The Domestic Dog is a subspecies of the wolf. The dog was the first species to be domesticated and has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.
Their long association with humans has led dogs to be uniquely attuned to human behavior and they are able to thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canid species.
They perform many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding disabled people and therapeutic roles. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet of "man's best friend".
Shelter from the elements and hazards as well as good hygiene are basic to a quality life.
Give your dog open access to water at all times.
Brushing your dog regularly will help to reduce shedding and it gives you a chance to assess the state of your dog's body. Your aim is to keep the coat in good condition and knot free.
The most important thing your dog will ever own is her identification tag. Even if you choose to microchip your dog, you still want to be sure someone can identify her if she gets lost.
Get a leash that clips easily into her harness/collar so you can take it on and off without issue, and consider a retractable leash if you plan to take your dog on lots of walks.
Stainless steel food and water bowls are the best as they do not harbor bacteria and are also less breakable than ceramic.
Feed your dog on a regular schedule. It is recommended that you feed your dog twice a day. Some kind of meat, not meat by-product or a grain.
Remember to provide healthy treats rather than table scraps, as rewards. Avoid giving your dog an excessive amount of treats or people food.
Dogs get mental stimulation from playing with toys. Aim for toys that are easy to clean, aren't easily destructed, and replaceable if lost.
Make sure your dog gets the regular exercise needed to enable it to be fit. By being in shape, your dog will be more capable of participating in the activities that it enjoys. Provide the right amount of exercise for the type of dog you have, a small toy dog may be better playing games of fetch or ball to tire it out, while a Labrador needs to have good long walks, for at least 30 - 45 minutes twice a day in order to burn its energy.
Many breeds are prone to gum disease, which can have serious implications.
Make sure you have a good, reliable veterinarian.