Be Attentive To Your Dog’s Health
Your dog is your pet and partner. It is your responsibility to keep your dog healthy. Address health issues when they first appear, not later. Its the humane thing to do and you can not expect a sick or injured partner to work well.
Be in tune to what is normal for your dog and be observant. If your dog is off its feed, it develops a cough, it's drinking copious amounts of water, it's stools are not normal in appearance and/or smell, if suddenly a limp appears, or the dog is constantly scratching--check it out. If you find nothing wrong but the symptoms continue, get your dog to the veterinarian.
Be sure you keep your dog on preventative medication for fleas/ticks and heart worm, up-to-date in routine inoculations, and have annual physical and dental work ups. Periodically check your dog for foreign materials that might have lodged in-between the pads of the paws, ears, eyes. Feel for any bumps, swellings, cuts, etc. Physically know what your dog looks like, smells like, and how it normally moves. Take note of your dog's moods. Your dog should not be lethargic, dejected, despondent, or anxious, jittery, etc. Know your dog so that if anything goes from routine/normal to out-of-the-ordinary/strange you will detect it quickly and able to address potential issues. On the other hand, do not be over anxious or zealous in keeping your dog in tip top shape. Neither extreme is good.
Take care of your partner and he/she will take care of you and your patient.