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EXPERT ADVICE FOR THE OBAMAS: What to Expect the First 100 "Dog" Days

Tewksbury, Massachusetts (April 16, 2009) - New pet parents like the First Family have just become take on a tremendous responsibility when they adopt a dog, be it a puppy or adult animal. Celebrity pet expert Andrea Arden, dog trainer to stars like Norah Jones, Robert De Niro and Conan O'Brien, and star of the new Animal Planet hit show, "From Underdog to Wonder Dog", says the Obamas will succeed if they establish a routine of superior nutrition, exercise and regular veterinary check-ups right from the start.

The family's first 100 days with a new puppy or dog is full of exciting experiences, but the entire first year can be a challenge for pet parents who aren't well prepared, even if they do live in the White House," Andrea Arden says. "Here's what I recommend to new dog owners who want to be sure they're doing the best for their newly adopted pets:

  • Eat Right - The most important thing pet parents can do for their new dogs is to feed them a high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs, whatever their lifestage or activity level. I feed Wellness Natural Pet Food to my own dogs, because Wellness carefully selects all-natural, human-grade ingredients for their dry kibble, canned food and snacks - all proven to deliver 100% of a dog's lifetime nutritional needs.

  • Regular Visits to the Vet - Because our dogs can't talk to us, (although some pet parents would beg to differ), it's important to pay attention to subtle changes in their behavior and/or physical appearance as these could be the first indicator of a developing health issue. It's essential to schedule newly adopted dogs for regular annual examinations by a trusted veterinarian. Vets are dedicated to providing pets with the very best care possible, and vet visits are absolutely necessary to maintain the highest level of care for your new dog.

  • Get Lots of Exercise - Just as with humans, exercise is essential for a dog's happy and long life. Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial to their wellbeing, but regular exercise is key. Set aside a brief period of time each day dedicated to physical activity for your dog. Doing this on a regular basis also gives your pup something to look forward to each day and strengthens their bond with you. And you can reward your puppy with a healthy snack such as Wellness Just for Puppy Treats.

  • Establish a Bond - The bonding process between a dog and owner is a critical one. Many new pet parents make the mistake of assuming this bond will form automatically, when in fact puppies, and older adopted dogs too, need you to take the lead in building a lasting, loving relationship. Spend regular one-on-one time together where your new dog has your complete focus and attention. Routine is an important part of the bonding process. Daily training sessions, reinforcement of good behavior, even brushing your dog daily will also establish one-on-one time while building a routine; cementing a bond with your pup for years to come.

As an experienced pet trainer, Andrea Arden's exclusive advice on how to enjoy a great new pup experience and ensure a healthy lifestyle for your pet in years to come applies to new dogs everywhere; whether they live in the White House or your house!

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About Andrea Arden
Andrea is a widely recognized and highly regarded expert on pets. She has written five books including Dog Friendly Dog Training (Wiley, 2007), Train Your Dog the Lazy Way (Macmillan, 1999), and The Little Book of Dog Tricks (IDG, 2002). She has been the behavior columnist for Dog Fancy and The New York Dog magazines as well as a contributing writer for the AKC Gazette, Modern Dog and numerous other publications.

She currently appears on Animal Planet's shows Underdog to Wonderdog, Dogs101, and Cats101. She was the trainer for The Pet Department, FX's Emmy award winning daily show and appears regularly on The Today Show. Her broadcast appearances also include 20/20, Dateline NBC, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Live with Regis & Kelly, The View, CBS News, CNN, Fox, PBS, Fox News, and Lifetime, as well as numerous radio shows.

Andrea has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Animal Haven Shelter and Sanctuary.

Andrea is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers as well as a Certified Pet Partners Team evaluator for the Delta Society and the AKC's Canine Good Citizen test. She is the director of Andrea Arden Dog Training, and was named the best dog trainer in New York by New York, W, Time Out and Quest magazines as well as the Daily News.

Andrea is the proud parent of four dogs, Lena, Nora, Moka and Bela.