Puppy Guide

Essential puppy guide

Congratulations of being a proud owner of a new puppy!

Puppies are wonderful bundles of energy and fun, ready for anything and fascinated by the world, and it is up to us to help them settle into our way of life and teach them how to behave as a much-loved member of the family. 

Following our puppy care advice will help you develop a bond with your new puppy. 

The day that you go to collect the new member of the family is bound to be exciting, but it’s important to place safety first right from day one. Did you know that it is against the law to carry dogs unrestrained in the car? Holding a puppy on your lap is not sufficient; what if the driver has to brake suddenly? You will need to make sure you have a suitable pet carrier or sturdy box that they can be strapped in securely. 

Make sure the box is lined with plastic, because your puppy will be excited and possibly a little nervous too. Place some newspaper on top and finally a blanket or towel. Don’t put food and drink in the carrier because this will most likely end up all over your puppy during transit. It’s best for your her or him to make their first journey on an empty tummy just in case they feel a little nauseous. If you have a long journey, make some stops for water. A puppy’s sense of hearing is far more acute than that of a human, so if you have the stereo on during the trip, keep the sound turned down low. A calm and uneventful ride home will help to ensure that future journeys are stress-free.
As well as ensuring your puppy is transported safely, both on the first journey and subsequent trips, there are lots of other safety aspects to consider:

-  In the home, make sure your puppy is well-supervised so that you can prevent them from chewing things that are dangerous including electrical cables. If you have children, make sure toys and games with small parts are put away. Even food can be harmful. 

- Make sure your puppy’s food, treats and training rewards are kept in a secure, airtight container to prevent him from helping himself. Gorging will make him feel very sick at best, and can cause bloat which is potentially a fatal condition. 

- Human foods must be kept in puppy-proof cupboards too; especially grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions and macadamia nuts - all of which are toxic to dogs. 

- As well as puppy-proofing your home, you will also need to make sure the garden is safe. Puppies can wriggle through surprisingly small gaps. It is best to make sure visits to the garden are closely supervised to begin with so that you can check and double check for any potential escape routes. Make sure gates are locked because people may forget or even not be aware that your puppy is outdoors.
Although you will be looking forward to many happy years together with your puppy and eager to start to make a bond, it’s important to respect that your puppy may find leaving mum and the litter maters very strange to start with. Some puppies are naturally outgoing and will soon make friends, but others may need a little more time to adapt to all of the new people, noises and smells. There may be other pets in the household to get used to too, so patience and understanding from day one will help your puppy to feel safe and secure and make the settling in process easier.

Once your puppy arrives home, show them their bed or crate which should be in a warm, quiet place. They will soon learn that this is where they can go to sleep or just have some quiet time. Puppies sleep a lot! Put some newspaper close by ready in case they need to urinate or defecate. Make sure a bowl of fresh water is always available.

Your puppy may want to sleep right away, or they may want to explore. Puppies are into everything, so make sure that you are on hand to supervise. This is one of the reasons why a crate is such a big advantage; puppies are fast and can easily get under your feet when you are cooking, so it is better for both of you to make sure there is a safe, secure place for your puppy to stay when you are unable to give your full attention. Try to stick to the breeders’ feeding times as far as possible, at least for the first week. This will make it easier for you and your puppy to get into a routine. The more consistent you are, the less likelihood of raising a fussy eater.
Your puppy should sleep in his bed not yours, no matter how tempted you are! Make sure his bed is clean, warm and comfortable. By now you are likely have had a game, and he or she may have a favourite toy. Put this beside the bed so that something familiar is close by to smell. The first night away from mum and the litter mates is going to be very lonely. A hot water bottle to snuggle up to, a ticking clock (to simulate the sound of mum’s heart beat) and a radio left on low may help to settle him down. Keep the room nice and dark and switch off the TV. 

Bedtime bliss

Make sure your puppy’s bedtime routine is peaceful by following these guidelines:

1.  Make sure he or she has a bed of their own. Place this in a quiet area and encourage him to use it during the day for naps – not just at night. Indoor crates or cages offer puppies wonderful security and can be made snug and cosy with bedding and blankets.

