Lots of Dogs Arrived as Holiday Gifts this Season, and PetSmart® Canada Helps New Puppy Parents with Tips on Transition, Toys, Food and More

With 41 percent of Canadian Dog Owners Welcoming a New Puppy around
the Holidays, Now is the Best Time to Seek Expert Advice on Everything
from Nutrition to Grooming

BURLINGTON, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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,” 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

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
  • 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
and android&esheet=51483511&newsitemid=20161227005277&lan=en-US&anchor=Google+Play&index=6&md5=017cad3ac17b183595297a80ece14006″ rel=”nofollow”>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
® 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
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.

About PetSmart®

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®
™ 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.

Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
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PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart


Golin for PetSmart Canada
Miriam Fitting, 416-483-6225 ext. 3440