Is your dog one of your best friends? If so, you’re especially motivated to want to take care of his health. As I’m sure you’re aware, your pet’s health is a very important part of your responsibilities as an owner.There are a number of health issues that can affect your special pet.For example, if your dog gets worms, you need to make sure that you take him to the vet if you can’t get rid of the worms by yourself. Worms come in several different varieties, such as roundworms, tapeworms and heart worms. It’s critical that you get rid of his worms as soon as possible before really serious health conditions arise because of these parasites.You’ve also got to keep a close watch on fleas because they can really cause problems. You certainly don’t want your dog to suffer needlessly.Make sure you keep your pet current with his innoculations and take him to the vet for periodic checkups.If you can keep tartar from growing around your dog’s teeth, that would be best. However, if you’re not prepared to do that, be sure his gums aren’t infected with tartar that has gotten out of control. You’ll need to take him to the vet for teeth cleaning if you aren’t prepared to keep his teeth free of tartar deposits by regularly brushing them.Brush your dog’s hair on a regular basis, especially if he is one of the long-haired varieties — like collies or shelties. While you’re brushing his coat, be on the lookout for skin growths or rashes that need medical care. The time you spend brushing his coat can be a special time of closeness between you and your dog.Be careful not to give your canine buddy chicken bones which can easily splinter and get caught in his throat. In fact, don’t give small bones to him at all because of the danger of splintering with resulting internal cuts.Be sure that your dog always has a fresh full bowl of water — especially during the hot summer months.Choose a good brand of nourishing dog food instead of inferior brands. Don’t let him become overweight because that is a health hazard — just like in humans.Be on the alert for symptoms that may show that your dog is in pain. If your dog refuses to eat, you need to take him to a vetinarian to see what’s the matter.Older dogs often develop arthritis and there are special supplements that can be given to them that can help. Be sure to check with your vetinarian to see what treatment option would be best.Be aware of where 24-hour emergency care is located. That way you’ll be prepared in case your dog needs immediate medical attention on a weekend or evening when the vet has gone home.The suggestions in this article can help you to be a more informed dog owner, but there are a lot more topics relating to dog health that you need to research to help your dog be as healthy as possible.Knowing that your buddy is healthy and happy will be your reward for being an informed owner.