Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftCrabtree's "Pet Care" series offers advice to middle readers on choosing and caring for many popular pets, including four dog breeds. Easy-to-read text describes each breed and relates a bit of history. Potential dog owners learn about the characteristics of the breed and are challenged to consider their commitment to the time-consuming care needed to keep a dog healthy, happy, and safe. White pages of large text are sprinkled with colored photographs of kids and dogs; pet-lovers can read about feeding, housebreaking, grooming, exercising, and visits to the vet. Dalmatians, they will find, were originally English coach dogs, later brought to the United States to run beside coaches for protection; now they're often chosen as firehouse mascots. Each breed has its special needs: Dalmatians are large and energetic; they need space, exercise, and toys to play with. Great runners and jumpers, these dogs need an hour of exercise each day and fences at least six to eight feet high. Owners may be glad to know, though, that dalmatians will be enthusiastic about going along on walks, hikes, and bike rides. Other tips apply to all breedschocolate and raw meat or eggs are not good foods (dalmatians should never eat game or organ meats either), gentleness and patience are required for training, warning signs of illness mean an instant trip to the vet. Caring for a dog is a big responsibility. Children (and their parents) will want to consider this information carefully before deciding to become dalmatian owners.
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