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These are the essentials:
- Two bowls big enough for a fully grown dog, ceramic are good as they do not slip.
- Temporary puppy collar and lead (they will grow out of it), soft and light but strong enough to hold the puppy. The collar should be a full collar, not a choke chain or a half choke. A 6ft lead is eventually recommended for training. The best are soft webbed leads, not chains which are heavy and hurt your hands.
- Kong is a perfect indestructible toy to throw or stuff with food. This is a very good distraction when puppy is left alone, as will occupy the first 30 mins when they are most active.
- Bed: Beware!! Your puppy will probably chew the bed so do not spend a fortune until he has grown out of the chewing phase. Items impregnated with your scent are a good idea but the puppy will not be able to decipher between the holey old jumper you gave him and your favourite cashmere sweater so be careful. This especially applies to old slippers!
- Identity disc: It is a legal requirement for your dog to wear an identity disc bearing the owner’s name, address and contact phone number. Identity microchips are also highly recommended but they do not satisfy the legal requirement.
- Brush / comb: The type of brush or comb will depend on the breed of dog. But even short hair dogs benefit from a daily groom. It is a perfect opportunity to build the bond between owner and dog and it stimulates circulation in the skin. ‘Zoom Groom’ brushes are good.