Bringing your new puppy home for the first time is really exciting for everyone, and it should be a positive experience for your puppy as well. Leaving their mother and siblings for the first time can be very stressful for the puppy, however, and you will have to make a considerable amount of effort to make your puppy feel welcome and comfortable in their new home, and to begin to bond with you and your family in place of their canine companions. Here are some things to consider for puppies first week at home:
- Introduce your puppy to every member of the family, and make sure that this is a positive experience for him.
- Don’t invite too many friends or strangers over during the first week, as this may easily overwhelm.
- Take your puppy along to the vet for their first check up, and vaccinations if these have not been done already.
- Spend plenty of time with your puppy, bonding with him and getting him used to you. At least one person should be at home for the first week of welcoming your puppy into the home.
- If you have children, make sure that they respect your puppy’s space, and know when to give him time alone.
- Make sure that any introductions to other household animals are carefully supervised and managed.
- Give your puppy his own space and bedding, and a place that he can call his own.
First night away
A puppys first night separated from his mother and siblings can be stressful, and sleeping without them will be difficult at first. Puppies always cry during their first few nights away from their canine family so it is important to make them as comfortable as possible to provide reassurance.
- When your puppy falls asleep, leave them to rest and do not continue to pet them.
- If your puppy wakes in the night and cries, speak reassuringly to them but try to avoid interacting too much so that is disturbs them. This can lead to your puppy learning that crying can be used to gain attention from you.
- Make sure that your puppy’s bed is warm, comfortable and welcoming for them, and is a nice place for them to relax. A warm blanket, a cuddly toy and some even use a small clock to mimic the heart beat of the mother to comfort them.
Teaching your puppy to settle down within the home.
Puppies are busy little animals that are into everything, and will usually want to play, investigate and get up to mischief until they are exhausted enough to sleep the rest of the day away. It is important to teach your puppy when it is ok to play and interact and when it is time to settle down and relax for some quiet time.
- Make sure that your puppy receives enough exercise and has plenty of opportunities to blow off steam, so that they can get adequate sleep.
- Provide a comfortable, calming spot for your puppy in every room that you or the family spend time in, so that your puppy knows he has a safe haven to retreat to.
- Your puppy should be allowed to play independently, but not be overly rowdy!
- Don’t expect young puppies to pick up when and how to settle down right away- just a minute or two is all you should aim for at first. Remember this is all new to them too and they will require time and patience to settle in to their new routine.