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7 must-know tips for a new puppy parent

So you’ve got a new puppy—now what? With these helpful hints your dog will be part of the family in no time.

Bringing home a new puppy is very exciting, but it can also be overwhelming for your furry friend. Here are some important tips to keep in mind to help your newest family member settle in smoothly.

 Start housetraining straight away. It’s wise to take puppy to their toilet area as soon as you bring them home. Puppies need to go regularly, so give them opportunities early and often to avoid accidents. Watch for cues like sniffing or scratching, and give lots of praise when they go in the right place. It’s especially important to take them out when they first wake up and before bed as well as after meals and naps. Zignature’s Ziggy Bars are great training treats because they can be broken into smaller pieces for puppies. They’re made with limited ingredients and match Zignature’s dry and wet food formulas, so if you’re feeding them Zignature dog food, too, they can stay on the same diet, which helps maintain healthy digestion.

Keep things calm. It will take a bit of time for your puppy to get used to you, your family and your home. Don’t make big plans on the day puppy arrives, and ensure introductions, especially with children, are calm and gentle. Limit how much interaction the puppy has with family members initially so they don’t become fearful or overly excited.

Create a routine. A routine is the best way to help a new puppy get into your family’s groove. Try to keep meal, play and bed times at the same time every day. This applies to walks too once they are old enough and vaccinated.

Set ground rules. Decide ahead of time what puppy is allowed to do. Are they allowed on the sofa? Or the bed? Are there certain rooms they can’t go in? Set rules and make sure everyone in the family sticks to them. Consistency is key when training. If you’re not consistent, your puppy will likely get confused and frustrated.

Designate a personal space for puppy. Choose where your puppy’s bed and personal space will be. This will be where they can go take naps (puppies nap a lot!) or chill out when they want some quiet time. It’s their safe space and all family members need to understand they must leave puppy alone when they are in it. If you are using a crate, you will need to take some time introducing them to it until they feel comfortable.

Sleep in the same room—at least for the first few nights. Your puppy needs time to adjust to being without their mama and siblings. Give them a blanket or toy that smells like their mom to comfort them. Wherever you decide their nighttime sleeping place is, it needs to remain there. Moving them to sleep elsewhere later can cause distress. Spend the first few nights with them in that spot if it’s separate from your bedroom so they understand you’ll always be nearby. If your puppy cries or barks at night, it’s okay to console them as they make the transition to their new home.

Feed them a healthy balanced dog food. Choosing a pet food that is protein-first and contains quality ingredients can set your puppy up for long and healthy life. It is advised to read the labels of your food and look for natural ingredients that contain animal proteins as your pup will love the taste. We recommend avoiding synthetic preservatives, flavours and colours. Zignature dog food, for instance, offers complete and balanced nutrition your dog will love. Select Zignature formulas are formulated to meet the demands of a growing puppy as well as for all stages of their life. “If you have a large breed puppy, Zignature Whitefish Limited Ingredient Recipe, Zignature Trout & Salmon Limited Ingredient Recipe or Zignature Catfish Limited Ingredient Recipe would be a great choice because they contain high levels of omega fatty acids and growing puppies require a dietary source of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA to help support proper development and function of the brain, the entire central nervous system and aids in vision development as well”, says Dr. Bradley Quest, a doctor of veterinary medicine who works with great brands like Zignature. Unlike many retail pet foods, which contain high levels of carbohydrates, Zignature recipes follow a limited-ingredient, meat-first philosophy. Meat, poultry or fish are always the main ingredients, with low-glycemic carbohydrates such as chickpeas, peas, oats, millet or quinoa that provide energy and also contribute healthy fiber to your dog’s diet.

To learn more about finding the right pet formula for your puppy, visit zignature.com.

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