Getting a puppy is an exciting and joyous moment. Bringing home a new puppy for the first time, your puppy will need a lot of love and attention, as it gets used to being in its new home.
Before the puppy arrives, there are some things to do. First, after you pick out your puppy, you’ll need to puppy-proof your house.
You’ll have to pick out pet supplies, decide on house rules, and think about how you’ll make introductions to family members or other pets in the household.
However, ask anybody who’s ever gotten a puppy, and they’ll tell you: the first 24 hours can be rough, especially the first night.
There’s the excitement of “OMG, a puppy!” tempered with the self-doubt of “OMG, what have I done!?“” Most puppies’ parents being to go through that phase of uncertainty, wondering if they are doing it right.
When your puppy arrives, you won’t want to do anything but play with them and watch them sleep. So, make sure they have everything they need before you bringing them home.
Bringing Home A New Puppy
Bringing home a puppy day one? Before your dog even sets paw in your home, you’ll need to make some preparations. These steps will ensure your dog gets off to a splendid start in their new home.
Besides snuggles and sloppy kisses, there are a few other things you should do to prepare for your puppy's arrival. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Preparing Your Home For A New Puppy
Decide whether you want your puppy free range throughout your house or if he should have access to only one area.
For example, you don’t want your new puppy in your room eating your slippers. It’s usually simpler to close off any restricted areas by shutting a few doors. Or purchase some puppy gates, especially if you have stairs in your home.
You’ll have to think about how much access your puppy needs to the outdoors. If your yard is not properly fenced, then limit outdoor activity to only time when you’re able to supervise.
A doggy door may be an option if you feel confident that your puppy can’t get under, jump over or chew your fencing. I have a doggie door for my dogs Ruby and Callie, it’s been the best decision ever.
What To Get Before Bringing Home A Puppy?
Start by setting up a welcoming space for your puppy, complete with a comfy bed, a crate that's the right size, some toys, food and water bowls. Make sure you have plenty of food and treats to get them started.
Have the puppy's food ready: Ask the breeder or rescue group what the puppy usually eats. You'll want to stick with their current diet and ease them into a new food (if needed) gradually so they don't get an upset tummy or you have to deal with diarrhea.
Puppy Proof Your Home
It’s a little more difficult if you’ve got a puppy as they’ll chew through anything. However, no matter what age your dog is, you need to prepare ahead of time.
You can create a temporary living space where your dog or puppies cannot damage your possessions or eat something that will make them sick. They’ll stay here when you’re not with them to avoid house training accidents.
Pick a room with easy-to-clean floors that’s right in the middle of things so that your dog will not feel alone. Often the kitchen is the best choice; you can block it off with baby gates if necessary. Make sure you get rid of anything that you don’t want chewed or soiled.
What’s in their area varies depending on how old they are and how your house training.
Puppy-proof to make sure your dog can’t get hurt by things like medicine, chemicals and certain plants.
Essentially, you’ll want to make sure your puppy’s environment is free of anything that can be chewed, swallowed, or cause harm like toxic food or plants. Even laundry or dishwashing detergents can be toxic.
Making Your Home Safe
Preparing for a new puppy is like getting ready for a brand new baby. You literally have to get down and make sure there's nothing a puppy can get into. It's amazing to me what my dogs have found when they first come home.
I highly recommend getting down on your knees and crawl around.
- 1. Are there any exposed electrical cords that your puppy can chew on?
- 2. Can the puppy get stuck somewhere? Or fall?
- 3. Check the yard you'll want your puppy to go potty in.
- 4. Are there any holes that your puppy can escape? I have a picket fence and Callie literally fit through the slats. I had to put up a mesh wire to keep her in the yard.
- 5. Remove any fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from the yard.
- 6. Check for poisonous plants.
What To Bring When Picking Up A New Puppy From The Breeder Or Shelter?
What to expect, bringing home a new puppy? The most important thing you can do when picking up your new puppy is to take a brand new toy or blanket with you and rub it on each of your puppy’s litter mates and mom. If the other puppies aren’t available, rub it on the puppy’s current sleeping area.
This will put the scent of the current litter onto the blanket or toy and help your puppy feel more comfortable when it’s sleeping by providing some familiar smells in its new home.
What' is a “must haves” for bringing home a new puppy? I highly recommend using a Snuggle Puppy. Rub it on the current litter or blanket and place it into the crate or your puppy’s sleeping area at night.
The snuggle puppy will not only smell like its littermates, it also has a heartbeat in the stuffed toy that mimics a mother’s heartbeat.
Best Time Of Day To Pick Up A New Puppy?
The earliest time in the morning you can pick up your puppy, the better. It’s always best to pick up your puppy on a Friday or Saturday morning, if you’re working.
If you can take a week or two off when first getting your puppy, it will make potty training and bonding with your new puppy a lot easier.
Plan The Trip Home
Bringing home a new puppy in the car? For the trip itself, make sure you have someone else driving so you can focus on keeping your new pup company. Make sure the ride home is calm and quiet, and if you’re taking a long ride, take frequent breaks for the potty.
