Planning, nutrition and mental stimulation are essential in helping puppies achieve a healthy start
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With the holiday season in full swing, families across the country may be thinking about welcoming a new pet into their homes – including puppies. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is teaming up with Dr. Adam Christman, dvm360 Chief Veterinary Officer, to ensure puppies and their new parents have a successful first year.
“Welcoming a new pet is not just for holiday enjoyment – it’s a long-term commitment,” said Christman. “It is important to ensure everyone involved agrees that now is the right time for a puppy, and if so, you have enough time to plan ahead. Sometimes puppies are not the right match for every household, so you might consider an adult dog that is in need of a home from a local shelter.”
Christman shares his top five tips for new and prospective puppy parents:
Plan ahead. There are three major plans you should make in advance of welcoming home your new pet. Start by equipping your home with necessary supplies such as food, bedding and toys. Second, build a relationship with a veterinarian and groomer, scheduling check-ups and vaccinations in advance. Finally, schedule training and socialization classes; puppies should start socializing as early as 6 weeks.
Puppies require an abundant amount of care and attention. Due to their need for near constant supervision, make sure you have extra time to dedicate for the first year.
Focus on nutrition. On average, small and medium sized puppies experience at least 80% of their lifetime growth before their first birthday, with growth occurring a bit more slowly for large breed dogs. No matter their size, it’s critical that puppies receive the right nutrition from the start, as nutrition is key to setting the foundation for their long-term health.
“I feed my pets Hill’s Pet Nutrition food and use Hill’s Science Diet Puppy food for my new puppy, Capone,” said Christman. “I also recommend this nutrition option to my pet parent clients because Hill’s Science Diet Puppy food provides science-led and clinically proven nutrition that helps pets live happy and healthy lives.”
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy food, now with ActivBiome+, is rich in flavor and carefully formulated with vital nutrients to support five essential building blocks for lifelong health: DHA from fish oil for healthy brain and eye development, high-quality protein for building lean muscles, balanced minerals for strong bones and teeth, a breakthrough blend of prebiotic fibers to support the gut microbiome and digestive system, and Vitamin E and Omega-6s for healthy skin and coat. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy dry food is unique because it now includes ActivBiome+ technology, a proprietary prebiotic blend to support the gut microbiome and immune system in young, growing pets so they can get the best start in life and grow to their full potential.
Chief Veterinary Officer for Hill’s Pet Nutrition U.S. Dr. Karen Shenoy also supports an emphasis on proper nutrition for puppies, especially during the first year.
“Supporting a puppy’s microbiome with the right diet builds an important foundation for their overall, lifelong health,” said Dr. Shenoy. “A healthy gut microbiome helps with easier digestion, plus it helps improve stool quality, immune health, energy and overall organ function.”
Always consult with your veterinarian to choose the right diet for your pet’s age, size and nutritional needs.
Prioritize mental stimulation. There are multiple ways to keep your puppy mentally engaged. First, create an enriching environment with puzzle feeders and different textures of puppy-safe toys. Second, set a regular exercise and leash-walking schedule to support your pet’s physical and mental wellbeing. Third, explore other elements of your pet’s soon-to-be routine, such as crate training, teeth brushing, car rides, and regular administration of heartworm, and flea and tick preventatives, according to your veterinarian’s direction.
Make a financial plan. Owning a pet comes with ongoing costs, so you should take time to evaluate and revise your monthly budget. Having a realistic expectation of the monthly costs will help you prepare for new expenses like food, toys, training, microchipping and veterinary visits. Research pet insurance plans to determine which best suits your needs based on your state and pet’s age and breed.
Enjoy your new addition. The first year of a pet’s life is special and important, setting the stage for lifelong health. With the right preparation, dedicated time to your pet and understanding of the important milestones during the first year of your puppy’s life, you are establishing a strong foundation for a lifelong bond with your pet.
To access additional information and resources for new puppy owners, visit hillspet.com/puppy. There, visitors can enroll in Hill’s communications, and also receive a downloadable coupon.
About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Founded 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to science-led pet nutrition, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is on a mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s is dedicated to pioneering research for dogs and cats using a scientific understanding of their specific needs. As a leading veterinarian recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill’s Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday wellness product line, Hill’s Science Diet, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about our products and nutritional philosophy, visit HillsPet.com.
CONTACT: Julie Balmer, [email protected]
SOURCE Hill’s Pet Nutrition