It’s an exciting moment – when pet parents welcome a cute, cuddly puppy into their home. While it’s a time of bonding, it’s also the time when puppies are learning how to play, eat and act. PetSmart® (NASDAQ: PETM) has rounded up some pointers – and products – for pet parents and their puppies to start off on the right track.
A snapshot of what you need to know about the first year of your puppy's life. (Graphic: Business Wire)
“After bringing home a puppy, pet parents are often unsure how to address some of the common challenges that come with a puppy such as potty training, chewing and leash training,” said Dr. Robyn Jaynes, veterinarian and pet care expert for PetSmart. “PetSmart aims to help pet parents address these and other questions they have in caring for their new puppy.”
A just-launched “puppy starter kit” is one of the ways PetSmart hopes to help pet parents take the guesswork out of caring for their new arrival. The PetSmart Puppy Starter Kit, $19.99 in stores and online, includes more than $130 worth of vouchers and coupons ($120 value in Canada and Puerto Rico), including a free small bag of food, free puppy bath at the PetSmart Grooming Salon, free puppy training orientation seminar, free vet consultation at Banfield Pet Hospital® and two free PetSmart Doggie Day Camp℠ sessions (restrictions apply). The kit also includes coupons for such necessities as flea and tick medication, micro-chipping, stain and odor products and more.
Beyond getting a puppy comfortable at home, there are four key tips (with helpful tools) that every new pet parent should know:
Dinnertime means a happy puppy. However, few pet parents know how to slowly switch their puppy’s diet to solid food; which ingredients are important and when to use supplements to support nutrient needs; kibble size guidelines; and that food should be bought according to age and breed. Pet parents should consult their veterinarian about the particular nutrition needs of their puppy. Some available puppy foods and supplements include:
Simply Nourish™ Chicken Puppy Food: Made with brown rice and deboned chicken, this natural brand food is a PetSmart exclusive.
Natural Ultramix Canned Puppy Food: With DHA, this stew-style food includes natural chicken, fruits, vegetables, brown rice and flaxseed.
GNC Ultra-Mega Multivitamin Plus for Puppies: This amino-acid boosted, beef-flavored chew supports a healthy immune system, stronger bones and healthy teeth and coat.
While pet parents should meet with their veterinarian to schedule vaccinations, there’s another important new puppy step: Creating a regular dental hygiene schedule – and getting your puppy used to brushing. Teeth-friendly tools include:
Nylabone® Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit for Puppies: This full dental health kit includes toothpaste, teeth-cleaning nylon tips and a rubber massager that can help reduce plaque and tartar.
Nylabone Puppy Teething Keys: Designed to aid in the development of teeth and jaws in growing puppies, these teething rings are a great outlet for your dog's chewing urges and can help clean teeth.
The best time to teach basic behavior, from leash-training to socializing with other pets, is now. Crates can give puppies their own special space and can be helpful with housetraining. As well, chew toys help puppies work through the teething stage. Manner-motivating tools include:
Top Paw Double Door Dog Crate: A suitcase-style foldup crate with helpful double-door design.
Martha Stewart Pets™ Puppy Loop Leash: This stylish leash, designed especially for puppies, allows for quick and easy leashing, with extra neck room.
KONG® Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy: Uniquely designed and sized using a rubber formula just for puppies, these toys can soothe sore gums and promote development of healthy chewing and play habits.
Puppy Education: Get your puppy off on the right paw with training classes that encourage good behaviors while helping you establish a strong bond with your new arrival.
Trim & Tidy
Pet parents should consider professional grooming which can help keep ears clean, nails trimmed, remove loose hair and make a puppy look and smell good. At home, pet parents can help pets acclimate to the sounds, smells and experience of grooming by rubbing paws so nail-clipping is easier and giving baths in between grooms to introduce water and shampoos. Can’t-miss at-home primping products include:
FURminator Grooming Brush: A gentle-massaging tool that can help keep a puppy’s coat shiny.
For more information about products and services to help care for your puppy, visit www.petsmart.com.
PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 50,000 associates and operates more than 1,232 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 192 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information (http://www.petsmart.com). PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp SM day care services and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization and the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities®, PetSmart has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets.
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