Dogs are giving their owners unconditional love, friendship and loyalty. All they ask in return is water, food, a safe shelter, veterinarian care and companionship. Take care of these most important 10 things and the dog will love you for it.

1. External identification. Place a collar or an ID tag on the dog with the address, the name and telephone number. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, the dog can get away from you and he can get lost. So it is best to have that identification data at hand. You can also try microchip identification. This is usually done by a vet and it can cost a lot of money.

2. Make sure you follow the local news and get the dog vaccinated for various diseases, including rabies. The local pet society can help you with this step.

3. When you’re off your property, keep the dog on a leash. If the dog is on a leash, then he will be safe and not roaming around. It is best to do so when you are in the community.

4. Protect the dog. Put a fence around the doghouse, especially if you have a big dog. Also, do not leave the dog outside for long periods of time. And do not leave the dog all alone for many hours. Just like humans, dogs need companionship.

5. Take the dog to the vet on regular intervals for check-ups. If you do not have a vet for the dog, talk to someone at the animal shelter.

6. Neuter or spay the dog. This routine surgery is for the dog’s protection and also for your own.

7. Diet. Make sure the dog has a good diet with plenty of nutritional elements. Water must also be present at all times. If the dog is older, then the diet should be adjusted to his needs. Talk to the vet about a dog’s nutrition.

8. Train your dog. Untrained dogs bring a lot of complications, for themselves and also for their owners, so it is best to keep the dog safe and trained. A dog trainer is not hard to find.

9. Exercise your dog. This helps him stay healthy and happy. You will allow the dog to stay in shape and also to exercise its instincts. You can do this by playing various games with your dog.

10. Be patient. If your dog is sometimes snappy when you touch his ears, he may have an ear infection. So treat all the symptoms with patience and care for your pet as much as you can.

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