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Top tips for a healthy, happy puppy

Created: 18/07/2016

GETTING a new puppy is a big decision and long-term commitment so it’s vital that you make the right decisions to support your puppy’s development which can determine the kind of dog he’ll grow to be. Whether it’s nutritional choices, health care or training practices, there is a lot to consider when you enter the world of puppyhood.

Kellie Ceccarelli is the veterinary training manager for Eukanuba, experts in premium nutrition for dogs. Here are Kellie’s top tips on giving your puppy the best start in life.

Kellie Ceccarelli, the veterinary training manager for Eukanuba.

 

1) Diet

Kellie says: “You are what you eat. The same is true for puppies. The first few months are critical to the development of a puppy’s body and mind. At Eukanuba, we know that puppies have very specific nutritional needs and understand the importance of nurturing a puppy through its early developmental stages. Your puppy has been fed his mother’s milk for the first four weeks of his life which provides him with all the nutrients and support he needs to develop, so it’s important that you maintain this healthy development by choosing a high-quality puppy food.

“Quality puppy diets provide 100 per cent complete and balanced nutrition with all the vitamins and minerals your puppy needs. Select a diet that provides your puppy with:

 

  • A natural blend of antioxidants to help build a puppy’s natural defences
  • Tailored levels of calcium to encourage healthy growth for all breeds
  • DHA (an omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oil) is clinically proven to promote smart, trainable puppies. Prior to weaning, puppies get DHA from their mother and then through her milk, but once they've graduated to kibbles, they need it as a supplement to aid further cognitive development. Eukanuba’s entire puppy range includes an optimal level of DHA to help promote smart, trainable puppies
  • A formula that supports smooth digestion through the natural fibres used
  • Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids to promote a healthy skin and coat.”

 

2) Training

Kellie says: “How you train your puppy will have a fundamental influence on their behaviour in the future so start as soon as possible, before any bad habits are established!

“Teach your puppy him name first by rewarding him when he responds. Always use praise, not negative reinforcement, and keep training sessions short to hold his attention – training when he is hungry may help to keep his interest. Always remember that playing is a great way to train and bond with your puppy in a positive and fun way. The key is to keep calm when training, invest the time and remain consistent. It really will pay off for both you and your puppy” 

    3) Environment

Kellie says: “Before you bring your new puppy home, ensure that your home is suitably prepared. Keep him out of harm’s way by storing dangerous items such as harsh cleaners out of your puppy’s reach, hide or cover electrical cords so he can’t chew them and be aware that some household plants can be dangerous to dogs.

“You need to also consider where your new puppy will sleep. It is important that he can see family life and is not in a draft with suitable dog bedding to sleep in. You must also choose a place for him to eat with enough room for food, and always ensure fresh water is available.”

 

     4) Healthcare

Kellie says: “It is important that you take your new puppy to the vet soon after you bring him home. Your vet will give him a health check, including examination of his heart, lungs, coat, muscles, eyes, ears and mouth – all over really! This visit will also give you the opportunity to ask your vet questions and schedule his vaccinations and will be a positive and stress free trip for your puppy with no injections or more invasive examinations

 

“Regular healthcare can help to protect your puppy against common problems so make sure you give your puppy regular parasite protection, worming treatments and keep up-to-date with vaccinations.”

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