What Puppies Need

The nuts and bolts guide to new-puppy essentials.

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A lot has changed since Susie Moran last owned a dog. Ronald Reagan was in the White House, gasoline was about $1 a gallon, and "designer dog" meant a brand-name garment that was, well, ugly.

Pet "superstores" were still years away. Today, their shelves and websites bulge with every toy, tool, and treat a dog and owner could want.

Moran admits to experiencing a bit of culture shock when she visited a pet superstore in California for the first time last year in the days before taking home rescue puppy Ricco. Scanning the dog-toy aisle, "I was surprised," she says. Her childhood dog had "a collar and a leash, and his toys consisted of a stick, any ball, a rope, and a stuffed animal made for kids."

And while dog toys and tools have indeed changed, one thing remains the same: Raising a puppy requires a serious commitment. So, if you're thinking about making one, get ready to spend time, attention, and good old hard cash on your new family member in these important areas.


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