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Preparing for the home-coming

All too often, it is far too easy to get carried away in the excitement of buying a
new dog. Before you know it, your new addition to the family steps in the front
door and it doesn't even have a bowl to drink from!

Below is a list of items you may wish to consider buying prior to your 
new dogs arrival:

COLLAR & LEAD. Whether buying a collar of leather or nylon or whatever, make
sure that there is ample room for growth, especially if your about to buy a puppy.

IDENTITY TAGS. Plastic tags are preferred by many dog owners, metal ones
can sometimes chafe and cause skin irritation. Consider "Micro-Chipping".
Consult your vet for further information.

BEDDING. Purchase bedding which is light, easy to carry and which can be
washed and dried quickly -accidents happen.

THE BED. Prices do vary considerably, so too do designs. Again, pick
something which is easy to wash or wipe clean and also durable and pleasant 
to look at - you have to live with it too.

FOOD & WATER BOWLS. Plastic bowls get chewed easily (especially by
young untrained pups), but there are heavy duty ones on the market now which
can withstand rough treatment. Heavy ceramic bowls are excellent for water as
they are not easily tipped over by your enthusiastic friend. Metal bowls are
excellent for endurance but noisy when bounced off kitchen cabinets!

BRUSHES & COMBS. Talk to the breeder or your vet about suitable grooming
tools. These vary considerable according to breed and it's essential you choose
the right equipment.

PLAY PENS. OK, so these are hardly an essential item, but apart from the
obvious function, there are two major advantages in having one. Firstly, they 
can double up as the dogs bed. Furthermore, they are an excellent place to 
put a young pup away from danger when the household chores are in progress.

TOYS. With so many to choose from, it really is down to personal preference 
and experience. Toys that chew to pieces easily can prove expensive, messy
and occasionally dangerous to young pups. Toy that squeak may not be a 
good option for a dog with a nervous disposition, nor for humans with a short
temper!

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