2.  Your puppy may feel isolated and lonely without their litter mates and mum on the first few nights in their new home. Some owners are happy to place the puppy’s bed or cage close to them so that he or she can have some reassurance that they are not alone. Others prefer to have their puppy sleep in the kitchen. Either way, try not to go to them if they cry or bark as this may inadvertently encourage the behaviour.

3.  Make sure your puppy has had a chance to go to the loo before bed. Pups also need to go to the toilet as soon as they wake – so don’t expect a lie-in for a while. Get up early and take him or her into the garden straight away to encourage early house training.

routine harmony

Establishing a routine for your puppy is the best way to ensure he settles into your new home as quickly as possible. Feed him at the same times and in the same places to begin with and make sure that he spends a short time on his own each day, to prevent him from becoming over-dependent on you.

Play with your puppy using toys and get him out and about to see the world and meet new people as much as possible from day one. This will help to build his confidence and his relationship with you from the outset.

protect, but socialise! 

Because of the risks of the various diseases that affect dogs, it is very important that your puppy is inoculated. This inevitably means a delay in being able to take your puppy out to mix freely with unknown dogs, as he will need to have completed his vaccination programme before you can do so. However, even before this time you can carry your puppy out and about, go for trips in the car and visit other people and their vaccinated pets in order to build on your puppy's social experiences.

Think about all the elements which make up our modern world - such as traffic, other animals, the noises and smells of the town and countryside and the sight and touch of lots of different people. Try to make sure that your puppy has a chance to get used to as many different experiences as possible before he's 12 weeks old. Don't leave it too late!
Puppies need to learn where and when they can go to the toilet - and that means outdoors, not in!

To begin with, puppies are just like babies and cannot be expected to have control over their bodily functions - particularly at night - until they are around eight to ten weeks. However, through careful training, pups can quickly learn to be clean in the house - and you can help them learn by rewarding them when they get it right.

Your puppy will need to go to the toilet after playing, after waking up, after any kind of excitement - such as the children coming home from school - and straight after meals. At these times, take your puppy to the same place outside and wait with him or her - even in the rain!

Gently repeating a word, such as "Be quick," helps your puppy to remember what he's there for. As soon as your puppy starts to sniff around, or circle, praise him or her very gently. Once he has been to the toilet, give him lots of praise and a really special tit-bit to reward him. If you wait outside with your puppy and he does not go, bring him back inside. You will need to keep an eye on your puppy just in case he or she needs to go to the toilet. Sure signs are sniffing and circling around, looking for a place to go.

If you cannot watch him all the time, put him in a crate or play pen, or in an enclosed area where it doesn't matter if he has an accident. If you catch your puppy about to go to the toilet in the house, say 'Outside' in an urgent voice, then take him quickly outside to show him where you do want him to go - even if it's too late!

Never, ever be cross with your puppy if he has an accident in the house. Do not shout, smack or scold your puppy - even if you catch him in the act! Puppies that look 'guilty' are actually showing fear - and they can learn not to go to the toilet in your presence as a result. Dogs are generally very clean creatures - but it's up to us to give them all the right opportunities to get it right.


You have probably already realised that your puppy has very small, very sharp, teeth - and they hurt! Most puppies try to chew anything and everything - including us. This is normal behaviour, but it needs to be stopped as part of your puppy's social education.

Mouthing teaches a puppy about what is alive and what isn't. Just like a toddler, your puppy will want to put objects into his mouth and will bite them, to see what response there is as a result. If your puppy bites on a toy or a stick, nothing happens, but if he bites you, you need to make it clear that it hurt!

Puppies playing together will bite each other's legs and tails - all in fun. However, if one bites a bit too hard, the playmate will let out a big yelp. This tells the other puppy that he bit too hard and that he needs to be more careful next time.

In order to teach your puppy to moderate the strength of his bite, you need to let him know that biting hurts. Every time that he tries to put his mouth on you, stand perfectly still, and give a big yelp then fold your arms, and turn away.

If he then stops and calms down, you can go back to playing with him. However, if he is overexcited and carries on trying to mouth you, say “Wrong', then immediately get up and walk out of the room, or pop your puppy behind a baby gate - effectively isolating him for a few moments. You will need to be consistent and repeat this behaviour every time your puppy puts his teeth on you.

be consistent 

Mouthing doesn't stop overnight! By teaching your puppy that there are unrewarding consequences to his biting, it should gradually become less hard and then stop altogether within a four to six week period.

