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Hi, my name is Dr. Ashley Gallagher and I work at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. Today I’m going to be talking to you about how to take care of a new puppy.


Bringing a new puppy into your home can be as overwhelming as it is exhilarating. However, there are a few things that can help your puppy stay happy and healthy.


Dog food is an important place to start because your puppy’s initial developmental stages can impact the rest of their life. Consult with your veterinarian, but a diet specially formulated for puppies is considered most appropriate during their life stage because it provides adequate nutrition for the rapid growth phase without overdoing it on the calorie count.


When it comes to dog treats, meanwhile, keep things simple. Use them to improve the bond with your puppy, not as a meal replacement. A good rule of thumb is dog treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.


Dog toys are another puppy essential. In fact, without an adequate supply of dog chew toys, you can probably kiss your shoes and furniture good-bye. Save your stuff and buy dog toys that are designed for the small, soft mouths of puppies.


As crazy as it may seem, puppies aren’t born knowing how to walk with a leash. Get your new puppy accustomed to wearing an appropriately sized collar and leash early and you’re less likely to have behavior issues later.


Last but not least - your new puppy will need grooming supplies to stay healthy and clean. Special dog shampoos, clippers and brushes are available to keep their puppy coat in tip-top shape.


For more information on puppy health and care, visit petMD.com.