Pet's Corner: Where can I find out about looking after a new puppy?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 04 October 2008
Q.I am going to get my new puppy soon and I am hoping that we can enjoy lots of fun activities together. But it's the first time I've owned a dog and I'd like to know where to find out about things for us to do. Where is the best place to start? Ruby, Marylebone, London
A. When you get your new arrival the first stop to make is at the vets. They usually have a noticeboard, where you can look to see if there are any puppy classes you can join. Hopefully they are involved with the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme, which is the largest dog training scheme in the UK. Its aim is to promote responsible dog ownership and for you to have a good relationship with your pet. There are four levels to this scheme: "puppy foundation", "bronze", "silver" and "gold". After you pass each level you get a certificate and a rosette. Also coming up is Discover Dogs. This is an annual event at Earls Court in west London and you can find out everything you could possibly need to know about caring for your new dog; this year the dates are 8-9 November. Another great source of information is yourdog.co.uk, where you can look up upcoming events in the doggie world, and you are sure to find an organisation related to your dog breed. Also, as you are in Marylebone, come and have a look at the Cabbage and Frock Dog Day, which is on 11 October in the church courtyard – there'll be lots of wonderful doggie products and tasty treats for your new pup to sample. Maybe see you there!
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Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort, an early visit to the vet is always recommended
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