Welcoming a Puppy Home

Tips for new puppy parents on transition, toys, food and more

My kids have been begging me for a puppy for years. We are finally ready to take the plunge. Nothing is more heartwarming than the first warm nuzzle from a new puppy. With new pets, however, come new responsibilities and opportunities.

“No matter the season, it’s always a moving and emotional experience when a puppy finds a new home,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer at PetSmart.

To help puppy parents welcome their pets home, PetSmart, the largest specialty pet retailer across North America, offers this expert advice on nutrition, socialization, essentials and health care.

Find a Veterinarian

A veterinarian should be your first call if your puppy gets into something that could potentially harm him or her. Vets are also great resources to keep you up-to-date on puppy care, like vaccination timing. Use a tool like the free askPETMD app, available in the App stores, to find a veterinarian near you.

ID Your Pet

While pets are getting acclimated to their home, and with people going in and out, it can be easy for them to slip out a door. Be prepared in case they embark on an unplanned journey around the neighborhood. To ensure you are reunited, outfit your pup with proper ID tag, and/or microchip. 

Pup-Proof Your Home

Dogs love to chew, whether it’s on shoes or something more dangerous like wiring or extension cords. To protect them and promote positive chewing experiences, use toys or treats to occupy their time and allow them to chew safely, such as a Puppy Bone Starter Toy Kit. It’s also important to place household products like trash, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies out your pup’s reach.

Give Puppies Their Own Space

According to a survey commissioned by PetSmart and conducted by Wakefield Research, 47 percent of U.S. dog owners let their puppy sleep in bed with them seven nights per week. However, when it’s time for puppies to rest on their own, a puppy crate can perform double duty, providing puppies their own area away from stressors to nap and serving as a structure that promotes potty training.

Give Your Dog Time to Acclimate

Socialization is critical during a pup’s early years. While everyone may be ready to meet the new member of your family, consider introducing them to one or two people at a time, so the puppy can get to know them and warm up to their scent.

Research Nutrition

It may be tempting to feed a puppy human food, but they require specially formulated food and often have different eating schedules than an adult dog. Do your research, read labels and ask questions. Consider leading natural pet lifestyle brands, like Only Natural Pet, which offer formulas such as Puppy Power Feast food, as well as a variety of treats.

Invest in Training

Consistent training is an important responsibility of a puppy parent. Dogs crave love and praise, and a properly trained pooch will better understand what’s expected of him or her. If necessary, get help from puppy training experts to help ensure all family members are able to live happily in one harmonious pack.

Find more tips for welcoming a new pet into your home this year at PetSmart.com or download PetSmart’s mobile app, which tailors content to help guide pet parents based on your pet profile. (Family Features)

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