However, children need to learn to be calm and to stop moving if your puppy is becoming overexcited - otherwise your puppy may think that biting is fun!

It's important to play games with your new puppy, but playing rough and tumble should not be encouraged. Rough games like this teach the puppy that it's OK to bite humans' clothes, hair or skin - which is clearly inappropriate. Playing tug games with toys, training games and hide and seek are far safer and just as enjoyable for everyone.
What your puppy learns now will affect his behaviour for the rest of his life! Think about how you want your adult dog to behave and lay the foundations for good manners before it's too late and start as you mean to go on! 

1. Don’t encourage biting

Any game where the puppy is allowed to bite humans is an open invitation to bite humans! How would you feel if your dog wrestled a visiting toddler to the floor in two years’ time? No matter what the size, shape, temperament or breed of your puppy, don't ever let him or her think that play-fighting with humans is fun.

2. Resist feeding your puppy from the table – dog’s slobber

They put their mouths and noses where we choose not to! They eat unimaginable things! Not all people can overlook these delightful canine habits at the dinner table! Bear in mind that dogs learn exactly what you teach them. Feed them from the table, and that's where they will think good things come from - so don't be surprised if they 'steal' food later - no matter how much you were looking forward to eating it!

3. Who’s training who?

Right from day one, your puppy is working out what gets attention and what does not. In the first 24 hours of being in your home, he will already have worked out that barking gets eye contact and physical attention. Walking towards the back door gets a play in the garden. Picking up the kids' toys gets chase games. Ragging on the doormat gets laughter. Biting people gets them excited. Playing quietly with your own toys gets nothing. It doesn't take a genius to work out which behaviours he will repeat and which he won't bother with again.

Life is simple if you think like a dog. What gets rewarded, gets repeated. Rewards come in the form of attention from humans - any attention will do if nothing else is going on. Humans act funny when they get excited - it's even worth being punished just to see them jump up and down!

4. Don’t allow your puppy to practice behaviours now which will be annoying later on

Bad manners like jumping up, nudging people in intimate areas, mouthing, and climbing all over people may be funny and cute when your puppy is tiny, but are much less endearing later on! If you don't want your five-stone adult dog to get on your bed after a muddy walk, don't teach him to do it when he's a puppy! Have a think about what your household's rules are going to be - and get everybody to stick to them.

Consistency is the key!

selecting the right toys

Puppies love to play and toys are essential. Choose toys that are appropriate for your breed. Bull terriers for example (even when puppies) have notoriously strong jaws so will need something much tougher than those you would pick for a smaller terrier such as a Yorkie.

Toys should be well-made to ensure that small pieces of fabric, rubber or plastic do not get broken or chewed off and ingested which could cause an intestinal blockage. Size is important too; especially when choosing balls. A sturdy plastic ball is often very popular, but make sure it is not small enough to become lodged in the mouth as this could restrict the airway.

Any new toys should be played with under supervision at first. This will also make the game far more entertaining and stimulating for your puppy, so do make sure that you find the time to continue to have fun with your him or her even once you are sure that the toys are safe and indestructible. 


Puppies love to chew, especially when they are teething. Like toys, chews should be safe and indestructible. Hide chews are made from largely indigestible protein which can hinder the efficiency of the digestion. Puppies and adult dogs have also been known to choke on them so they are best avoided. Good quality nylon chews are the best kind, and whilst they are more expensive, they last longer and are much safer. Some chews need not be costly at all; why not try giving your puppy an ice cube on a warm day? 


Puppy claws are sharp! Many new owners are keen to get them trimmed as quickly as possible, but they will usually wear down naturally once your puppy starts going out for walks.

It is a good idea though to get your puppy used to your handling his feet. Start by picking up each one in turn and gently handling them. This will mean that if claw clipping is needed later on, it will be much better tolerated. It will also enable you to examine the foot properly for cuts or stings if your puppy is ever lame.

