All dogs love their food and when feeding time comes round owners are usually greeted with a wagging tail and a very happy customer.

However, feeding time also has the ability to bring out your dog's natural 'pack' instincts, which can make them possessive and even aggressive when being fed, even if they're normally an easy-going pup.

Therefore, it's a good idea for all pet owners to have some basic rules in place to ensure that mealtimes are easy and stress-free for everyone involved.

Firstly, since feeding times are often when the pecking order is reinforced among dogs in the wild, it is important that even within your family pack leaders eat first.

Which means that before you pour out your canine companion's dry dog food, you may want to sit down and have your own meal first. Dogs like consistency and should be fed at the same time every day - so don't ever leave your pooch hungry if you eat late in the evening - but if you can eat before your pup, this offers a strong message about pecking order.

And if you have more than one dog in the household, the same rules apply. The oldest 'top dog' in the house should be fed first and so on down the pecking order, with puppies being last in line.

"I tell people with an older dog to feed the dogs separately until the puppy is a year or so," Lisa Peterson, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club told the Dog Daily. "The puppy should be trained to eat food in his crate."

It is also important to ensure that your dog doesn't 'guard' his food and get aggressive when approached. This problem is best nipped in the bud, so from when your dog is a pup it's a good idea to remove and replace their bowl on occasion when they're eating and reward them when they react calmly.

Finally, one of the golden rules of feeding is that dogs should not be walked for an hour after their meal to allow them to digest, as bloating can have serious health consequences for canines.

Written by: Hannah