When you first bring home your new dog, it may seem like there are a million things to organise, from arranging vaccinations and training classes to puppy-proofing the home from little teeth and claws.

However, one area that should be a priority for all pet owners is to establish a healthy nutritious diet for your pup as early in their life as possible.

Michael Bellingham, chief executive at the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, emphasises the importance of choosing the right diet for your pet.

He says: "Our pet's natural instincts are towards food intake, whenever and wherever possible - so it is the exclusive responsibility of pet owners to manage their pet's diet."

Dry dog food tends to be a popular choice among pet owners, but a bouncing puppy will naturally need a different nutritional balance in their diet than an adult dog.

Therefore, it may help to speak to your vet or a nutritional specialist to establish the best food to feed your pup during their first few months at home.

However, the first hard and fast rule that all dog owners should adhere to is to stick to specifically designed dog foods and avoid feeding your pooch on your own leftovers from the dining table.

"It is not just what human leftovers contain that causes the problems, it is also what they are missing," Michael adds.

"All animals need different nutrients in different amounts, so by feeding your dog human food, such as fish and chips, they will be missing out on some of the 37 essential nutrients they need to eat daily to keep them healthy."

With the range of dog foods now available it may be worth shopping around before deciding on the right diet for your pooch. For an energetic young dog, it is a good idea to consider brands that include supplements such as vitamins and minerals, prebiotics, anitioxidants and nucleotides.

Burns dog food is a good option for young dogs as they produce varieties using ingredients specially tailored to ensure that an active, growing pup receives all the nutrients they need.

Written by: Hannah