Young puppies who have never ridden in a car may get scared out. After all, they are leaving their mom and siblings to a big scary world. Even adult dogs can get nervous in the car, and a traumatic ride can develop into a phobia.
If your dog is used to a crate, you can put them in it for the ride home. Just make sure it's secure; slipping around will make the trip more stressful.
However, I highly recommend using the time to bond with your puppy and let them sit in your lap on the way home. It will make the trip less scary and begin the bonding process with you.
For the trip itself, make sure you have someone else driving so you can focus on keeping your new pup company. Make sure the ride home is calm and quiet, and if you're taking a long ride, take frequent breaks for the potty.
Essentials For Bringing Home A New Puppy
You'll want to make sure you have the right bedding and food for your new puppy. You'll need a bed, food bowl and a water bowl. You'll need bowls with a lower lip, so it's easier for them to get their heads in the water or food.
Bedding for your new puppy can be as simple as a special blanket or pad just for them. However, consider crate training your puppy. Be aware that your dog may grow much bigger over time and require larger bedding as they get older.
Puppies chew when they're teething. Chew toys might prevent your puppy from destroying your shoes, socks or couch!
Your new puppy will also need a little bling. Make sure they have a collar and ID tags and a leash for walking.
Grab some mild puppy shampoo and conditioner, along with a dog brush to groom your pooch. When they first come home, they smell like their litter mates and most people will want to bathe them as soon as they get home. Human shampoo and conditioner can irritate their sensitive skin.
Think About Potty Time
Decide where you want to train your puppy to pee and poop. Make this area easily available for them.
Keep in mind that lots of patience is required during the potty training phase. Many accidents will occur along the way. Be prepared with a good enzymatic cleaner.
Where Should Your Puppy Sleep The First Night?
Bringing home a puppy can be exciting for the family, but a super scary time for your new puppy as it’s no longer sleeping with its mother or siblings and is now with strangers.
The first few nights don’t expect a lot of sleep and some heartbreak as your puppy will feel scared and lonely.
A few hours before bedtime have a good play session with your puppy. Don’t allow them to nap or they won’t be ready for bedtime when you’re ready to get into bed.
Remove any food or water after seven o’clock. Be sure to take your puppy potty before wanting to go to bed.
Where should you let your puppy sleep the first night home? For the first month you’ll want to have your puppy sleep in a crate next to the bed. Or if you prefer not to crate, simply put your puppy into bed with you.
If you prefer your puppy in a crate in your bedroom, line the base of your puppy’s crate with blankets and place a blanket over the top of the crate. This will help your puppy to feel more secure.
Give your puppy a snuggle puppy that you’ve rubbed with its littermate scents when you picked up your puppy. The snuggle puppy helps to mimic its mother’s heartbeat. My dog Ruby is almost 3 years old now and still sleeps with her snuggle puppy from when she was a baby.
Once Your Dog Is Home
Now that you’ve had your first car ride and walked into your home, your puppy and you will both be in an adjustment stage. This time is important, because it’s going to be the dog’s first impression, so make it great!
What To Do With A New Puppy When You Bring It Home?
As soon as you bring your puppy home, take them out to their designated potty spot. As soon as they “go” give them lots of praise and even a treat.
Once you’ve done that, you can play and love on your puppy, but you’ll want to take them out on a schedule. I took my puppies out every 30-40 minutes by even setting an alarm.
Introducing Dogs To The New Puppy
The best place to introduce a new puppy to another dog is outside of the home.
Even the nicest dog can become territorial.
Being outside is a neutral ground for both dogs to meet, play and become pals before moving into the house.
Bell Training A Puppy To Go Potty Outside
Both my puppies, Ruby and Callie, learned bell training within a week! It made potty time so much easier.
Bell training your puppy is a useful trick for potty training your puppy. Simply hang the bell on the back of your door.
When you’re taking your puppy out to potty every 30-40 minutes, have them touch the bell with their paw or nose, give a treat, and open the door.
Puppies quickly learn that hitting the bell gives them a treat, and the bell opens the door to go potty. Always give lots of praise, treat and open the door. Keep repeating until they touch it themselves.
Tip: When my dogs first learned the bell, it was very faint. They couldn’t hit it very hard, so be sure to monitor your puppy to listen for the bell.
What Should I Do The First Night With A New Puppy?
Keep in mind that even though you’ve been hoping for this day for a long time, your puppy will need some time to get used to their new home. To make it easier, focus on these things at the beginning:
Planning for calm introductions: New people, unfamiliar smells, and unknown places can throw dogs off. If you can plan time at home with your new puppy, or more, that would be best.
If your dog is crying excessively, panting, shaking, or hiding, it’s probably scared, and introduce him to small parts of your house at a time. Keep loud noises to a minimum and make sure kids are ok with animals by encouraging them to be gentle or letting them know they’ll have to leave the puppy alone so it can get used to the environment.
Introduce your new dog to other animals gradually and safely, and if you have questions at all, ask a professional dog trainer or your veterinarian.
Puppy potty training: Acclimate your puppy to where you’d want him/her to go potty. Take them out for potty breaks every 30-40 minutes if they are only 8 weeks old or so, and after they’ve finished training and/or playing. Have patience with your new puppy and do your best to remain calm and collected when it doesn’t go as planned.
