Basic Equipment For Your Puppy
You do not have to spend a fortune on equipment for your new puppy, though it is a good idea to have a number of essential items on hand before you bring your puppy home. These include food and water bowls, collar and leash, grooming tools, shipping crate or metal cage, deodorizer/cleaner, and toys. Do not wait until you already have the puppy to do this, since you will be using them right from the start. Try a pet-supply store or mail-order catalogue, as opposed to a department or hardware store because the products are usually sturdier and of better quality.
For food and water bowls, tip-proof bowls are highly recommended, either heavy ceramic or stainless steel. Make sure that the bowls are big enough to be used when the puppy grows up. Do not use cheap plastic or metal bowls because they can splinter or develop jagged edges if the puppy starts chewing on them. Also keep in mind that certain breeds with long, floppy ears such as hounds and spaniels do best with a specially tapered bowl that prevents the ears from resting in the bowl as the puppy eats or drinks.
Collars and leash are also important. Since most puppies grow quickly, by the time they are adults, medium to large-sized dogs have outgrown at least two collars and two leashes, so keep your initial purchases simple. It is recommended that you start with two collars that are either flat nylon or rounded leather collar to hold an identification tag and dog license (in case your dog gets lost), and a training collar for preliminary obedience work.
Nylon collars are preferred over metal ones, since they are easier on a dog's coat and stay up higher on the neck. For puppies, lightweight nylon show leads (six-foot) are excellent. They introduce the pup to a leash gently, without trauma, and are relatively inexpensive. As the puppies grow, they require a more durable training leash. A six-foot braided leather leash is then recommended without sewn parts that could separate. The width you choose depends on what size your pup will be at maturity.
Shipping crate or metal cage are very effective, humane aids in house-training a puppy. Having a shipping crate or a metal cage is also the safest way to transport a dog by car, preventing injury due to sudden stops. You can either get an airline-approved kennel made of high-density plastic, or a slant-front metal cage designed especially for transporting dogs in hatchbacks or station wagons. These are lightweight and can be disassembled easily for cleaning. Since they are expensive, get a crate that will be big enough for your pup to use when he is fully grown.
In case you don't already know this, getting Dog Supply through Ebay(tm) could be a lot cheaper alternative over the longer term, than through traditional retail channels. For your convenience, below you can find the current Ebay(tm) listings for such material. By using the "Buy It Now" buttons in the listings, you can buy such items right away, without going through a bidding process first.
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