If you're bringing home a puppy for the first time, the most important thing you have to consider is how you're going to raise your pooch to become a happy, healthy and active dog.

And the best place to start is to decide on an appropriate diet to feed your pooch, as this will ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need to grow up fit and strong.

"Feed a good quality balanced food, make the effort to read the ingredients and be aware of what your dog is eating," advises Nick Honour, canine behaviour specialist with The Behaviour Company.

There are numerous high-quality products available such as Arden Grange dog food and the James Wellbeloved range, but if you're at all unsure it's a good idea to speak to your vet who can give you advice on what's best for your pup.

The next step is to work out an exercise plan, as it is essential that your pooch is active if they are to remain in good health. The exact amount of exercise your dog will need will depend on their size, age and breed, and there are a whole range of canine activities the pair of you can get involved in.

Mr Honour says: "Provide plenty of exercise both mental and physical; look to meet the needs of the dog, for example scent games, agility and flyball are great fun and are good for exercising and stimulating you and the dog."

It's also a good idea to get into the habit of grooming your pup on a daily basis, as this will give you a chance to bond with your pooch, as well as maintaining their coat and skin condition.

"Carry out regular grooming - your dog will love it and it also gives you chance to examine your dog on a regular basis," Mr Honour adds.

Written by: Hannah