer awareness or animal advocacy group to obtain a list of the best foods that come with the highest recommendations by professionals. Your dog can really benefit from better food.

Let your dog know who is boss! Unless shown otherwise, a dog will naturally assume that he is the leader of the pack – once this has been established it is quite difficult to persuade him otherwise! When disciplining your dog, be firm in tone, but calm. Never punish a dog in a physical manner, as this will lead to lifelong mistrust. Also, when he behaves, remember to praise him!

If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.

No matter what kind of dog you may have, hang up a few “Beware of Dog” signs on your property. They are known deterrents to would-be burglars and can help protect you and your family. Just the sign alone indicates probable failure of any robbery attempt and a single bark will have them running away!

If you have a new puppy in the house that suddenly begins chewing things, do not fear. This could be a sign that your puppy is teething. To keep puppy from chewing on your belongings, make sure that you have provided him with plenty of chew toys of his own.

Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He’ll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.

If you are having trouble training your dog, see a professional. A lot of people wait until their problems are enormous, but if you would see a dog trainer as soon as you start having difficulty, you will find training goes more easily. Not only that, but you will save yourself a major headache.

If you’re going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren’t able to watch it for a period of time.

If your dog is covering everything in the house with his shedding fur, grab a paper towel. Lightly wet it with water and rub it down his back in the direction of fur growth. The loose hair should come off easily on the paper towel and your dog will love the attention too!

Never approach a dog you are unfamiliar with. Teach your children the same thing. An unfamiliar dog may look friendly, but he could have a vicious bite. Even if he is not a biter, he might jump on you, potentially causing harm. Always ask his owner for permission before approaching him.

Even if your dog spends most of its time outdoors, it still needs lots of attention. They’ll develop bad habits like chewing, digging, and barking if they’re constantly left alone. He may also become a little aggressive. Make sure to spend time with him daily, loving on him, playing with him and grooming him.

Never leave your dog inside your vehicle. Remember that your dog needs supervision and that it could become dehydrated very quickly, especially during the hot summer months. It is best to leave your dog at home for a few hours if you have to go somewhere and cannot take your dog inside.

Do not give in to the temptation to get a puppy without knowing how to take care of it properly. Educate yourself about the needs of the breed you are considering before actually visiting a breeder or a pet store. Some breeds are happy to live in a limited space, but others need room to run.

Now you probably have realized that caring for a dog really isn’t terribly difficult. It can be hard at first, but this advice should help you. Use the tips above, and you will see caring for your canine is a piece of cake.