Black claws are more difficult to trim because you cannot see the ‘quick’ (which is its blood supply). It is a good idea to get your vet or groomer to show you how to do it the first couple of times until you are confident and know how short you can go without making the nail bleed.

Always use nice sharp nail clippers that are a suitable size for your breed, and keep a silver nitrate pencil (or even a little corn flour) by to stem any bleeding if you do nick the quick.

dental care, grooming & bathing

Taking care of your puppy’s teeth from an early age could help to prevent costly visits to the vet for dental treatment later on. The mechanical action of mouthing on toys and chews is good for dental health and can help to remove the soft film of bacterial plaque that will turn into hard yellow tartar if left to build up.

Smearing a heavy duty grooved rubber toy with a proprietary brand of dog toothpaste (never use human toothpaste) is a good idea to get the puppy used to the paste and to help them associate it with pleasure. You can also smear it on a rope toy with knots at each end. When you play tug-of-war it will act like dental floss! Once your puppy is enjoying his or her toothpaste (you can even buy meat or biscuit flavoured ones!) you can start to get him used to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Begin by letting him lick the paste from it, then gradually progress to moving it around in his mouth, and then gently brushing. This may one take a couple of hours in some puppies, but others may tolerate it less well and take days or weeks to get used to their teeth being cleaned. Like grooming, cleaning your puppy’s teeth is a good bonding experience. The more time you spend with your puppy, the more confident they will become and more they will trust you.

Most puppies enjoy being brushed. A daily groom from an early age is usually very pleasurable. It is far more sensible to get your puppy used to the appropriate types of brush and comb for your breed when the coat is young and silky than to wait until it gets knotted and dirty.

When bathing your puppy for the first time, be very careful indeed. If you are doing this indoors in your own bath or shower, make sure there is a non-slip mat on the floor and enlist a helper to keep your puppy still. Use a gentle shampoo especially for puppies, and make sure you are careful not to get any suds in the eyes or ears. Rinse well afterwards otherwise the residual soap could be licked off and cause a digestive upset. It will also leave the coat looking dull rather than shiny and clean.
After your puppy has had their vaccinations, why not take him or her along to the vets for a pleasure trip? Most vets are very accommodating, and will appreciate that a visit for a non-invasive and non-painful procedure will help to instil confidence in future visits. It is easier for all concerned if your puppy is comfortable at the surgery rather than fearful.

You can take your puppy along to register in person. If they’re not yet vaccinated, it doesn’t mean they have to stay indoors. They just mustn’t mix with other unvaccinated dogs or have access to places they may have been (such as public roads and parks). You can take your puppy along in a carrier or crate, or carry him whilst he wears his collar and lead, providing you’re happy that he won’t wriggle out of your arms.

You could ask the vet or nurse to weigh your puppy for you and lift them up onto the examination table. A few treats will distract them from any strange noises or smells. Whilst at the surgery, it is also worth asking whether they run puppy socialising classes as many do offer this service. It’s another way to help your puppy get used to the veterinary staff and premises and associate them with a pleasurable event rather than one to be scared of.
It is a very good idea to get your puppy used to a collar and lead as soon as possible. Choose a set that is soft, light and not too loose. You may have to buy several collars whilst they are growing – but it is better that than to have him or her wriggle out of a collar that is too big because you are waiting for him to grow into it.

Getting used to the collar early is wise because when outside every puppy must wear an identity disc. Even if he has been microchipped (a permanent means of identification via a small implant injected under the skin in the scruff of the neck), the law still requires him to wear a collar and tag outside. Whilst vets and rescue centres have special scanners to read a microchip, if your puppy is lost and is picked up by a member of the public, it is far easier for them to trace you by means of a telephone number than to have to take the puppy to the nearest vet, animal welfare organisation, police station or the dog warden.

When you first put on the collar, he may not like it. If this is the case, just leave it on for a very short while whilst distracting him with a game or a meal. He will then quickly come to associate the collar with pleasurable events and will soon lose his dislike of it. Your puppy should be supervised when first wearing their collar in case he tries to remove it and gets a paw stuck, or manages to get it caught up on a piece of furniture. Gradually leave the collar on for longer periods. Once the collar is well accepted, you can then start lead training.

