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Puppy Needs and Necessities
What a Puppy Needs When He Arrives At Your Home
There are a few considerations to think about when you first bring a new puppy into your home. probably the first thing you need to concern yourself with is what equipment you need to care for your puppy and what toys you need to keep him entertained and distract him from tearing the house to shreds.
The toys come in two categories, the ones the dog can play with himself and the ones that you will need to be involved with. For example a Frisbee or flying disc is great for a game of fetch but clearly needs the involvement of a human, whereas something like the 'Kong' toy that you can fill with a puppies favourite food is, not only a near indestructible dog toy, but will also keep your puppy entertained for hours while he tries to recover the contents.
Remember that some toys are not suited to all breeds and if they can be pulled apart or torn they can become potentially dangerous to your pet. If you are at all unsure it is always a good idea to take the advice of a professional such as your local vet.
Collars and Identification for Dogs
Collars and leads are necessary for your puppy as soon as you get him, even if he is not initially going beyond the confines of a house yard or garden. Puppies do not like to have to wear a collar or be constrained by a lead, but starting to familiarise them with these essential accessories is very important from an early age.
They will scratch at the collar and try to chew the lead initially but it won't take them long to get used to it. The process can be helped by making sure the collar is fitted properly i.e. you can get 2 fingers in between the collar and the puppies throat relatively easily, and by using a soft, light flexible material that is comfortable for the puppy to wear.
As a word of caution a puppy can get caught up on a collar if left unsupervised, so don't leave it on if you are going to have to leave the puppy unattended. Likewise with the lead, when you are there you can leave the lead attached to aid familiarisation, but never leave your puppy unsupervised with a lead or collar.
A vet will almost always recommend that you get your puppy chipped so that if he ever gets lost there will be a means to identify him and re-unite him with his owner. But not everyone has a chip scanner, so it doesn't hurt to attach a name tag to your dogs collar. By adding your telephone numbers and address where possible, your average layman will be able to get in touch if they find your puppy or dog lost anywhere.
The microchip is still the recommended method for identifying a dog, vet clinics, rescue centres and police stations typically have a scanner available. But the name tag with a telephone number and address is a good back up to this system and may mean you get re-united a little quicker.
If you do decide to go the microchip route, then that is something that can be discussed with the vet when you take your puppy for his first checkup and to discuss the course of vaccinations needed by every puppy to protect them from illness and disease.
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Travelling with a Dog in The Car
Dogs and puppies like humans are at risk when travelling in the car, and although you need to familiarise your puppy with car travel as soon as possible, you need to do it safely. One of the simplest ways to keep your dog under control in a car is to use a cage. This will stop him jumping over seats, perhaps jumping on you or even worse getting under the control pedals of the vehicle. There is also a legal requirement in some countries to ensure your dog is properly constrained when riding in a motorised vehicle, particularly on motorways.
An alternative to a cage is to use a travelling harness, this is a device that fits around the chest and clips at the back or side of the dog. The car seat belt then feeds through it to keep the dog constrained, but in a way that lets him sit up and see whats going on. This will help prevent car sickness for some dogs. Unfortunately the harness cannot be used for small breeds, so the only option there is to use a cage or perhaps a grill or dog guard that keeps your dog in the boot of the car.
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