March 23rd is National Puppy Day!     

Puppies have that magical spirit that can bring so much fun and joy to our lives.  They have such an innocence, so much spirit and so much love to give.        

There are a few areas that are easy to overlook when you bring your puppy home that are key to a positive experience both to you and your pup.         

1.     Food     

Choosing the right food for your puppy can be overwhelming.  Overall, puppy food is generally higher in calories to support their growing bodies and bones and for all of the energy they have.  They need puppy food as the foundation for their building blocks.        

Choosing a nutritionally balanced food means the difference between feeding your dog ‘fast food’ versus ‘nice restaurant food’.  Make sure the puppy food you choose is packed full of protein and healthy ingredients.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help in making your food decision.  There are a lot of foods out there but they are not all created equally.         

2.     Toys     

Toys and puppies go hand in hand!  With all of the energy they have, they need something to occupy their time and toys provide a fun outlet for them.  From balls to squeaky to calming, there is a toy out there for every dog!     

Toys give puppies the ability to learn.  They can build skills like impulse control; they can teach them to control boredom and eliminate destructive chewing behavior.  Giving your puppy a variety of toys helps entertain and teach them at the same time.       

Join in the fun and make ‘toy time’ a family affair!  Throw toys in the yard, play hide and seek and take your dog to the toy store so they can pick out their own!       

3.     Grooming      

Grooming, even for puppies, is very important from an early age.  Starting out as early as nine or 10 weeks is the perfect time to introduce them to what most dogs will need to endure their entire life.  This will help your pup understand what is expected of them at the grooming salon and will also give you hints on what you can work on at home to make the grooming experience more enjoyable and less stressful for your dog.        

Proper grooming can benefit your dog’s overall health and wellness and keep them happy.  Your groomer will be able to suggest how often your dog needs a bath, nail trim and even ear cleaning.        

Overall, keeping these things in mind from the day you bring your puppy home will help to keep them healthy and happy and will start the foundation they will need when they transition to their next life stage.