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Buying Supplies For A New Dog
By Randy Hemsley

When you bring a new dog into your home, there are certain supplies and accessories you'll need to bring along with it. Especially with the involvement of children, the initial excitement of owning and caring for a dog - puppy or full grown - can blind us to ongoing practical considerations related to its daily needs. Responsible dog care is not inexpensive, and sober judgment should be used not only concerning the initial decision to bring it home, but also for the purchase of items needed for day two and beyond.

Healthy Food and Tasty Treats

Have at least a week's supply of dog food ready. You should always purchase food that's targeted towards your dog's age and any applicable health conditions or breed considerations. For example, active hunting and working dogs require a different diet than sedentary lap dogs or older, less active canines.

Another important consideration is quality. While you may not need to buy the most expensive gourmet food for your dog, you shouldn't be buying the cheapest either. You want to feed your dog a healthy, quality diet.

Collars and Leashes

When buying a collar and leash for your new dog, take its size into consideration. You want something that will be strong enough to hold your dog, but not too heavy or cumbersome. For example, leather collars and leashes can be durable and tough, but may be too much or too heavy for a tiny Chihuahua.

When fitting a collar, you should be able to squeeze two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. Any tighter and you can cause discomfort to the dog. Any looser and he could escape.

Doggie Toys and Chewy Treats

Just like collars and leashes, it's important to think about size and weight when selecting a dog toy. If the toy is too small for your dog, he could swallow it and choke on it. If the toy is too big, he could strain himself trying to pick it up.

You'll also need durable and long-lasting toys. Of course, bones aren't designed to last a long time, but they may be a better choice if your dog is apt to chew and swallow latex or rubber chew toys.

Dog Training Supplies, Books and Videos

The first place to start when it comes to puppy training is either a good book, instructive video or recommended obedience class. If you opt for a book, try to find one that focuses specifically on your dog's breed or group.

Depending on the training program, you may also be required to purchase whistles, harnesses, a water spray bottle or reward treats for positive reinforcement.

Health and Hygiene Products

Control fleas and ticks either through medication or specially treated collars. You'll also want to purchase specially designed dog toothbrushes and paste as dental problems are one of the primary reasons for veterinary visits.

You certainly don't need to buy everything in the store, but it's important to be well prepared for your newest family member.

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