Pet expert Andrea Arden shares some advice on puppies’ nutritional needs

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Courtesy of Family Features
TREAT YOUR PUP LIKE ROYALTY: Your puppy may not be the First Pooch, but it can have a wonderful, healthy life if you provide it with a strong foundation for lifetime wellness.

The Obamas have been raising a new family member – a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo. They have no doubt been finding out that the first year can be both rewarding and challenging.

Celebrity pet expert Andrea Arden said any family raising a dog can succeed if they establish a routine of providing superior nutrition and exercise along with regular veterinary check-ups right from the start.

“The family’s first year with a new pup is full of wonderful experiences,” she said. “Pet parents can provide a strong foundation for lifetime wellness – even if they don’t live in the White House.”

Here are her tips to help new dog owners do the best for their pets.

Eat right

The most important thing pet parents can do for their new puppies is feed them a food that not just meets but exceeds basic nutritional needs. It’s vital that puppies start their life on the right path by putting their best paw forward and eating high quality, natural pet food. Look for dry kibble, canned food and snacks that include natural, human-grade ingredients and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), a natural Omega-3 fatty acid essential for puppy brain, vision and nervous system development.

Regular visits to the vet

Because our dogs can’t talk to us, it’s important to pay attention to subtle changes in their behavior or physical appearance, as they could be the first indicator of a developing health issue. It’s essential to schedule newly adopted dogs for regular annual examinations by a trusted veterinarian. Vet visits are absolutely necessary to maintain the highest level of care for your new dog.

Get lots of exercise

Exercise is essential for a dog’s happy and long life. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial to their well-being, but regular exercise is key. Set aside a brief period of time daily dedicated to physical activity for your dog. Doing this on a regular basis also gives your pup something to look forward to and strengthens their bond with you.

Establish a bond

The bonding process between dog and owner is a critical one. Spend regular one-on-one time together in which your new dog has your complete focus and attention. Daily training sessions, reinforcement of good behavior, even brushing your dog daily will build a routine, cementing a bond with your pup for years to come.

These tips will help you enjoy a great new puppy experience and will guarantee a lifetime of wellness for your pet.