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Holy Spirit Interactive Youth: Animal Farm: Dogs: Before you bring home your dog

Before you bring home your dog

Keeping a dog is a lot like looking after a younger brother or sister, because it requires attention and care. You just can't take a dog for granted, you know. You can ignore a fish, and he won't complain, but Rover can get lonely if you don't play fetch with him and take him for a walk every day. Simply put, you'll have a part time job on your hands with your new canine chum, so be prepared to put in the time.

Like I said earlier, you need to have a large-enough apartment or villa for your dog to frolic about in, and anything less than a one-bedroom apartment is probably too small for your dog (unless, of course, you get a tiny Chihuahua!). Your tyke will also need a fair amount of training, routine veterinary treatment, grooming, and daily care and exercise, so make sure you can make that sort of commitment.

Talk to your mum and dad about getting a dog, and see if they like the idea. If they do, you can buy your pet from a pet shop or reputable breeder, or select one from that rescue home or dog shelter, but whatever you do, make sure you bring home the kind of dog that you will be able to care for, for a long time to come.

At the very least, your new dog or puppy will require a feed bowl, water bowl, collar and lead, dog food, a dog bed and some suitable toys. You will need to make some home adjustments before your pooch wags his way in, like keeping electric cables and wires out of the way, removing small objects he might be able to swallow, and putting up fencing around your garden if you have one. A kennel is not really necessary, unless you plan to keep your dog outside, but don't do so in the summer.

Before you begin the ride home with your dog, remember to purchase a dog guard or travel harness for the car, or even a travel box.

Next: Choosing your pet

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