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.

Be careful with your dog around Christmas season, many dangers are lurking just under the festive ambiance. For instance, electrical chords are typically strewn about during the holidays, and dogs often chew them, creating an electrical hazard. Dogs may be tempted to eat the decorations on the tree. They may also be tempted by the tree water, which can be toxic.

Be a good neighbor and discourage your dog from barking, unless he is alerting you to danger. Most people get used to the sound of their dog yelping, but others find it a constant annoyance. If your dog barks often, consider talking to your vet about what could be causing it and how you can put a stop to it, for everyone’s sake.

Ask your vet the amount of food your dog needs daily. Even though many people stick to the label on the can or package of the dog’s food, sometimes these guidelines might not work for the type of dog that you have. This could lead to your dog becoming obese. Ask your vet what the right meal plan is for your dog.

Offer rawhide rather than actual meat bones. Real animal bones can chip and pose a danger to your dog’s digestive tract and mouth. Rawhide is healthy and good for their teeth, so don’t share that T-bone no matter what faces they make.

You may be tempted to use your favorite hair shampoo on your dog, but this should not be done. Human shampoo can cause dog skin to dry out. Instead, find a quality shampoo that is made for dogs. When you bath your dog, make sure to rinse all of the residue out of his fur.

Don’t be upset if your dog does not want to get dressed up. It’s becoming more popular to dress your dog in dog clothes, but some dogs just don’t like the feeling of having clothes on. If your dog does not relax after the clothing is on, you should remove the clothing to avoid your dog trying to remove it by itself.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. You should congratulate your dog when it displays a good behavior, for instance by giving it a treat or petting it. Talk to your dog in a soft voice and make sure you praise it every time the good behavior is displayed.

Be strong when the time comes to say goodby to your beloved dog. Many owners keep the animal suffering to keep them in their lives and that’s not fair to the dog. Consult with your vet, then talk it over with family. If it’s time to part ways with your dog, do what’s best for him.

Before you have your dog fitted with a microchip, be sure and check the database of the company that will store his information. Not all of them are created equal and you want to know that you’ll get a fast response if your dog is lost. Look for a large database that connects to shelters and vets near you.

Be careful when choosing what kind of food to feed your dog. Some dog foods contain dyes and fillers that are simply not healthy for them. When choosing a food, look on the label for words like “AAFCO feeding studies” and “feeding tests”. These foods have gone through feeding trials and have been proven to be healthy.

Make sure that you spend adequate time on each thing that you try to teach your dog. Even though your dog might catch on to something, for example the “sit” command, it may not be mastered. You’ll want to make sure that the command is done every time that you ask no matter what situation you are in before you move onto a new command.

Monitor your dog’s diet and eating habits. Puppies need to eat foods with lots of calories in order to grow. As your dog ages, his caloric intake should be reduced to avoid obesity.

Never allow a puppy to climb up or down steps in order to prevent joint problems in the future. This is extremely important, especially with breeds that are at high risk for hip dysplasia. Any sort of high impact shock such as jumping or stair climbing should be avoided due to the fact that their growth plates are still developing.

If your dog is ruining your home while you are gone, it is probably suffering from anxiety. This issue is very common in young puppies, especially if they are still getting used to being home alone. You should find some toys your dog can play with and let your dog have a shirt or a blanket that smells like you.

If you have younger children in your home, a dog crate or dog area in your house may be a good idea. With younger children running around all day, your dog may become stressed out and want a safe place to go relax. A crate can provide your dog with a dog only area where it can take a break from a hectic day.

If you have a dog, it is your responsibility to clean up behind him or her. Keeping some plastic bags by the front door will help remind you to bring them along on your walk. It can be embarrassing when you forget your little baggie, and in some places you can also be fined.

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.