Okay first things first you have a tiny little puppy you are bringing home for the first time. It’s fun and exciting but it is also easy to mother your new puppy and try to protect them but all this will do is reinforce any unsure behaviour. Let’s make sure your pup’s first day is as care free as possible…
Setting up your home – safety
You need to be prepared for bringing home a new puppy so try to make sure you have set up the home before you bring your new bundle of joy home. Important areas to cover are any loose wires you may have in your home. These can be very dangerous for a chewing puppy. Cable tidies can be a good option to keep those sharp puppy teeth from shredding your wires and possibly shocking themselves. So make sure your wires are away or protected and that there are no small objects for your puppy to swallow. You may also want to invest in a baby gate. This will stop your puppy from going into areas that are unlikely to be safe, you don’t want to risk a house training accident in, or a place were you keep valuable objects.
Picking your puppy up from the breeders
When picking up your pup rub a blanket on the mother and bring this home with them for a comforting smell that they will recognise. You can put this with your new puppy which will comfort them on the ride home and during the first few stressful nights. It is pretty much guaranteed that your puppy will cry and whine the first few nights but by following the stopping my puppy crying at night article you should be equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with this.
A radio on overnight or even a ticking clock to simulate rhythmic sounds. As soon as you get home place the puppy in the room it is likely to sleep from now on (start as you mean to go on). Work hard to stick to this, taking your puppy to bed with you will only make it harder to get them into their own room later down the line.
Once you get your puppy home
When you first bring your new puppy home you should immediately take them out to toilet. Once they have been to the toilet bring them into the area where you plan for them to sleep. I find the best place is the kitchen as it is cool and usually has hard floors that are easy to clean as you are likely to have a fair few potty accidents at first.
Allow your new puppy to explore the area at their own pace and try to resist overly fussing your puppy. If you notice that you puppy is a little anxious try not to amplify this by soothing them. Any attention for fearful behaviour will only reinforce this response i.e. when I am fearful, I get attention. It is important that your puppy learns coping strategies in stressful situations.
Top Ten Puppy Product Essentials
- Puppy training pads
- Food (from the breeder, stick to the same food for at least a few weeks).
- Puppy Chews
- Scented poo bags
- Non Ammonia cleaning products
What if my puppy doesn’t want to eat
Go about your usual day to day life without over fussing but make sure you take your new puppy out regularly to pee and poop. Don’t worry if your puppy isn’t eating a full meal the first day it’s completely normal, just be sure to keep an eye on the puppy to make sure that they are well. If you have any concerns call the breeder or your vet; you may also want to look over our feeding my puppy article here for more information. A good breeder should have given you some of the food your pup is on. Stick to their guidelines and feeding times.
Settling your puppy at night
Be prepared for the crying at night as there are very few puppies who don’t go through this. As long as you have provided your puppy with water, puppy training pads and a comfortable bed in a room that is neither too hot nor too cold you can rest assured that their needs are catered for. If you want to give your puppy a toilet break in the middle of the night then try to schedule it rather than go down when they are crying, as you will reinforce the crying behaviour. Read our article here for help with crying and barking.
Ensure the pup has plenty of toys to chew on and comfort your puppy in this transitional period (a stuffed animal can be a good option). Enjoy this wonderful time you have with your pup and the joy that bringing them home for the first time has to off. Just remember start as you mean to go on!