Bringing home a new puppy is a big decision and a lifelong responsibility.

Puppies have this little innocence about them that just never gets old for me. I just love being around puppies.

Dr. Mike Bondar has been helping puppy parents give their new family members the best start in life for over 25 years.

I became a veterinarian mainly because I have a fondness for dogs and cats, but specifically because I feel that dogs and cats don’t have a voice to express their fear or to express when they’re in pain.

New puppy parents are so excited to bring their pup home, to shower them with love and affection. However, for a young puppy, these first few months can be a challenging time, full of new and sometimes scary experiences.

What I’d love to communicate to puppy owners is that sometimes life can be a bit overwhelming for a puppy. You have to realize, they’ve just been taken away from their mother and their siblings. And now they’re being taken by a brand new family, to a brand new home, in a brand new car. I definitely tell puppy owners that they need to do a lot of research.

Researching your puppy’s needs and how you can help ease their transition into a new home is one of the keys to a successful start.

It was very important for us to do our research because we really understood the huge responsibility that it was to bring up a dog, raise him and make him happy. And we wanted to give him the best possible start and the best possible life.

And, what I tell new puppy owners is, you know, you’re doing a great job at providing all the things that the puppy needs including food, shelter and love. But the one thing that you can’t provide is the mother’s calming pheromones. Pheromones are natural signals given off by the mother to her puppies that essentially helps them be calm and confident. It’s so important for those first encounters to be positive, because if they’re not, then that can lead to stress. The easiest and best way to do that is for the puppy to experience the benefits of the mother’s calming pheromones.

Providing a copy of these “comforting messages” from mom will help reassure your puppy during all the new challenges they face.

We found that by spraying the pheromones in his blanket or close to his toys, he all of a sudden became more calm. He was able to approach us. Even when we just brought him home, just having the blanket cover with the pheromones, he was able to just fall asleep on my lap, and it was a very, somewhat peaceful car ride.

The way pheromones impact a puppy is it helps it first of all, settle into a new home better. It helps them stop crying, when they’re at home. It improves their socialization. It helps them remain calm and focused when they’re learning. And it also helps them with travel.

Pheromones have been used for more than 15 years to calm and comfort dogs in animal shelters, veterinary hospitals and pet homes worldwide.

The collar is really easy to use. It’s a soft plastic collar that goes around the puppy’s neck. The only real thing that you have to know, it has to be put on fairly snug, because it requires heat to activate it. So, the puppy’s heat is going to activate the collar to release the pheromones

At the end of the day, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to make our puppies’ first experiences the best they can be as their happiness gives so much back to our lives.

Sal just completed us. He’s big and strong, but he’s also very gentle and loving, and just a joy to be around. The first time we held him, we knew he was our puppy.

Puppies are adorable. They’re innocent. There’s something magical about puppies. I get true joy from working with puppies.

To learn more about pheromones and how they help give your puppy the best start in life, please speak with your local veterinarian or pet expert.