Nothing is cuter and adorable than a playful puppy. Cuddling time with your new furry friend will be your new favorite time of the day. But, are you sure you’re ready for the responsibilities of being a fur parent?
Bringing a new pup home can be an exhilarating time for you and your family. However, it can be scary for the puppy, as they are whisked away from their mother, siblings, and everything familiar to them. Being put in a new surrounding with strangers they have never seen before can also stress them out. So, don’t be surprised if they’re overly nervous on their first day in your home.
The first 24 hours can be rough—especially the first night. But with the right approach, love, care, and understanding, your new pup will soon settle into their new home. Preparation and planning is the key to a great start in making the transition easier. So, even before your new fur baby arrives, you need to prepare everything they might need. This includes a nice dog toy, their favorite treat, and a comfortable bed. Likewise, visiting the puppy several times before the adoption can help get them used to you.
Here are some things you can do to make the first 24 hours with your new fur baby as smooth as possible.
Prepare the Basic Puppy Supplies Beforehand
When your pup arrives, you’ll be so in love with them that you won’t want to do anything else but play with them and watch them sleep. Yes! That’s how adorable they are. So, make sure to set everything up before taking your pup home, from the right food to high-end dog toys.
Here are some basic must-have puppy supplies you’ll need.
Paper or pads: You will need lots of paper or pads for potty training your puppy.
Food and water: Food and water are a necessity for everyone, including dogs. Tap water is normally fine. But when it comes to food, puppies need high-protein diets and a lot of other nutrients while growing up. So, you may want to choose dog food specially formulated for puppies. You may also want to check with the breeder or previous owner what food they used to feed your pup.
Food and water bowl: You’ll need dishes for the food and water of your pup. But do keep in mind that puppies like to chew, so a stainless steel bowl is just perfect for them. You can buy them in adult-sized bowls, but make sure to fill it with just enough food for a puppy. Likewise, choose a water dish that is not easy to knock over and can hold at least one liter of water.
Dog toy: You may want to add a soft toy or chew toy to your list of essentials, but do make sure to choose ones that are appropriate for the size and breed and your pup. These toys should also not have any choking hazards, such as tiny pieces that your puppy can chew off and swallow.
Dog bed: A comfortable bed helps create a cozy spot where your pup can nestle in to.
Collar and leash: Aside from luxury dog toys, you will need an adjustable collar and a leash. These are crucial for taking your pup outside for walks and potty training. But do avoid the ones with ornaments attached which your puppy can chew.
When choosing a dog toy and treats, start simple. You’ll soon learn your pup’s preferences. Other things you’ll need include a safety gate or puppy pen, a pet tag, grooming tools, and poop bags.
Pet-Proof Your Home
Don’t forget to pet-proof your home for your new puppy’s safety. Here are some ways you can pet-proof your home.
- Keep loose items off the floor, such as potted plants, shoes, and children’s toys.
- Move all breakable objects out of your dog’s reach.
- Wrap furniture legs, electrical cords, and other wirings with plastic sheeting. Aside from protecting your furniture, it will also prevent your pup from getting a shock when they accidentally bite electrical wirings.
- Install barriers, such as baby gates, indoors and outdoors.
- Check your fencing for any loose hollows where your pooch could escape.
- If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is securely gated.
- Keep poisonous items away from your dog, such as chemicals, poisonous plants like lily of the valley and foxglove, and foods like coffee and chocolate.
Toilet-Train Them Right Away
You can start potty training your pup as soon as you get home. Take them to their designated ‘potty spot’ right away. Make sure they go potty outside before bringing them indoors.
Here are some potty training tips:
- Keep your pup on a regular feeding schedule. Take their food away in between meals.
- Take your fur baby outside to eliminate first thing in the morning, after each meal, after playtime, after a nap, and right before retiring for the night.
- Take your puppy to the same spot each time when potty training. Their scent will prompt them to go.
- Keep them leashed throughout the potty training session to prevent them from running away.
- Stay with them outside while potty training—until they are house trained.
- Give them a treat and praise them with a lot of positive vocalization when they eliminate.
Accidents are bound to happen. So, be patient. Establishing a potty training schedule is the key to your success. Successful potty training does not happen overnight, after all.
Show Them Their Spot
The first day—and night—with your new pooch is crucial for teaching them that they’re a part of the family. It’s also the perfect time for establishing physical boundaries and a routine to help teach them proper in-home behavior. Providing them with a comfortable dog bed is the first step to showing them their own spot.
Placing their favorite designer dog toys and food in their spot will help make it look more inviting. The more fun you make their puppy zone, the faster they’ll settle in.
To make your pup less homesick, you can bring a new blanket or a new toy and rub it on the bedding your pup slept on or on their siblings. Putting this toy or blanket on their luxury dog bed will provide your pooch with some familiar smell when they are missing their siblings.
Keep the House Quiet During His First Night
It’s normal to want to invite all your friends over to gush over your new puppy with you. But save that for later. Your pooch just had a scary car ride, and now they are in an unfamiliar place with strangers. You should concentrate on making your puppy feel safe during their first week at your home.
Give your puppy plenty of time to settle in with their new family by making their first week safe and quiet. Plus, they’ll probably want to sleep a lot. In fact, puppies sleep 15 to 20 hours a day. But since puppies don’t have the ability to hold their bladders, they need to go on bathroom breaks every hour or so. So, if you don’t want them to wet their dog bed, prepare yourself for sleepless nights.
The first few nights will be challenging. Keeping the house quiet, as well as establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine, will help them understand what is expected when the household goes to bed.
Give Them Lots of Cuddles and Praises
The first day with your puppy is also the first day they will be away from their mother, siblings, and everything familiar to them. It’s a scary and lonely time for them. So, prepare for a heartbreaking day and night of crying and whining. Giving them a warm hug every now and then can help reassure them that they are loved.
Likewise, you shouldn’t yell at them or show your frustrations when they have accidents. But make it a habit to give them praises—lots of it—when they do something good like when they successfully eliminate outside. Remember, young puppies need a lot of positive attention. Reward them with petting, cuddling, positive comments, and treats when training them. Letting them sleep in comfortable, high-end dog beds is also another good message of love for them.
Nobody said that raising a puppy is easy. This is especially true during the first few days after bringing them home with you. But anything can be accomplished with a lot of dedication and commitment on your end. Puppies need lots of love, but they also need to know their boundaries. Setting the house rules from day one—for both your dog and your family—is the first step to ensuring that your pooch receives correct and consistent messages on what’s considered good behavior and what’s not acceptable. Following a routine will also help make your puppy training so much easier.
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