Learning To Care For Your Dog

Dog lovers are some of the most loving and caring individuals on the planet. They nurture and raise their dogs on the best that life has to offer.

If you are new to caring for dogs or are thinking of bringing a dog into your family it is always best to do your homework. A dog is a living, breathing animal that takes time, patience, and love.

Feeding Your Dog

What you feed your dog and the amount you feed your dog is important.

Dogs need a balanced diet of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Dog food labels can be confusing, so talk to your veterinarian to find the best food for your pup.

Avoid feeding Fido your leftovers. Some foods are dangerous for your pooch. Here is a list of the most common danger foods for dogs:

  • Onions
  • Grapes, raisins
  • Tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Coffee beans
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts, except peanuts
  • Fried foods
  • Avocados
  • Salt

The amount you feed your dog each day is different depending on the size of the dog. My 6 month old Chihuahua eats a smaller amount than a 6 month old Great Dane would eat. As a guideline, follow the guidelines set on the food package. If you notice your dog losing or gaining weight, adjust the amount of food accordingly.

Meet Zoey!
Meet Zoey!

Health Care for Your Dog

Dog health is much like the health of a human, unpredictable. No matter what you do to care for your dog you may someday have to deal with unforeseen illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, or depression. As if that isn’t enough there is also the dreaded risk of an accident.

There are things you can do to help lower the risk of some illnesses though:

  • Exercise your dog each day. For smaller dogs, a minimum of thirty minutes a day is needed. For large breeds this minimum jumps to at least an hour of rigorous play time.
  • Take care of your dogs’ skin, teeth, ears, and paws. Inspect each for infections or sores. Have the dog looked at by a vet that you trust.
  • Feed your dog a good diet. For allergy prone dogs, find a high quality hypoallergenic dog food to cut down on symptoms and to heighten your dog’s quality of life.
  • Get all vaccinations and checkups.

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Training Your Dog

Dogs are smart! If I’ve learned one thing in my lifetime it’s that dogs are intelligent. You can train your dog to do many things, from the useful to the quirky; all it takes is time and patience.

Dog potty training is among one of the most taught trainings for dogs. This is useful for teaching your dog to potty in a designated area instead of on your living room carpet.

Your dog can also learn to “speak”, roll over, “sit pretty”, and many other tricks if you:

  • Have patience
  • Have the time
  • Have lots of yummy puppy treats

Which Dog Breed Is Right For Me And My Family?

This is a question that is asked a lot. I’ve seen it on dog lover forums and I’ve heard it while taking my pup to the vet. Many people want to know which dog breeds are good for family life. I think this is an important question to ask, but it usually depends on the family and the home.

How could you turn down these sweet puppy eyes?
How could you turn down these sweet puppy eyes? | Source

How Big Is Your Home?

Smaller dogs like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire terrier are ideal for smaller residences, like apartments and condos. These dogs are smaller so they do not need a lot of space to run around.

Larger dogs need more leg room to move around. These dogs are happier if they have a backyard to romp around in.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds: Dogs For People With Allergies

If you suffer from allergies you may have thought you could not have a dog, but you are mistaken. There are several dog breeds that have little or no effect on allergies.

  • Shih Tzu
  • Labradoodle
  • Poodle
  • Maltese
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Havanese
  • Bichon Frise

Beagles make great family dogs!
Beagles make great family dogs! | Source

Kid Friendly Dog Breeds

I personally believe that all dogs can be bred and socialized to be human friendly, but I cannot ignore the fact that some dog breeds are just naturally friendlier with children than others.

Here are some good spirited “naturals” for families with small children.

  • Beagle
  • Corgi
  • Golden Retriever
  • Saint Bernard (he’s huge, but patient and affectionate)

Guardian dog breeds such as the Chow, Doberman pinscher, and Akita, are not good dogs for children, unless under the supervision of an experienced dog owner.

Smaller dogs are not recommended for homes with small children, not because they are not safe, but because children have a habit of being too rough for small toy sized dogs. These types of dogs tend to be scared easily. A Chihuahua or Pomeranian may be the perfect breed of dog for an older child; as they can be loyal and affectionate companions if handled correctly and not frightened.

How could this cute fella ever be anything but adorable?
How could this cute fella ever be anything but adorable? | Source

What Dogs Are On The Dangerous Dog List?

My personal belief is that every dog breed is capable of being on the “dangerous dog breed list,” because every dog, if miss treated or trained to misbehave can do horrible things.

I believe that dogs that are properly socialized with humans and other animals they can be affectionate, loving, companions for humans. I have known plenty of “dangerous” dogs in my lifetime that were well bred, sociable, and a joy to be around.

Like I said before, I cannot ignore the fact that some dog breeds are more prone to violence nor have the ability to cause pain. For that reason, I’m including a list of the most dangerous dog breeds.

  • Dalmatian
  • Boxer
  • Presa Canario
  • Chow
  • Doberman
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Husky
  • Rottweiler
  • German shepherd
  • Pitbull

© 2010 Stephanie

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Leave A Comment, Share A Dog Story 3 comments

pauly 5 years ago

Great hub, informative info. I agree that any dog can be aggressive, but it all comes down to the way they have been treated and also trained.

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stephanie mclain 6 years ago from Texas Author

You are so right Peggy! Many times people like the idea of having a dog in their home, but after the new wears off that poor puppy gets sent away or neglected.Dogs have feelings too!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Overall you have done a good job with this hub about caring for dogs. It should be a lifetime commitment when taking an animal into ones home and heart. They should not be treated as disposible items.

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