Awww….you got a puppy! That’s great, puppies are a lot of fun. But as any dog parent knows, puppies are also a lot of work!
Adopting a puppy will give you unrivaled affection, love, and the perfect companion. However, with all this excitement comes a lot of responsibility. The first 24 hours and the first night is crucial.
Excitement is mixed with tons of stress as your new dog is potentially separated from its littermates and mother for the first time.
For the vast majority of cases, the first night with your dog is hardly smooth. Unfamiliar environments and new people can be scary for your pup. It can lead to destructive behavior, crying at night, and frequent trips to the bathroom.
If you are a relatively new dog parent, your head is undoubtedly spinning with complex questions about the first night with your puppy.
Fret not! This article is the perfect guide about what to expect, preparing yourself before bringing the pup home, and the essential tips that will come in handy.
With proper preparation, you will be able to facilitate your puppy, allowing them to adjust to the new setting easily.
Table of Contents
Preparing For Your New Family Member
Getting the necessary items for your pup and preparing beforehand will help you avoid unwanted chaos. You don’t want your pup to enter the house while you are roaming around confused, not knowing what your next step should be.
Puppy Essentials For The First Night
Being equipped with the right stuff and having everything you need at home can help make the transition go way smoother and reduce the risk of more stress during the big move.
You can then stop worrying and focus on building a bond for your pup and allaying some fears and insecurities that might arise from your puppy being at home with you for the first time.
Some things you’ll need include:
- The same dog food the pup has been eating.
- Large carrier or crate
- Poop bags
- Puppy pee pads
- Comfortable bed
- Dog toys and dental chews
- Dog wipes (for accidents)
Picking A Bed For Your Puppy
There are numerous variables that you should factor in when selecting a bed for your puppy. These aspects will ensure that your puppy is comfortable, feels relaxed, and fall asleep in peace.
Choosing an incorrect bed will make them agitated and you might find them searching for other beds such as the sofa or your bed.
Some tips on placing the bed include:
Intimate and quiet place
Prior to choosing a bed, you will need to allocate a proper spot for the dog bed. Make sure that the area you choose is intimate and quiet, otherwise, your new dog may be unable to sleep well.
Also make sure that the spot that you pick is out of the way and your pup can nap during the day undisturbed. Puppies sleep, a LOT!
In addition, the spot you opt for should be a comfortable temperature. Don’t have anything near the sun during the warmer months, and have your dog indoors in the colder months.
Material of the bed
It is essential to think about the material of the bed. Opt for one that has good quality, soft, and breathable material. Additionally, the material you choose should not be harmful to your pup.
Sturdy material for the bed is also crucial for its long-term use. Dogs tend to scratch and bite, so you should get one that is built for durability. In addition, biting and chewing pieces of the bed can be harmful to the pup because they can choke on them.
Keep in mind that puppies will chew. It is a natural part of their teething process and they will grow out of it eventually (and hopefully!).
You might want to save the expensive bed purchase for later once your puppy is past the teething stage or your pup might just rip it to pieces.
You’ll definitely want a machine washable bed. Puppies will drool, shed, and overall, make a mess of their beds so you’ll need something that’s easily cleaned.
Depending on the breed and their size, the bed you choose should match their needs and physique. Make sure that the bed is big enough that your dog can stretch and thick enough that it can support your dog’s weight when he attains full size.
Where Should Your Pup Sleep The First Night?
The first night can be tough on the puppy and the pet parents. You might be trying your best to make the pup comfortable but the new environment can make it difficult. In addition, your pup is likely to miss its littermates and mother and might cry throughout the night.
So where should your pup sleep the first night?
The pup is used to sleeping with its mom and siblings. When you adopt a pup, this factor can make it difficult for a pup to sleep at night especially because they will be in a new environment. You might want to place your pup’s bed or crate near you so that he can see and smell you.
In a crate
It is best to place your dog in a crate on the first night. This will help them get used to it and you will be able to avoid any accidents on your bed. Keep in mind that puppies cannot hold their bladders for very long.
A three-month-old puppy would probably have to be taken out once or twice in the middle of the night to go pee, while a six-month-old puppy might be able to hold it throughout the night.
In your bed
Your puppy is likely to be feeling as anxious as you are to be separated from its old home. However, if you allow your pup to sleep on your bed, you are setting some ground rules that might be difficult to change in the future.
It would be best to have your pup sleep in its own bed in your room for a while. If you intend to have your pooch sleep separately in another room or the living room, you can move them later.
Outside in an outdoor house
Having your puppy sleep outside, especially on its first night, isn’t a very good idea. It’s kinda like throwing someone into the deep end.
Your puppy is likely to feel neglected, abandoned, and terrified. It is better to have your pup sleep indoors, at least for a while before they come to see the whole property as their home and den.
Tips for the First Night
The first few nights can be tricky for you and your pup as this marks an adjustment period. Here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier.
Feeding your pup upon arrival
When your pup arrives home, give them something they can relate to. One of the best methods is to give them a small meal of the same food they used to have.
Meeting the family
The first day at a new home can be overwhelming for a pup especially when there are kids involved. Children tend to get very excited about having a new pet.
It is crucial to supervise the playtime and other kinds of interaction. In addition, you will need to prepare your children on how to interact with a pup. Also, chewing, biting, and nipping is a pup’s natural behavior, and teaching your child to stay calm at this time will help avoid dangerous situations.
Give them a comfortable blanket
One of the best tips to help them settle easily is to bring a blanket when you pick them up. As a result, the blanket or a towel will absorb the scent from their littermates.
This familiar scent will reduce crying at night and make them comfortable, leaving them feeling safe. You can also ask for a piece of the pup’s mother’s bedding.
Puppy-proof your home
Just like children, puppies will explore the house with their mouths. For this reason, it is imperative to remove any hazards.
You can pick up small objects that they might chew or swallow, move poisonous plants, electrical cords, or anything that can lead to an injury.
Don’t forget regular bathroom breaks
Young puppies have tiny bladders and cannot hold their pee. You’ll need to give them the opportunity to go on a potty break every few hours.
In addition, higher stress levels can also cause your pup to want a potty break more frequently. Before your pup is reliably house-trained, you’re going to have accidents.
Don’t scold or get upset. Simply clean it up and move on. Leave the correction needed for proper potty training for later when your pup is more settled.
The first days are hard, but it will get better, especially when your puppy finds his own footing. Try not to lose your patience, and have fun! Puppyhood only lasts once in a dog’s lifetime. And you can make it a good one!