(NAPSA)-For many Americans, last-minute shopping for holidays or birthdays has become an exciting tradition. However, a new puppy or kitten is one shopping item that can't wait until Christmas Eve. It's essential to take time to plan and prepare when adding a new pet to the family-because well-informed pet owners make the best pet owners.
"There's nothing that gives you the warm-fuzzies like a new puppy or kitten," says Matthew "Uncle Matty" Margolis, well-known dog trainer and author. "But do your homework first. Read about the breed; develop a budget including the cost of proper food, veterinarian care and training; and then select the pet that best suits your lifestyle."
Once consumers have decided which adorable pet to bring home, it's time to focus on the essentials: training and nutrition.
Puppy Christmas Present
"Proper training is important to a happy pet and a household that is free of the crazies," says Margolis. He suggests finding a good trainer, books or videos that emphasize love, praise and affection, and then start training right away. "Ideally, puppies should start training at seven to 10 weeks of age before little problems become big ones." And once you've found a method, stick with it. "Don't mix a little of this and that. Mixing methods is confusing to you and the dog."
And, the right nutrition can complement that training process. "A good, well-balanced choice is Eukanuba(r), which I feed my own pets," adds Margolis. "Just like babies, a puppy's ability to learn depends on healthy brain development; and Eukanuba Puppy Food -formulated with the highest level of DHA, a key brain-building nutrient-supports optimal brain development for a smart, trainable puppy."
Good nutrition also makes sure pets get off to a healthy start. "Dogs and cats experience their most rapid growth periods during the first six to 12 months, so it's crucial to feed the right diet."
For pet owners considering getting a new furry friend, the Eukanuba experts can help. Visit www.eukanuba.com or call the Eukanuba Puppy Kitten Hotline at (800) 446-3075 to get answers to puppy- and kitten-related questions. Callers will receive tips and advice, and they can also request a FREE puppy or kitten starter kit care package while supplies last.
"Start your research several weeks ahead of time," adds Margolis, "and you'll have plenty of time to prepare for bringing home a puppy or kitten that's perfect for you and your lifestyle."
Video on puppy care
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