Welcoming a puppy into your home is an exciting endeavor! There will be lots of big changes as you adjust to life with a furry friend. For your puppy, this is the first time they are away from their mother and brothers and sisters, so they are adjusting to an entire new way of life as well!
Prepare the following pet supplies for your puppy's first night:
- Adjustable collar and leash with name tag
- Puppy food - Dishware for puppy
- Wee pan and wee pad - Playpen and gates
- Dog bed and maybe a blanket
- Toys and treats (start simple—you’ll learn your puppy’s preferences the longer they’re with you)
- Cleaning supplies such as a stain and odour remover
Check out our list of pet supply essentials that every new dog owner should have!
With all your supplies ready, here are 4 tips to help you and your puppy survive the first 24 hours home.
1. Introducing Your Puppy to a New Home - Create Puppy-Safe Zones
The first thing your puppy does will probably be exploring their new home. Puppy-proof your house to make sure they don’t find any dangerous or precious items to play with, and always supervise them! Use a gate to block access to rooms you don’t want your puppy going into.
Puppies love to play and chew and it's a natural part of their healthy development as they are teething and learning to socialise. Be sure to give them some chew toys to exercise their teeth before they choose your shoes or furniture! The Beco Ball on a Rope Toy is made from natural rubber and cotton, perfect for chewing and fetching. Nylabone chew toys for puppies are made with soft, puppy-friendly rubber to encourage positive chewing habits and help clean teeth.
Although it may be tempting to keep playing with your new puppy, make sure they’re getting enough rest! Puppies need to sleep 18-20 hours a day, and moving to a new home takes a lot of energy out of a young pup. Give them some quiet time to catch up on some Z’s.
2. Prepare for Potty Training
Puppies are like babies and it may take them some time to learn where you want them to go to the toilet. Expect some accidents, especially on their first day home! Puppies under 16 weeks old can only hold their bladders for a short amount of time, on average 1 hour for every month of age. So if you have a 2 month old puppy, bring them to their toilet at least once every 2 hours and reward them when they go potty in the correct location! It's good to establish consistent habits that fit with the family routine and home environment from an early age. Set up your Monster Paws Wee Pads to make cleanup easier. Their Blue Gel-Core Technology turns liquid into gel immediately upon contact, preventing dripping and tracking. They’re super absorbent and effectively lock in odours. Be prepared with some Urine Off Stain and Odor Remover to get rid of any messes and prevent your pup from having an accident in the same spot again. It can be used on walls, floors, and fabric, and the tough formula is able to remove even the most stubborn stains and odours. Also stock up on some Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Pet Wipes to quickly freshen up a messy puppy!
3. Keep Dinner Simple
Find out what your puppy is used to eating and feed them their regular food to bring some familiarity to dinnertime at a new place. If you plan to switch your puppy to a new diet, transition slowly to avoid upset tummies. It is also completely normal for some puppies to not want to eat on their first day home. Stress can affect their appetite and they may not feel comfortable enough to eat. You can try some treats but be careful not to overfeed. More importantly, try to get your puppy to drink some water. If they aren't interested in fresh water, add a few drops of Nulo Water Enhancer to add an irresistible flavour.
4. Provide Comfort at Bedtime
As it’s nearing bedtime, your puppy may start to get a little fussy. They’re used to sleeping with other dogs, so it is a big change to suddenly have to sleep alone in a strange environment. Dogs are extremely social animals, even when they sleep. If you observe a group of puppies you will notice they love to sleep together, sometimes even piled on top of one another! A cosy bed that is the right size like the One For Pets Snuggle Bed can create a similar sense of comfort. The sturdy walls of the bed will help your puppy feel protected.
A trick you can use to help your puppy settle down for the night is to wrap a hot water bottle with a blanket to mimic another dog’s warmth. The Sentry Cuddlin' Companion Bedtime Bear is also soft, warm, comforting, and great to tuck into your puppy’s bed. Add some calming spray to the bear to give off calming pheromones and help your puppy settle if needed.
If your puppy is having a difficult time, let them sleep with you to bring them some comfort. Put their bed or crate inside your bedroom so that they can be close to you. Contrary to a common myth, this will not cause separation anxiety or behaviour issues, and can make the first few nights a lot calmer for both dog and human.
No matter how excited we are to bring a dog home, remember that this is a huge change for your puppy and they may need time to adapt. Be patient, and focus on helping them feel safe and comfortable. Healthy pet care is made easy at Whiskers N Paws, where you can find everything you need for your new furry friend. After surviving the first 24 hours with your puppy, there is a lifetime ahead of you! Enjoy the journey.