As a dog lover, you understand the joy such a pet can bring to your life. You will never be alone again, and you will always have a companion who thinks the world of you. In return, it is your job to care for them, and this article will teach you all you need to know.

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.

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.

Before deciding on what type of dog to get for your family, consider space. Even though you may love the bigger dogs that you can really wrap your arms around, you may not have adequate space for a large breed. Take your home and yard size into consideration before bringing home a new pooch.

Never give your dog milk! It’s not necessary for his body and he doesn’t have the proper enzymes to digest it anyway. Feeding your dog cow’s milk can lead to chronic diarrhea and leave him with an upset stomach, among other health problems. Stick with plain old water for a healthy and hydrated dog.

Some people think that it is necessary to bath a dog often. The truth is that unless your dog gets into something to get dirty, they only need bathed once every two to four months. Bathing more often could strip their skin of the oils they need for a healthy coat and skin.

A daily brush does a lot more than just prevent shedding. Brushing daily can ensure your dog’s coat is shiny and healthy looking. Brushing distributes the natural oils of the skin throughout the hair coat for added sheen and softness.

If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

If you get your dog from the pound, make sure you have a vet check him out right away. Dogs that live in shelters may be sick or may have been around other sick dogs. Therefore, you should have the animal looked at prior to taking it to your house.

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.

When taking your senior dog to the vet for an annual visit, make sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is often minimally invasive and less costly. This is a great way to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

Control your voice to control your dog. When he is a good boy, speak in a high-pitched voice and shower him with praise. When he misbehaves, use a very low and gruff voice to indicate your displeasure. Being consistent with this will help him learn faster, making training him much easier on you and him.

Does your dog chew a lot? This could be a sign that your dog is bored or anxious. You need to provide your dog with some toys that can be chewed and perhaps leave a shirt with your smell near your dog to avoid separation anxiety, especially if your dog is very young.

A dog needs plenty of love and attention. You should try spending at least a couple of hours a day with your dog. Play in your backyard or take your dog to the nearest park. You should get plenty of exercises before coming home and petting your dog for a while.

The kind of leash you use when walking your dog is very important. A small leash that would fit a small dog, like a chihuahua, is not going to fit a Rottweiler or pit bull. Get a leash that will fit your dog comfortably but also provided them with safety.

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.

You need to invest in a quality collar and ID tag with your address on it. Choose a robust collar that is adapted to the size of your dog. You should be able to easily fit two fingers inside the collar. Do not forget to update the ID tag if you get a new phone number.

Caring for your dog starts with a good education, and this article is a stepping stone to true understanding of the species. Thankfully, you have read it in full, so keep these tips in mind as you continue loving your dog. Read as much as you can to learn more about your pet.