A variety of equipment is needed for grooming, feeding, and exercising a dog. However, it is important to choose the right equipment for your particular choice of breed, as requirements differ somewhat. Choosing the right equipment for the right stage in your dog’s life will save you unnecessary trouble and expense. It may be better to defer the purchase of a bed, for instance, until the teething phase has passed, at around nine months of age. A cardboard box will do until then. Otherwise, your expensive purchase may be damaged beyond repair.
Grooming and Coat Care
Regular grooming is vital from an early age, not only to keep the dog’s coat in good condition, but also to accustom it to the procedure, which the dog will then readily accept throughout its life. Some breeds require more coat care than others, depending on the quality of the hair, the length of the coat, and the lifestyle of the dog. Regular grooming sessions are a perfect opportunity for you to check for any health problems your dog may be experiencing, such as rashes, hair loss, sores or wounds, or any lumps or swellings that may need attention from a veterinarian. If you intend to show your dog, these sessions will also accustom the animal to being handled.
When you decide that the purchase of a bed is in order, make sure that it is fully washable, for this is the site where fleas typically deposit their eggs. By cleaning the bed on a regular basis, you may be able to spare yourself an explosive epidemic of these troublesome parasites. If you are buying a bed for a young dog, make sure that it is sufficiently large to accommodate the dog com* fortubly once it is fully grown.
Food and water bowls should be made from a material that can be properly cleaned. Replace ceramic bowls once they are chipped or cracked, for such defects are sites where bacteria may breed.
Try not to vary the puppy’s diet at first, even if you intend to change from canned to dry food, for example, at a later stage. This should help to minimize the likelihood of any digestive upsets. If you decide to use a feeding supplement, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, because overdosing may well prove harmful.
Collars, Leashes, and Toys
Pups from six to seven weeks old should be introduced to wearing a collar. Proper training of all dogs must include learning to walk calmly on a collar and leash with their owner. A leather collar can be unbuckled and made longer as your dog grows. Adjust it so that it fits loosely, but is not so slack that the dog can pull its head free of it. In case your dog wanders, be sure to attach a tag to the collar stating your address and telephone number.
Dogs, even when fully grown, enjoy play, and your pet store should have a wide range of suitable toys. Play sessions are not only fun for the dog, they also represent good exercise. Tug toys and rubber bones help to keep the dog’s teeth in good condition, but avoid small items that pups may swallow.
You can now buy specially made toothpaste and brushes for your dog. These will help to ensure healthy teeth and gums throughout its life.
If your dog is cooperative you should be able to administer medicine orally using a spoon. If not, use a syringe. Give it slowly or the dog is likely to spit it out.
Remove dead hair with your fingers, use a dropper to put oily cleanser into the ear canal, massage the base of the ear to spread it, then clear oil or wax at the surface with cotton wool. Never poke into the ear canal.