You can start crate training by putting your puppy in their crate for short periods of time, then progress to longer. Research the right crate for your puppy beforehand it should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lay down in and follow a routine as much as possible.
Let your puppy eat and have treats in her crate, and praise her every time. Once your puppy seems comfortable in their crate, leave the door open and then close it for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time that you keep it closed as they get more comfortable.
Bringing Home A New Puppy: First Night Home Tips
Bringing a new puppy home is exciting. Puppys are great for companionship, love, and devotion, but having a puppy at home also comes with lots of questions.
With the right preparation, you can help your new puppy adjust to their new home smoothly.
First Night With Puppy
If the first day with your new pup was a whirlwind, how about the entire night? Even though it can be hard, it’s important to establish a routine right away and let your puppy know that nighttime is not playtime.
If your puppy is whining and cries during the night, take them outside and reward them for when they go potty, but bring them back in and set them in their bed or crate right away. Do not give them toys or more treats. This will help your dog establish a positive nighttime routine from the beginning.
For the first few nights, keep your dog in a crate in your room. This establishes important boundaries while also letting your puppy know you’re there if they need you.
Having a puppy is fun, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. Getting as much done as you can before the day arrives will help you enjoy it more and let your new puppy feel secure.
Arrange For Home Care
Ideally, you should take several days off work to get your dog or puppy settled in and started house training. It’ll also help you bond, which makes training easier.
Even if you can take a little time off, you’ll need a backup team in place pretty quickly. Check around for dog walker, pet sitter, or dog daycare in your area. Use word of mouth from friends and family.
Find A Good Trainer Or Class
Group obedience classes are great for bonding with your new dog and for learning how to communicate with and train them.
These classes are especially recommended for young puppies, since they give them experience being around other dogs and people - and that’s a huge part of raising a safe, friendly dog.
Dog training isn’t regulated, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, so make sure you do your research.
Introducing An Older Dog To The New Puppy
If you've had an older dog for quite some time, they can have a hard time adjusting to a new puppy with all its energy.
An older dog may not want to share his or her toys. He may even be unhappy to see a new puppy and growl or try to hurt the puppy.
Or you can have an older dog that is pretty easygoing with a new puppy. Having a dog that has been well socialized among other dogs and you should have no problem having a new puppy.
Until you know how your older dog is going to react, always keep a careful eye on the dogs. Some dogs become friends right away, others simply take time.
If your older dog is not reacting the way you'd like to the new puppy, do not yell at the older dog.
- Give him or her plenty of time to get used to the new puppy in brief intervals.
- Keep the older on a leash to control the dog while interacting with the puppy.
- Dogs have their own language. The older dog will eventually let the younger one know the rules for playing with him and her.
- Over time, they should become friends or at the very least tolerant of each other.
How Do You Survive The First 24 Hours With A New Puppy?
Here are some final tips on bringing home a new puppy. As soon as your new puppy arrives, take time for lots of cuddles and let him learn your voice and that you won’t harm your puppy.
And Congratulations! You just stepped into the Twilight Zone. I mean that in a good way, of course. Just know that the first month is always the toughest. For the next ten or more years, you’ll have tons of fun, love, and licks.
The first day with your puppy involves traveling, whether it’s a short distance from the shelter or the breeder, or whether it’s a long ride in a car or on an airplane.
This is the perfect time to teach your puppy to love and bond with you. Be sure your well stocked with treats and, if possible, a snuggle puppy, towel or T-shirt that you’ve rubbed on its litter mates or its current bed in order to have a familiar scent to sleep with those first few nights. This will go a long way to making your puppy feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
When you get home, take your puppy to its designated potty spot and make sure he goes potty before you let him in. Praise him when he does well and give him a treat.
Sit with him on the floor or on the couch if you plan to let him use the furniture. Talk to him and love him, so he gets to know your voice and feel your touch. This is a good time to start teaching him that it’s ok to touch his paws, look inside, or sniff his ears, to rub his belly, touch his tail, and to brush him.
Remember that puppies don’t have good bladder and sphincter control yet, and emotions can make them need to pee or poop. After 15 to 20 minutes of play time and after every meal, take your puppy out for a potty break. A potty run is something you should do first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
If you’re planning on using a crate, let your puppy spend a short amount of time in his new crate. This is a big day for him, and he needs some time to himself so he can figure out what’s happening. It’s okay to keep the crate in the living room or some other area where people are coming and going, but don’t disturb him while he’s in there.
You should take your pup to the vet within 48 hours of bringing him home. That’s important to make sure’s in good health. Many puppy purchase contracts also require a vet visit within that time period. Without it, the seller might not accept a pup’s return if he’s sick or has a defect.
The first visit is just for a physical exam and weigh-in. It’s a great opportunity for your pup to meet and get to know some new people. Depending on when he last got vaccinated, you can schedule the next vaccination.
Be prepared that first month to question yourself on why you wanted to get a new puppy. Potty training, teething, training is always toughest that first month. Hang in there, it does get better.