Patience during the early days will be time well spent. Always encourage your puppy gently, and never haul them forwards. Positive reinforcement with rewards will get results. By now you will know what is the best motivator for your puppy. Most respond well to gentle verbal praise and petting, some respond to a favourite toy and others are best encouraged with small food rewards. A combination approach helps to keep things interesting and concentration levels up, but be careful not to confuse your puppy. As with the collar, take small steps at a time, gradually working up to longer periods on the lead.

does your dog:

-          Eat unusual things, such as sticks, soil, grass, tissues or stones?

-          Have bad breath, itchy skin or dandruff?

-          Lack concentration and find it hard to learn?

-          Become over-excited or find it difficult to calm down?

Did you know that your dog's behaviour can be affected by his diet? Just like us, dogs can be adversely affected by the food that they eat - but the symptoms can be hard to spot. For example, dogs may chew up and eat sticks, copious amounts of grass, tissues or other paper products, such as toilet roll tubes. Coal, soil, and fibrous material - such as carpet or clothing - are also favourites if the dog is attempting to 'compensate' for the diet it is being fed.

Physical problems can also be related to diet and feeding. A dog may appear to be hyper-active, or have a sensitivity to flea bites, grass or household cleaners - and they are often particularly itchy around the base of the tail, their feet and their belly if their diet is not suiting them. Dogs should also have consistent digestion, and should not need to go to the loo six or seven times a day - neither should it look and smell like a herd of cows have been there afterwards! The rule here is that the better the food is being digested, the less will need to be passed out as waste.

Just as we are becoming aware that what we eat can affect us, emotionally and physically, so we are beginning to know more about how dogs can be affected by their diet. Not only is obesity in pets an increasing problem, but the link between how dogs learn and what they eat is being investigated too - raising awareness about just how important good quality ingredients in dog foods really are.

Your puppy's nutritional and behavioural development depends on being fed the best quality food. Your pup’s worth it! 

Watching the waistline!

Watch your dog's weight closely. As a general rule, you should be able to feel your dog's ribs easily when you touch him, but not see them. Just like us, dogs need the correct ratio of food and exercise to be really fit and healthy!

Arden Grange has a food to suit every stage of your puppy's development. Using only the best ingredients, the results speak for themselves!
Training your puppy to do what you request is really a matter of motivating him to understand our language. Not many people would go to work day after day without ever being paid - and dogs need a reason to do what we ask, too.

For many dogs, particularly puppies, food is the equivalent of a salary - it can act as the ultimate reward, and is also useful to use as a lure in the initial stages of training, too.

Of course, a reward is only a reward if your dog likes it. Some dogs prefer playing with toys, or attention from their owner, and not many will want to work for food which they perceive as boring or unpleasant.

Treats, such as liver, or pieces of your dog’s food, are ideal. There is absolutely no need for your dog to put on weight through using food as a reward - if you are concerned about this, either cut down on your dog's food ration a little, or use a portion of his daily requirement for training purposes. 


There are 101 things your dog can't be doing if he's sitting - making 'sit' the most useful of all requests to teach your dog.

-          Show your dog you have a food treat between your finger and thumb. Hold it close to his nose so he can sniff it. Now lift your hand up and back, so he has to look right up to follow your fingers. The movement of him looking upwards like this causes a physical chain reaction - his rear end has to go down.

-          As soon as his bottom hits the ground, say “Good” then give him the treat. If your dog's front legs come off the ground, your hand is probably too high. Concentrate on keeping the food right on his nose, and lift your hand just an inch or two.

-          Practise this a few times. Once your dog is following your hand and sitting reliably, you can add in the word SIT, just before you lure him. In a matter of minutes you have taught your dog a verbal request to sit, plus a really effective hand signal. Now you can vary between sometimes using a food treat, and simply asking for a sit and rewarding afterwards.

-          Practise getting your dog to respond to the word sit before he gets anything in life he likes -his dinner, having his lead put on, being let out into the garden - it's his way of saying please and thank you.


The “down” sometimes needs a little more patience than the sit. Keep quiet and be persistent - your dog will soon understand what you are asking.

-          Start by asking your dog to sit. Hold the food treat between your finger and thumb and lower your hand, very slowly, down to the floor so that it rests just between your puppy's front paws.

