Preparing for a New Puppy, Part 1
Once your decision is made (and it should NEVER be a spur of the moment, spontaneous decision as dogs can have a long life from 8-to 18 years depending on the breed) and you have made the commitment to get a puppy, the next step is preparation before you bring your puppy home.
There is a pet store in Village Market, Sarit Center and Nakamatt UK. There is also a pet store in downtown Nairobi on Kijabe Street. Dr Cockar veterinary clinic in Rosslyn Lone Tree has a well stocked pet store at the clinic. The East Africa Kennel Club also stocks toys, brushes and basic items as well as dogfood, treats and even cat items at a much discounted rate from Nakumatt. www.EastAfricaKennelClub.com
BOWLS for food, water
There are many types of bowls to choose from; however the most hygienic are just plain stainless steel. They are easy to sanitize by washing with dish soap or bleach. They do not crack or get scratched like plastic or ceramic therefore they do not harbor bacteria in the cracks. Most Nakamatt stores carry stainless bowls that would be suitable for pets in the ‘people’ cooking pot section. If you have a dog that likes to play or splash in his water, you might consider several bowls that can be placed around the yard/house so they are never without water.
COLLAR and LEASH
For a new puppy I always suggest inexpensive and practical. Most people are so excited to get a puppy they want all the fanciest dog gear, I always suggest waiting until your pup is older and has stopped chewing. The soft nylon collars and leashes sold in most pet sections are great for puppies. The pups will outgrow them before they outwear them. They are not usually strong enough to last with big, fully grown dogs. The collars are soft, adjustable and the leashes are flexible enough to fold up in your hand when starting to work on leash walking your pup. A long dangling leash will encourage your pup to play, chew and tug instead of walking! If you want to buy beaded “Masaai” type collar be sure to buy the collars with the backing so the hard thread is not exposed, stiff thread and knots will irritate and scratch the puppy’s neck.
There are many different styles and types of dog brushes and combs. The type that will work best for your pup depends on its coat. Short coated breeds like Great Danes, Labrador, Rottweiler, Ridgebacks, Boerboel etc can get by with a rubber curry type brush or a rubber grooming mitt with nubs on it. These grab dead hair and distribute oils for a healthy, shiny coat. Dogs with a long coat like a Japanese Spitz or a long double coat like German Shepard would do best with a coat rake or double sided brush with long pins on one side of the brush. Some breeds will require professional grooming or at least a clipping at the vets on a regular basis.
Puppies need to chew and play. If supervised you may give your puppy a water bottle to play with, be sure to take away if pup starts to chew it. You may also use a tennis ball or the leg of an old pair of jeans with a knot in it for tugging and carrying. Rolled up or knotted towels will work, too. Chew toys should be the appropriate size for your puppy, undersized toys may pose a choking or swallowing hazard. The longest lasting, safest chew toys are Kong black rubber and Nylabone. You should always supervise your puppy with new toys especially until you know his or her chewing style. Some dogs will destroy virtually any toy and other dogs will just carry, sleep with or lick at their toys. Raw carrots are great for relieving teething /chewing needs. Just wash the carrot and give it to the pup whole. If they don’t eat it and leave a pile of carrot pieces, it’s not a waste. Just sweep up the mess and let them enjoy the chewing, that’s what they need most, to chew.