Nutrition, Exercise Key to Puppy Health

TEWKSBURY, Mass., April 6 (UPI) — A U.S. veterinarian says there are five things the owners of a puppy should keep in mind to raise a healthy dog, including nutrition and exercise.

Dr. Al Townshend, staff veterinarian of Holistic Select, a line of food and snacks for dogs and cats, says to nourish the puppy’s developing brain, its food should be supplemented with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid essential to developing nervous tissue and visual function in dogs.

Small and miniature breeds can have different nutritional needs — larger breeds need fewer calories per pound than smaller breeds, Townshend says.

“With the potential to grow up to 100 times their birth weight, a large breed puppy’s energy intake must be regulated to ensure consistent, steady growth,” Townshend says in a statement. “Weight gain that comes too quickly can stress developing bones, and may lead to other disorders.”

Daily exercise with the owner is an essential part of a puppy’s health — it gives the puppy something to look forward to, exercises its brain and strengthens its bond with humans, Townshend says.

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