BURLINGTON, Ontario--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Nothing is more heartwarming than the first warm nuzzle from a new puppy, especially at the holidays. As a matter of fact, 41 percent of Canadian dog owners have bought or adopted a puppy specifically around the holidays and 1 in 3 included the puppy in their New Year’s resolutions.* To help new puppy parents welcome their pets home – and keep those New Year’s commitments – PetSmart, the largest pet specialty retailer across North America, and trusted partner to pet parents and pets, is here to help with expert advice including pet nutrition, socialization, new puppy essentials and pet healthcare.
“It’s always heartwarming when a pet finds its forever home - no matter the season”
“It’s always heartwarming when a pet finds its forever home - no matter the season,” said John DeFranco, President, PetSmart Canada. “At PetSmart, we always say that pets make us better people and for many families across Canada, that journey began with a new puppy for the holidays.”
A recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of PetSmart shows that puppy love and the trust we have for them is very real:
- 76 percent of Canadian dog owners bought their pup a present over the holidays, included them in photos or cards (51%), hung a stocking for them (51%), and served them a special meal (48%).
- 1 in 3 Canadian dog owners have made a New Year’s resolution that involved their beloved puppy including walking their puppy more often (40%), keeping their puppy healthy (10%) and training their puppy (8%).
- Almost half (47%) of Canadian respondents who are also dog owners admit it was harder to agree on their puppy’s name than their child’s name!
- What’s more, 44% of Canadian dog owners in a relationship, including 57% of millennials, admit they told their puppy more secrets than their significant other in their first year together.
Once the New Year’s countdown is over, these tips on caring for a new puppy can help keep them happy and healthy for years to come:
ID Your Pet
New pets are still getting acclimated to their new home, and with people in and out, it can be easy for them to slip out of a door. Be prepared in case they embark on an unplanned solo journey around the neighborhood. To ensure you are reunited with your pup, outfit them with proper ID, including a TagWorks® Personalized ID Tag and durable matching collar and leash.
Find a Veterinarian
A veterinarian should be your first call if your puppy gets into something that could potentially harm them. Vets are also great resources to keep you up-to-date on puppy care like knowing when to vaccinate. Use a new app called askPetMD, now available in Canada, to find a veterinarian in your area. This free app is available now for iOS and Android devices at the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Pup-Proof Your Home
Dogs love to chew, whether it’s on shoes or something more dangerous like wiring and extension cords. To protect them and promote positive chewing experiences, use toys or treats to occupy their time and allow them to chew safely, such as a Nylabone® Puppy Bone Starter Toy Kit and a durable KONG® Puppy Toy. Keeping toxins away from puppies is critical too, so place household products like trash, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies out of their reach.
Give Puppies their Own Space
According to the survey*, 38 percent of Canadian dog owners let their puppy sleep in the bed with them seven nights per week*. But, when it’s time for puppies to rest on their own, create a space for them to nap and feel safe. A puppy crate can do double duty, providing puppies their own area away from stressors and as a structure that promotes potty training. A warm and cozy “cuddler” is a great refuge for pups to rest and snuggle too.
Give Your Pup Time to Say Hi
Socialization is critical during a pup’s early years. While everyone may be ready to meet the new member of your family, consider introducing them to one or two people at a time, so the puppy can get to know them and warm up to their scent.
Research Puppy Nutrition
It may be tempting to feed a puppy human food, but they require specially formulated puppy food and often have different eating schedules than an adult dog. Do your research, read labels and ask questions of the experts. Consider Simply Nourish™, Blue Buffalo® or Only Natural Pet®, leading natural pet lifestyle brands, which offer such formulas as Large Breed Puppy Food, as well as lots of great pet treats.
Invest in Training
Consistent training is an important responsibility of a puppy parent. Dogs crave love and praise, and a properly trained pooch will better understand what’s expected of him or her and will be happy to showcase good behaviour. Get help from puppy training experts to ensure all human family members and the new pup live happily in one harmonious pack.
Consider Pet Adoption
For those looking to get a new pet, consider pet adoption. As a gift to those who saved a life through adoption (no matter where they choose to adopt their pet**), PetSmart offers its free Adoption Kit, which provides useful content on how to integrate a pet into the family while offering true value – with more than $400 in real savings – to the adoption parent.
* According to a recent online survey of 1,000 dog owners in the U.S.
and Canada commissioned by PetSmart and conducted by Wakefield Research.
** Adoption paperwork is required.
In Canada, PetSmart is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we believe pets make us better people. That's why we create more moments for people to be inspired by pets. This mission impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates, and how we give back to our communities. We employ more than 3,500 associates and operate more than 121 pet stores across Canada with seven operating in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel™ dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, and pet adoption services in-store. Our portfolio of digital resources for Pet Parents – including PetSmart.ca, Pet360.com and petMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in North America. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities of Canada, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 225,000 pets since 1999.