Dogs are highly social animals. This can account for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations. These attributes have earned dogs a unique position in the realm of interspecies relationships despite being one of the most effective, voracious, and potentially dangerous predators. Dogs and humans at times co-operate in some of the most effective hunting in the animal world, in that context, dogs are super predators
The loyalty and devotion that dogs demonstrate as part of their natural instincts as pack animals closely mimic the human idea of love and friendship, leading many dog owners to view their pets as full-fledged family members. Conversely, dogs seem to view their human companions as members of their pack, and make few, if any, distinctions between their owner and fellow dogs. Dogs fill a variety of roles in human society and are often trained as working dogs. For dogs that do not have traditional jobs, a wide range of dog sports provides the opportunity to exhibit their natural skills. In many countries the most common and perhaps most important role of dogs is as companions.Overpopulation - United States
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States and many more confined to cages in shelters because there are many more animals than there are homes. Spaying or castrating dogs helps keep overpopulation down. Local humane societies, SPCAs and other animal protection organizations urge people to neuter their pets and to adopt animals from shelters instead of purchasing them.Dog and Puppy Health
Dogs are susceptible to various diseases, aliments, and poisons, some of which affect humans in the same way, other of which are unique to dogs. Dogs, like all mammals, are also susceptible to heat exhaustion when dealing with high levels of humidity and/or extreme temperatures.
Infectious diseases commonly associated with dogs include rabies (hydrphobia), canine parvovirus, and canine distemper. Inherited diseases of dogs can include a wide range from elbow or hip dysplasia and medical patellar luxation to epilepsy and pulmonic stenosis. Canines can get just about anything a human can get (excluding many infections which are species specific) like hypothyroidism, cancer, dental disease, heart disease, etc.
Two serious medical conditions affecting dogs are pyometra, affecting unspayed females of all types and ages, and bloat, which affects the larger breed or deep chested dogs. Both of these are acute conditions and can kill rapidly; owners of dogs which may be at risk should learn about such conditions as part of good animal care.
Common external parasites are various species of fleas, ticks, and mites. Internal parasites include hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms. Some breeds of dogs are also prone to certain genetic ailments, such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, cleft palate, blindness, or deafness. Dogs are also susceptible to the ailments that humans are, including diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and arthritis.