When you have a dog, that pet dog will be dependent on you to keep it safe, healthy, and happy. In order for you to do this for your dog, you want to have a very clear understanding of caring for not only your dog's day to day life, but also their medical and health needs. You want to get established with a local vet as soon as you bring your dog home. This way, your dog will already be signed up as the vet's patient should you happen to need to get the dog in right away. If you aren't yet established with the vet, those last-minute appointments can be more difficult. You also want to make sure you have the following things done for your dog to maintain their health and overall well-being.

Follow a series of shots

A new puppy is going to need a series of shots. Depending on the age you begin giving them their shots, they may need three to four series. An adult dog is going to need to be taken in annually to get their booster shots. On top of the annual shots to fend off certain illnesses like parvo, your dog will also need to have separate rabies vaccinations. There are different manufacturers, and depending on the manufacturer your dog's vet goes with, they may need their rabies to be updated every year to three years. When they get their rabies shot, you will receive a tag with a unique number. You will need to show this tag to your local humane society in order to legally license your dog. When licensed, your dog will be legal, and if found running around, you can retrieve them without paying a fine.

Have your dog's teeth cleaned

You should be brushing your dog's teeth and giving them certain snacks, such as pig's ears, that help to remove the plaque from them. However, no matter how diligent you are with your dog's teeth, they should still have their teeth professionally cleaned about once a year at the vet's office. Also, take your dog in if you notice they are having a hard time eating, if you smell a foul odor from their mouth, or if you visibly notice there is a possible issue with their teeth.

Have your dog's nails trimmed

If your dog spends a lot of time on concrete or you take them for many walks, their nails may grind down on their own. However, most inside dogs need to have their nails trimmed regularly. You can trim them on your own if you are comfortable doing so, or you can take them in to the vet to have their nails trimmed when you see that they are getting to be quite long. Continue reading more to learn how to be the best dog owner you can be.