Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting, but nerve-wracking, times your family will ever experience. A brand-new family member of the furry variety that will grow up with your children, give lots of cuddles and provide endless amounts of playtime for the whole family! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well it is, but there are also lots of things to plan and consider before you welcome your new pup into their forever home!
It’s no secret that committing to a new puppy is a huge decision. But their first week with you is bound to be full of excitement, and Good Boy are here to help you make your new fur-baby’s first moments with you as stress-less as possible.
A little preparation goes a long way…
Lack of preparation can make those precious first moments together rather stressful for you and your new puppy. So why not get your family together before you bring him (or her!) home for the first time. Together you can come up with some ‘house rules’ for when they arrive and decide on some fundamentals such as; where will they be allowed access to at home? Where will they sleep? Who will be in charge of walking the puppy when it’s allowed outside? And, importantly, how much will the new addition to the family cost?
Another key element to the preparation process is making sure you have all the vital ‘ingredients’ needed to make for a happy and settled pup. Below are some of the things you should think about before you hear the pitter-patter of tiny paws walking through your front door;
It’s incredibly important that you have a conversation with the breeder beforehand regarding the food your puppy is currently being fed. Your new bundle of fur has an extremely sensitive tummy at this age, so it’s vital that you carry on feeding their current food (whether that’s wet or dry) until they are old enough for you to start weening off this. Yes, you may have plans for what you plan to feed them in the long term, but this is a gradual process for tiny pups – and all dogs in fact.
Food and water bowls
It’s a great idea to decide where in the house you plan to feed the new addition. Then make sure that there is food and water down in this place when they arrive in their new home. They might be hungry and thirsty after the journey!
A crate is a fantastic tool for you when bringing home your new puppy. Make sure the crate is set up in the place you plan to keep it in the house, this will really help the puppy explore the space before it’s actually time for bed – then it won’t seem as scary come bedtime.
To avoid your puppy using your beds/sofas/chairs as a bed, it’s super important for you to get a nice cosy bed for your doggy to sleep in whilst you’re at home.
A collar and lead
It’s a great idea to get your puppy used to wearing a collar and lead at a young age to avoid tantrums when the time comes for walkies. Read more about this top tip in our 5 Simple Training Tips article.
Puppy pads and poo bags
Although toilet training should start as soon as your fur-baby gets home, there is bound to be a few accidents in the early days. So make sure you have a stock of puppy pads for home and poo bags for the garden.
Treats for training
Training is super important when bringing home your new puppy to enforce the rules you’ve already set out. Treats are a great bribery tool for your doggy – whatever their age! However, you must remember that their tummy is still super sensitive. Most treats aren’t suitable for puppies under the age of four months, so why not try using pieces of dry kibble as treats, or even tiny pieces of cooked chicken.
Toys for playtime
Dogs love to chew, it’s fact. And if you want to avoid your young puppy chewing on furniture when they first arrive in their new home, make sure to have plenty of chew toys. It’s also a nice idea to get a soft toy for your pup to take into their crate with them at bed time.
If there are any areas you’re 100% sure you want to block off it’s a great idea to install a baby gate to stop your fur-pal exploring rooms they’re not allowed into.
Now don’t forget the fun bits like choosing your puppies name!
Now it’s time to welcome your new furry addition into their new home. It should be all joy and giggles if you’ve made all the right measures to puppy proof your home before their arrival. Make sure to remove anything that can hurt your doggy, such as; medicines, chemicals and any plants that are harmful to dogs.
It’s a good idea to pick a room for your fur-baby to settle into for the first 24 hours. It’s best if this is a room that usually has a lot of activity (and even better if it has easy-to-wipe floors!) This just means that your pup won’t feel isolated and can also explore small parts of the house at a time.
It’s super important to remember that your new puppy has just left their litter and mother, so may feel a little nervous when entering their new environment. It can take time for them to get used to new surroundings and smells – or, you never know, they might go bounding straight into their new life with force!
Although it is an extremely exciting time for the whole family, try to make the welcome party as small as possible at first, this will just help with their possible nerves. Keep other pets in other areas within the house to start off with, it can all be extremely overwhelming after all! Then once they’re ‘on the loose’ let them explore at their own pace, making sure they’re always supervised, just so they can’t get themselves into any trouble!
Your new puppy has lots of growing to do and it’s possible that they will fall asleep in the most bizarre of places, maybe even sometimes during playtime. It’s important that you let your new puppy sleep without waking them up. It’s likely that it’s just a quick power nap before playtime resumes, but they need their sleep at this young age – especially with all the excitement of a new home!
…And now it’s time for bed.
The first night may be a difficult one for you and your fur-baby. It’s their first night away from their mum and litter-mates, which is bound to be a bit of a shock. This means you might be in for a rough night, but there are a few things you can do to help them settle down before sleep time.
Do not let them sleep in your bed
However easy that may seem to make sure you both get a good night’s sleep, this will set a president and, believe it or not, will make their second night with you even more difficult.
Make sure they’re nice and cosy
It’s important to make sure that they sleep in their crate at first so that they can’t get into any trouble whilst you’re not around. This will also help with unwanted chewing of any furniture! A fantastic way to help settle your new pup is to make their crate nice a cosy with blankets and soft toys. Another great idea to stop them pining for mum is to fill a hot water bottle, cover it in a blanket and put inside the crate. This will feel warm and comforting for your puppy.
Don’t give them attention
As difficult as it may be to ignore the whimpering, you must not give them attention in the crate whilst they are crying, this will only encourage them to make more noise. Only check on them once they are quiet!
Be prepared to set your alarm every couple of hours during the night whilst they are still young so that you can take them to the toilet. Take your puppy outside on their lead so they can relieve themselves, bringing them straight back inside and back into their crate. It may be tempting to play with them whilst they are awake and playful, but they must get to grips with the night time routine as early as possible.
Most importantly it’s crucial that you have fun when bringing home your new puppy for the first time. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the whole family and now you have a new bundle of joy to share cuddles and playtime with, so just simply enjoy it!