Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 3 – Supplies (Part 4)
Chapter 3 – Supplies (Part 4)
An exercise pen is an enclosure made up of panels that fold up for travel or storage purposes. It is open at the top and bottom. Depending on the size and number of panels, exercise pens can be small or quite roomy.
If you travel with your puppy, an exercise pen is a real convenience. You can set it up and give your puppy a small, “fenced-in yard” to stretch her legs. It also can be a good transition from a crate—rather than giving your puppy the run of an entire room, you can see how she does with the greater freedom of an exercise pen first.
Food and Water Bowls
Walk down a pet supply store aisle of bowls and you’ll find an array of dinnerware to rival any department store’s china selection. Plastic bowls are lightweight and economical. They also harbor bacteria growth more than stainless steel bowls, and some puppies treat them like chew toys. Ceramic bowls come in a variety of patterns and are usually heavier, which can help to prevent a large puppy from pushing them across the floor as she eats. They also can easily chip or break. Stainless steel bowls are preferable because they do not promote the growth of bacteria as much as other types of bowls. They’re also durable against puppy teeth, and some are even dishwasher safe, which is convenient.
In the past, many experts recommended that large-breed puppies be fed from a raised food bowl. The idea was that raised bowls aided digestion and prevented bloat, a deadly condition in which a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off circulation. Immediate surgery to relieve the gas pressure is required or a dog could die. Recent research, however, does not support the use of raised food bowls. Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine did a study that determined that raised bowls increased the incidence of bloating by 110%.
Do you have more than one dog? Each dog should have her own food bowl. This will help you to regulate how much food each dog receives. Teach your puppy to eat only from her own bowl and not to steal from anyone else’s.
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