Barking Basics: What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Dogs

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Owning a dog is by far one of the best decisions you can make as a homeowner. They’re called man’s best friends for a reason. A dog not only makes a wonderful companion, but he also makes a great workout and travel partner. He’s a source of joy and happiness, not forgetting the many physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that come from owning a dog. However, different dogs have different needs when it comes to pet care. Depending on factors such as age, size, and breed, for instance, different dogs have different needs when it comes to grooming, nutrition, attention, exercise, health, and so forth. You can find the best heavy duty dog crate here. However, despite all this factors there are certain nutritional rules which are common for all dogs and can have influence on their overall health.

Most importantly, dogs don’t just bark without a reason. When dog’s back, they’re either alarming you or something, complaining about something or requesting for attention. As part of proper care, it’s always important to understand how to respond when your dog backs. 

With the larger bias on barking basics, here are a few things you need to know about taking care of dogs.

Why Dogs Bark 

They Need Something  

As a dog grows, they eventually learn that barking is the only way to communicate with their owners about their needs. Maybe he just needs attention or he’s just hungry. In the latter case, pregnant dogs of certain breeds tend to bark whenever they need food or when they don’t like the food you’ve served them. According to Mike Powell from the Dog Embassy, pregnant dogs can sometimes be choosy when it comes to nutrition but when you supply them with the best food for expecting dogs, the barking problems can easily be a thing of the past. Essentially, the food should contain about 30% of quality animal protein and at least 15% fat along with omega fatty acids and some carbs they can easily digest. If your dog, however, is barking excessively in need of attention, it’s best to ignore them, especially at their young age so you can curb this habit. It’s about preventing this from becoming a behavior but if it happens only once in a while, perhaps your dog needs that attention after all

Barking out of Fear

Some dogs are also fond of barking at people or things out of fear. It’s sort of a reflex action that lets them feel powerful and in control so they can overcome fear. However, this may also not be a good thing if it becomes a recurrent habit. One way you can prevent this is through counter-conditioning, where you provide your dog with treats once the person or thing he’s scared of comes into view. With a few attempts, your dog will stop barking out of fear because they’ll start associating the scary thing or person with getting treats.

Boredom Barking

It’s not unusual for dogs to bark a lot when left alone and are simply bored. The habit can be a big nuisance to your neighbors and it can even attract unnecessary attention. To curb the habit, you can adopt ways to stimulate him mentally and physically even when you’re not around. Some things you can do to ensure this include:

  • Exercise your dog before leaving
  • Leave him stuffed with toys to play with
  • Keep his food hidden when you’re not around so they can stay busy searching
  • Leave him with some music when you’re gone
  • Teach him obedience commands
  • Get a dog sitter to avoid boredom

The above tips can be helpful but if he only barks when you’re not home, your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety. If this is the case, you may need to talk to a good dog trainer for help.

Alarm Barking

Having a dog can also help enhance security in your home, and this is a beautiful thing. However, not all people that come into your home are necessarily intruders. It could be the delivery guy, the trash collectors, or even a neighbor walking by and your dog starts to bark. To ensure that your dog doesn’t bark at everyone coming into your home, you’ll need to start teaching them the barking commands at an early age. Also, dogs have a protective instinct and can even sense danger that may not be obvious to the human senses. Whenever your dog starts barking out of the blues, be keen to follow up on what they could be barking at… someone could be trapped in underground tunnels or in another form of danger and is trying to call for help!

Reward Them for Not Barking

Most of the time, you may only take notice of your dog’s misbehavior, and you tend to forget or acknowledge the good ones. Start praising them for their excellent behavior. Just a pat on the head for being calm can actually help them understand that being silent and calm will lead to positive results. If you’re feeling a bit more generous, buy some dog treats or playthings so you can pass them along as rewards for their good attitude.

It goes without saying, that barking is the best way a dog can communicate with his human friend. However, barking is not always necessary and it can even be a nuisance, especially when it becomes a repetitive behavior. With the few pointers above, you can identify why your dog could be barking and even arrest the situation if your furry buddy has been barking a lot more than usual lately.

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