Happy, Yappy National Puppy Day!

March 19, 2012 | By Zootoo Pet News Staff | Category: Entertainment | 3 comments
Tags: entertainment, care & safety, health & wellness, food & nutrition, adoption & rescue, lifestyle & trends

Celebrate with these five tips for puppy owners.

This week marks the 6th Annual National Puppy Day, started by Colleen Paige of the Animal Miracle Foundation and Network in 2006. By shining the spotlight on adoption, this celebration aims to find loving homes for even more young dogs.

And for those new puppy owners, we thought that a few tips on surviving the usual pitfalls of pooch parenthood might come in handy. With some help and expert advice from veterinarian Al Townshend, a contributing author to Canine Sports Medicine, here are some easy ways to make your new four-legged family member feel at home:

The Name Game. The first step to puppy ownership is both important and fun: selecting a name for your new addition. Townshend notes that choosing the right name is part of sound puppy development. Avoid names that sound like commands. A dog might mistake "Joe" for "no," for instance. And make sure the name is something you will be comfortable calling out in a public place.

The Food Pyramid. Now that your puppy is named, be sure to nourish its young, developing brain. It is critical to feed puppies food supplemented with DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential to the development of nervous tissue and visual function in dogs.

Not Every Dog is Created Equal. Third, consider the need of the breed. Nutritional needs can vary widely, particularly among super-sized puppies such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards and Labrador Retrievers.

"Controlled growth is essential for large breed puppies," Townshend said. "These breeds actually need fewer calories per pound than smaller breeds. With the potential to grow up to 100 times their birth weight, a large breed puppy's energy intake must be regulated to ensure consistent, steady growth. Weight gain that comes too quickly can stress developing bones, and may lead to other disorders."

Run, Spot, Run. Exercise is another essential element to a puppy's lifestyle. The activity doesn't have to be overly strenuous in order to be beneficial to their wellbeing, but regular exercise is key, said Townsend, whose "above the call of duty" work with the Iditarod dogs won him the "Golden Stethoscope Award."

While not every dog or owner will be an avid athlete devoted to hours of exercise, set aside a brief period of time daily dedicated to physical activity for your dog. Doing this on a regular basis gives your pup something to look forward to, exercises his developing brain and strengthens his bond with you, too.

Snack Attack. Finally, new puppy parents need to be disciplined, especially when it comes to snacks.

"Typically 'people snacks' don't meet a pet's nutritional needs," Townshend warned. "Feeding people snacks can unbalance a previously balanced diet and may have detrimental side effects, not to mention surface food intolerances."

With these five pearls of wisdom, Townshend says puppies and new owners will be off to a great start. Townshend said he emphasizes nutrition because it directly impacts a dog's body. Based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the vet recognizes that a holistic diet is the most important preventative step new dog owners can take to ensure that their puppies grow up health and strong.

And what can be better than celebrating a long lifetime full of happy puppy days?

To find out more about National Puppy Day, visit www.nationalpuppyday.com.

To find out more about the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, visit www.animalmiraclefoundation.org.

How would you celebrate National Puppy Day? Do you have advice for new pet owners? Share it below!

Comments (3)

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Dgblondie
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Dgblondie
2 years ago

Want a great piece of advice about feeding a pup? I learned the following from an English fellow who trained dogs. For two weeks straight, feed them by hand!! Everything they eat comes out of a human's hand. If there is more than one person in the household, everyone should participate, except perhaps for kids under 4 or so. If the puppy bites the hand while feeding, even if it is obviously accidental,immediately yell at him/her and stop the feeding!! Believe me, the pup will learn immediately to never do that again. Reasons for doing it? The dog will associate hands with good things! They will always be looking at the hands of the other people in the pack, which makes them MUCH easier to train. Easier to give them a pill. They will see a hand approaching its mouth, and the instinct will be. "Oh, goodie, what treat am I about to receive now?" We did this with our dog as soon as we got him, and he is incredible. Just a superb "people dog." We also make him sit for a few seconds before he gets his evening meal. It reinforces our role as the pack leaders.
I will strenuously argue with anyone who disagrees with most of what I have written here. Most of what i have written comes from dog experts, not just me.

Good Point | Reply ›

Dgblondie
Flag

Dgblondie
2 years ago

Want a great piece of advice about feeding a pup? I learned the following from an English fellow who trained dogs. For two weeks straight, feed them by hand!! Everything they eat comes out of a human's hand. If there is more than one person in the household, everyone should participate, except perhaps for kids under 4 or so. If the puppy bites the hand while feeding, even if it is obviously accidental,immediately yell at him/her and stop the feeding!! Believe me, the pup will learn immediately to never do that again. Reasons for doing it? The dog will associate hands with good things! They will always be looking at the hands of the other people in the pack, which makes them MUCH easier to train. Easier to give them a pill. They will see a hand approaching its mouth, and the instinct will be. "Oh, goodie, what treat am I about to receive now?" We did this with our dog as soon as we got him, and he is incredible. Just a superb "people dog." We also make him sit for a few seconds before he gets his evening meal. It reinforces our role as the pack leaders.
I will strenuously argue with anyone who disagrees with most of what I have written here. Most of what i have written comes from dog experts, not just me.

Good Point | Reply ›

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