You’ve just picked up your new puppy, and you’re brimming with excitement.
It’s a big day for both of you!
You are welcoming your new puppy to their forever home, and it’s a very special moment.
Your new puppy is experiencing some huge changes, and is bound to feel a little overwhelmed.
They have left their mum and litter mates, and may even be travelling for the first time in a car.
Many people ask what the first night with their new puppy is going to be like, and we are going to prepare you for what to expect.
They will need Regular Toilet Breaks
A young puppy will not be able to sleep through the night without going to the toilet.
On the first night with your new puppy you can expect to be up every 2 hours or to let them go for a toilet break.
You may decide to sleep close to them to make letting them out for a potty break easier on both of you.
Staying close to where they are going to sleep can help your new puppy settle better in their new home.
As days go by, you will be able to extend the length of time between toilet breaks.
They may be Unsettled
It is quite common for a new puppy to cry and whimper.
They’ve got a lot to get used to so patience and understanding is crucial in the early days.
If you want to new puppy to sleep in a crate, introduce them to it as soon as you get them home.
It’s a good idea to create positive associations with the crate from the outset.
Never put a puppy in their crate as a method of punishment, as this is completely the wrong message.
Instead, reward them for going in their crate with a tasty treat.
If you have been given a blanket or toy to bring home with your new puppy, put this in the crate to help them understand it is their space.
Staying near the crate for the first few nights will not only help with letting out to go to the toilet, but it will help to settle them.
Check out what to buy for a new puppy so that you are completely prepared for your new arrival.
Get to know your Puppy
You are starting to build a relationship with your puppy as soon as you get them home.
On ‘gotcha day’, have a selection of different types of toys you think your puppy might like and introduce them to the idea of play.
Playing with your puppy is not only great for bonding, but it’s going to really help settle them for a good night’s sleep.
You will also get an idea of your puppy’s likes and dislikes.
You will be surprised about how particular your puppy can be about dog toys.
Have a selection of different types of toys and chews to make their first day in their new home fun.
Get into a Routine
Your daily routine will start to emerge over the coming days, and having structure to the day will help your puppy learn what is coming next.
If your breeder has given you a meal time schedule, stick to it as best you can, if it works for you.
After meal time, your puppy might enjoy some playtime or a short training session.
Once it’s getting towards bedtime, start to quieten things down.
Closing the curtains and making the room dark and cosy are all good signals to a puppy that bedtime is just around the corner.
Don’t Change Their Food
You might find that your puppy has an unsettled tummy when they come home.
It could be as a result of all the big changes that they have experienced, which they may have found quite stressful.
Your breeder may send you home with the food your puppy has been eating.
Initially, stick with the same food while your puppy is settling in.
You can change your puppy’s food, but it needs to be switched over gradually.
Everyone has their own opinion on what is right for them and their new puppy, and that’s ok.
We found that having our new puppy sleep in a crate both during the day and at night worked best for us.
It saved us some accidents during toilet training, and also provided puppy with a safe place to settle if we could not be with them for any reason.
We did experience a little whining, but it was short lived.
If we knew they had been to the toilet and all their needs had been met, we did not let them out of the crate if they whined.
We would, however, let them out once they were quiet and settled and it was safe to do so.
Bringing a puppy home is tiring and overwhelming.
It can be difficult to know if you are doing the right thing.
Dogs and puppy’s do benefit from having boundaries, and establishing these from the start will help you both in the long run.
The first night with a puppy can be very tiring, but the good news is a puppy does mature quite quickly, so it won’t be long before you are able to catch up on your sleep.