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Your Puppy’s Essential Needs

Food and Water Bowls: A puppy needs a variety of basic items. Topping the list are a food dish and a separate water bowl. A mat to put them on is also necessary in order to save the floor from slurped water and spilled food. If your puppy has long, hanging ears, get dishes specially made to keep their ears out of the food or water. Consider bowls with weighted bases or non-slip bottoms so your pet cannot push them all around the room. For a dog that will be very tall, two dishes in a raised stand will keep food and water where they belong and at a comfortable height. Lightweight plastic bowls are not a good idea especially for a teething, chewing puppy. If your puppy is in an exercise pen, a water bowl is available that hangs on the wire and can be raised as he grows.

Food: Begin with whatever dog food the breeder was feeding, or ask your veterinarian for advice. You may also buy a top-quality food made especially for puppies. Vets today agree that it is not necessary to add vitamins or minerals to a quality dog food for a healthy puppy. Too many vitamins are actually detrimental, especially for large breeds.

Cookies and treats: Small, plain dog biscuits are ideal for "good puppy" rewards and an occasional treat. Fancy flavored treats are okay for adult dogs, but young puppies do better on a blander diet and fewer treats!

Collar and Leash: Collars come in all colors and styles. Just keep in mind that the puppy will outgrow several collars until he reaches his full size and he may go through as many as six different collar sizes as he grows. It is very sad to see a little puppy weighed down with a heavy chain collar and a leash strong enough to restrain a horse! Be sure each collar and leash you select matches the current size and strength of your puppy. Take him with you to the pet store to be sure you get the right collar, and keep in mind that you will probably be back in a couple of months for a bigger one. The leash will last longer, unless your puppy is allowed to use it as a teething toy, which is definitely not a recommended game.

Collars that can tighten around the dog's neck are meant to be used only as training devices and removed when the lesson is over. They are not intended for continuous wear because they are dangerous. If this type of collar catches on any immovable object, the dog can easily strangle in his efforts to get free. Stay with soft buckle or snap-closure collars for everyday wear. If you go for "motivational training," you will be staying with the soft collar.

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Your Puppy’s Essential Needs


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