Many dog owners are in love with their animals and want to make sure they remain in top condition throughout their lives. However, especially if it this is your first canine, it can be challenging to meet all the needs of a dog and know everything that needs to be taken care of to make sure your pet is as healthy as possible.

Before you get a dog, or any pet, you should research the breed and make sure that the type of dog is suitable for your circumstances.

If you have a busy routine and are out of the house a lot then getting a big dog would not be recommended. Remember it's important to put the needs of the canine first and not just pick your favourite breed.

Checking your dog everyday can be one of the best things you can do. Like with your health, if you are observant, you can be aware of what is normal and what isn't. If you think your pet is in pain, suddenly goes off their food, or you just feel as though something has changed, book in to see your vet.

A routine health check should be given to every canine once a year and you can ask your vet for any advice or questions that you are unsure about. Don't worry about being embarrassed or coming across as stupid, even if you've had a dog before a lot of things can vary between breeds.

Parasites like fleas and worms are big problems for dogs and can really affect their health if left untreated, not to mention they will take over your home and bite you too! You can ask your vet about what routine treatments are best for your breed of pet.

Unless you want to breed your dog, make sure you get them neutered, and if you are planning on breeding then make sure you have the finances and various provisions in place to look after a litter of puppies.

A responsible dog owner needs to keep them under control at all times, avoid them getting stressed and barking at unsociable hours and make sure that you clean up any mess left behind when you walk them.

Written by: Hannah