Taking Care of a puppy:
Your 1st Night Together
Taking care of a puppy is a lifetime commitment that starts with your
first night together. Remember, the first night with your new puppy is
exciting for you but may be scary and overwhelming for a dog who has
either been taken from his mother and siblings or who has had a less
than perfect beginning in a shelter.
Bringing home a new puppy is exciting but it’s important to be calm and
make your puppy feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
10 Important tips for the first night with your puppy:
- Show him his potty area as soon as you get him home.
- Make sure you have puppy-proofed the house and that his new environment is safe and comfortable.
- Show him his bed. It’s a good idea to start him out in a crate. Once he’s potty trained you can let him sleep in your bed if that’s your preference.
- It's best to keep his bed or crate in the same room with you at night. If that's not possible, make him feel secure by leaving a familiar item with him like a shirt or a blanket. You can leave a nightlight on or some low music to soothe him.
- Play with the puppy before bed to get him nice and tired.
- Don’t give any food or drink close to bed time to reduce your puppy’s need to go to the bathroom.
- Make sure he eliminates just before bedtime.
- Don’t coddle him when he cries (and he will). You may have one or two sleepless nights, but it will be well worth it in the long run to have a well behaved dog. If you give in to your dog on Day One, you are sending a powerful message that HE is in charge; NOT YOU.
- Don’t overwhelm your new puppy by introducing too many people or things on the very first night. Understandably, you want to show off your new dog, but do it slowly.
- Relax. We often underestimate the amount of work required in taking care of a puppy. But on your first night together, just stay calm and try to enjoy your new companion. If you are relaxed and happy, your puppy will be also. Dogs pick up easily on our emotions, so being anxious or overwhelmed is the last thing you want to show your new pup.
Enjoy this time – they grow up REALLY fast and don’t forget to pick out the perfect name for your new puppy.
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