A PUPPY can be an exciting addition to the family, but it also requires persistent training and forming healthy habits.

Lucky for locals, two Sunshine Coast puppy loving businesses have teamed up to give new dog owners a helping hand.

Peregian-based Mutley’s Meals on Wheels and Bark Busters Sunshine Coast have developed “Puppy Power” information packs to combine the importance of good training and nutritious meals for our four-legged friends.

With the school holidays a popular time for families to welcome a new pet into the home, Mutley’s Ros Whateley said it was important start off on the right foot.

“We are banding together to give puppies a good start in life,” Ms Whateley said.

“It’s all about promoting healthy, happy puppies.”

Specialising in raw, nutritious food, Ms Whateley said owners should approach a new puppy the way they would a newborn baby.

“It’s hard work,” Ms Whateley said.

“You’re not going to give your baby bad food and it’s the same with a puppy.”

Bark Busters’ Faith Wild has been working with dogs for 24 years and said appropriate training is vital for pups.

“It’s about that holistic approach,” she said.

“A naughty dog is a smart dog not using its brain.”

Like red cordial and children, Ms Wild said food had a large impact on the behaviour of dogs.

“Dry dog food can make dogs hyperactive, unfocused, and you see little behavioural problems come through.”

She said a raw food diet can promote health benefits, meaning less visits to the vet.

“One advantage of a raw food diet is the dog pees and poos less because they have a healthy digestive system, which is better for owners too.”

Ms Whateley said the packs were about referring each other to dog owners for the best support possible not only during training but throughout the course of the dogs life.

Faith’s top puppy training tips:

  • Not to expect too much from your dog and do what is age appropriate.
  • Don’t be physical with your puppy during training i.e. smacking and be careful with with giving out treats. Dogs need a safe place to be trained in and should not be trained through fear.
  • Don’t bring a puppy into your home younger than eight weeks old.
  • Make sure you consider if you can look after a puppy. You can’t bring one home and leave it alone five days a week when the family is a work or school.
  • Consider adopting a rescue puppy over a backyard breeder
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