-          Hang on to the treat by turning your palm down, with the food hidden inside your hand. This way, your dog will want to burrow his nose underneath, and he will turn his head sideways to nibble at it.

-          Early indications of imminent success are; the dog raising a paw to try and get the treat from your hand, the front end going down in a 'play-bow' position, and moving backwards slightly. All these things mean you just have to wait. Eventually the back-end flops down to the floor, too. At this instant, say “Good' and put the treat onto the floor for the dog to eat.

-          If your dog loses interest halfway down, simply tease him a little with the food treat and then slowly lower it to the floor once more. Practise then makes perfect!

-          As soon as your puppy has got the hang of this, you can give the command “Down” just before you lure him down.

-          Once this is reliable, alternate between food and no food in your hand. Before you know it, your dog will be offering you the down position on a hand signal or voice command only! However, continue to give him rewards for his best efforts in order to maintain good behaviour.

come when called

Teaching your dog to “come” when called means that he will be able to have more freedom where it is safe to have off-lead exercise.

-          Standing only a couple of steps away from your dog, call him in a friendly voice. 'Sam, come!'

-          Waggle the food lure in your outstretched hand and start moving backwards. If the dog shows no response, clap your hands or make silly noises until he looks at you. Then, using the food as a lure, move backwards, just one or two paces. If the dog moves just one step towards you, say “Good' then give him the reward straight away.

-          Gradually increase the distance your puppy has to come to get the food, making sure you praise him lots and give him delicious rewards or a game with a toy for coming when you call.

-          Now practise calling your dog to you at unusual moments in and around the house, then in the garden. Build up your puppy's recall before practising in the park or woods where there are more distractions. Here you can use a long line or extending lead if you are unsure how your puppy will respond. However, bear in mind that the more distractions there are, the better your rewards and praise will have to be!
Puppies love to learn. They are like little sponges absorbing information about their environment, the people around them, what feels good, and what does not.

With the advent of modern 'hands-off' methods of training, where the dog is motivated by food treats or toys and is not physically forced to comply, there is no need to wait before starting to train your puppy.

Puppy socialisation classes are now available in nearly every area of the country, and provide an excellent start for your puppy.

A good socialisation class should have an upper age limit of around 18 weeks and should not simply be a free-for-all, with all the puppies constantly playing together. It is vital that the play is controlled, and that the basics of training, using reward-based methods only, are used.

A good class should be able to show you how to build on the relationship you have with your puppy, and develop his or her natural instincts to your advantage.

To find a good class, visit www.apdt.co.uk or ask your veterinary surgeon.



Time is short and you can never replace those early weeks of puppy development. Puppies need to meet other dogs, people and experience all kinds of sights, sounds and smells as early as possible in order to learn good communication skills. This is even more critical if you have another dog at home as puppies often over-bond with one playmate and never learn to have confidence in their own right.



Just think how much easier it is to learn French when you are 5 than 55! Puppies can learn all the basics of good manners and training from the age of eight weeks, so don't delay! Tricks may seem like frivolous fun, but anything you can teach your dog helps to build bonds between you and increases your overall control.


It's oh so easy to let your tiny puppy sit on the sofa, steal food from your plate and jump all over you when you come home from work, but will you be so forgiving when your dog is large, muddy and hairy? It's unfair on puppies to get used to one set of rules, only to have them change without warning later on. Decide on your household 'rules' when your puppy first arrives and then get everyone to stick to them. It will save a great deal of stress later on!


Many dogs love being with their owners so much that they cannot cope when they are left alone. Dogs with separation anxiety can get so distressed that they can destroy furniture, bark or howl or mess in the house when their owners are out… but it's all preventable. Leaving your puppy in a safe area, in a bed in the kitchen, for a short time every day teaches him or her to accept that these times are just a normal part of life and that you'll soon be back together again.


All dogs need to learn to enjoy being handled and examined. This prevents the puppy from experiencing stress at the vets and the groomers and is also a vital part of your daily care for your dog - enabling you to check his coat, skin, eyes, ears, mouth and feet and to keep him in tip-top condition. Using force is always counterproductive when handling your dog. So, make handling pleasurable for your puppy by giving lots of rewards for calm behaviour, and practise little and often.

