Dogs often seem to have limitless energy and robust constitutions, but don't let this fool you: they are susceptible to all sorts of maladies, ranging from mild to life-threatening. That's why it pays to have a relationship with a dependable, reassuring veterinarian (to ensure good treatment and quick treatment in an emergency), and to follow wise guidelines for dog-owners, which include regular checkups for your pooch and building your own store of knowledge about canine maladies, to catch treatable diseases early. Yes, dogs are energetic and robust by nature, but it's your job to help keep them that way. In this article, you will find tips to help you do just that, including:

Choosing a Veterinarian

Choosing a Veterinarian You don't have to take Fido to the nearest vet, and you never have to use a vet whose manner doesn't make you and your dog comfortable. Here are tips on finding the right veterinarian for both of you, including questions you can ask friends in order to get a strong word-of-mouth reference. We will also help you tell the difference between a problem with your dog that will clear up on its own and a major situation that needs to be seen by the vet right away.

Dog Disease Basics

Modern medicine has made dogs' lives much more pleasant, and longer for sure. But there are illnesses that will always be part of dog life, and these are made more threatening because dogs often come in contact with other animals, which can transmit diseases to them. In fact, there are some diseases that can be transmitted from dog to man. So you need to be familiar with diseases such as rabies, distemper and others, in order to prevent them or catch them early in your own dog.

Dog Illness Warning Signs

A dog owner can usually tell when their pet is not feeling well, but how do they know when the problem is serious? In this section we discuss many general signs that your dog could be ill. Ears and coat, energy level, eating habits and stool habits -- all of these can give signs that your dog is under the weather or seriously ill. This section is a must-read for any dog owner, as it also includes an extensive checklist of visible signs of illness in a dog. We suggest you print this out and keep it handy.

Preventive Health Care for Dogs

How often should your dog have a routine physical exam? More often than you think. Are you absolutely sure your dog has had all of her vaccinations? What about neutering and spaying? Did you know that it can lengthen your dog's lifespan considerably? In this section we cover many important facets of preventive health in dogs. If you're careful about yourself this way, you should extend the same care to your dog.

Alternative Treatments for Dogs

Just as human medicine has made many huge advancements in alternative medicine, so has canine medicine, in areas like acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal treatments, homeopathy, massage and other kinds of non-standard medicine. Many of these are treatments you can provide yourself, which can foster good feelings in both you and your dog. Other treatments may require the expertise of the specialist, but can be just as beneficial. In this section, we cover alternative treatments for illness and natural ways to help keep your dog healthy.

Let's get started with the most important health care considerations for your dog -- choosing a veterinarian. We will give you some guidelines for choosing a vet in the next section and tell you when to seek their advice.