Balancing act

The growth period is the most important stage in a dog’s life. For a puppy to develop healthily they require a diet that provides optimal levels of the nutrients required for growth, and sufficient calories to maintain their energy requirements.

Puppies have greater structural and functional demands upon their bodies, a faster metabolic rate, and a subsequently higher need for calories than an adult dog of the same weight. This is why diets formulated for the early growth period have a higher energy density.

Nutrition is not only a vital contributing factor to the dog’s outward appearance, but also can affect general demeanour and temperament. A hungry dog or one suffering pain from developmental growth defects as a result of inadequate nutrition is likely to be far less easy to handle and train. Over-nutrition can be equally detrimental, with problems most frequently arising from the supplementation of an already complete diet with mineral and/or calorie-rich foods, and free-feeding or over-feeding.

Too much food can manifest in bone disease, loose stools and over-exuberance as a result of too much fuel for energy. Feeding a super-premium quality complete food such as Arden Grange reduces the risk of over or under-nutrition as every recipe contains not only the essential nutrients for controlled and healthy growth, but many safe and natural healthcare supplements that may optimise your puppy’s overall general health and well-being.

A puppy requires a balanced diet that provides optimal levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. Whilst each nutrient can be evaluated as a single entity, it is also important to remember that the calorie content of the food will affect the true amount of each that is ingested in milligrams or grams per day. The quality and digestibility of every ingredient are also important, as is the proportion of each in relation to the other nutrients in the food. 

The Arden Grange Weaning/Puppy and Puppy/Junior (for small and medium breeds) are energy-dense to ensure that the immature digestive system is not over-worked with large quantities of food. During early growth, the digestive system is at its most sensitive. It is important to choose a very highly digestible food that will ensure balanced intestinal flora and a regular intestinal transit in firm stools.

Arden Grange Weaning/Puppy, Puppy/Junior and Puppy/Junior Large Breed contain fresh chicken, chicken meal and egg – providing protein of a high biological value that is extremely palatable, easily digested and efficiently metabolised. The balanced minerals and micro-minerals ensure efficient function of all the metabolic processes, whilst the inclusion of prebiotics, nucleotides and powerful natural antioxidants may provide further benefit to the digestive and immune systems.

Arden Grange Sensitive Puppy/Junior is an ideal choice for puppies and adolescent dogs with particularly sensitive skin or digestion. This gentle recipe excludes grains and cereals and contains ocean white fish as an easily digestible source of protein, which is naturally high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. It supplies an optimal balance of vitamins and minerals to encourage steady, healthy growth and development.

Arden Grange Puppy / Junior Large Breed is lower in calories to help reduce the risk of developmental bone disease associated with over-nutrition in large and giant breeds, and to help promote a slow and steady rate of growth over a longer period of time. 

Arden Grange puppy range

Every recipe in the Arden Grange Growth Range has been specially formulated to meet the increased nutritional demands of the developing dog.

The weight of large breed puppies such as the German Shepherd increases 70 to 90-fold from birth during a growth period lasting up to 12 months. This long period means the puppy needs a controlled energy intake food with a moderate fat content to guarantee ossification of the skeleton without excessive weight gain.

Arden Grange puppy diets have carefully balanced levels of Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D – These important vitamins and minerals are included at the correct level to promote safe, steady growth in puppies, and support strong supple joints. The correct calcium : phosphorus ratio is essential for healthy structure and strength of teeth and bones, whilst calcium is also necessary for the normal clotting of blood and for nerve and muscle function. Skeletal health is further promoted by the addition of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM.

Many owners are unsure as to when to change their puppy from a growth diet to an adult recipe.

Arden Grange advise that as with any dietary adjustment, changes should always be made gradually. This enables the digestive system to adapt to the new nutrient balance, ingredients and volume of food. As a guideline, it is recommended that when a puppy reaches his optimal skeletal height (i.e. he is as tall as he will be as an adult), then an adult food will be suitable.

There is naturally a huge variation between breeds, with larger breeds maturing much more slowly than miniature, toy and small breeds. There is also a difference in developmental rates between every dog as an individual, which will be dependent upon genetic build, metabolism and digestion.

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