Your Puppy’s First Night
The day you get to pick up your new puppy is fast approaching and you have everything you need but how do you survive that first night (or maybe a week).
When you pick up your puppy it is highly likely it hasn’t spent much time at all away from its mum or littermates so it is a very scary time.
As I have discussed in the preparing for your puppy post I like to have something that smells of their previous home, littermates and mum so whether you breeder supplies all the puppies with a blanket or a toy, or I would send one for my puppy.
I would also have an Adaptil collar and/or a diffuser running in my home. The collar can either be put on at the breeder’s house the day before or when you pick him up. The puppy’s mum communicates with her puppies through smell or pheromones. These pheromones are called Dog Appeasing Pheromones. They are odourless messages that can only be perceived by dogs.
Adaptil replicates these very special pheromones which helps provide comfort and security to dogs of any ages. Therefore Adaptil can helps dogs and puppies feel reassured and relaxed. The Adaptil Collars last about 30 days and I would recommend using two consecutively from when you pick your puppy up. This would cover the scary first few days away from his family and as well as the critical period while he is being socialised to his new life.
Additional things I would have ready is his crate set up and ready to go as well as the area in which he will be sleeping. I set up a crate in my room for sleeping and I have it positioned so that he can see me. I don’t want to wait up the puppy is home before getting everything ready. We want our puppy to be as settle as possible and not upset by a lot of activity at the last minute.
In his sleeping area I include a couple of nice soft blankets, and would also put the blanket smelling of his family. I also put an old t-shirt of mine, which I have slept in for a few nights, so he has something that smells like me as well. My puppy also has two toys that are always in his sleeping area, Nighttime Bear which came with him, and Fluffface. Fluffface is a West Paws Rowdie and it wasn’t too much smaller than Craven when he arrived. I like to have a big toy for them to cuddle up too. You can add in a heat pad if the area is a bit cooler, your puppy will be used to sleeping with a pile of other dogs so can be reassured by the warm. A hot water bottle can be put in your puppy’s sleeping as well but just ensure it is well wrapped, tightly closed and only use water from the hot tap, NOT boiling water.
There are pillows created, (Mother’s Heartbeat) which you can use to simulate the heartbeat of the puppy’s mum to help comfort him. The sound of the heartbeat can be reassuring to a young puppy. This definitely isn’t necessary but can be helpful.
Stick to a routine. If your puppy had a set bed routine prior to you picking up try your best to stick to that. Feed him at the same time, put him out for final toilet and then bed at the same time. Routine or consistency breeds comfort. It is good for you puppy to know what to expect and when especially when his whole world has changed. So start as close to the breeder’s routine as possible and then slowly change it so it fits in with your life.
I announce bed time when it happens. Eventually this will become a que to settle down and sleep. I say, Bedtime Pup Pup just as I put him in his crate.
Crying is bound to happen, sometimes from you as well as the puppy. It can be heart-breaking to hear your puppy crying. Maybe I have been lucky but I don’t often get much crying with my puppies but I have used the same set up and technique for them all. Once I put them in their crate I will stay in the room with them, watching TV or something, until I am ready to sleep. If, and when, the puppy cries at first I will let it cry for a very short period of time, maybe only a minute to see if he will settle himself. If he doesn’t settle, I will talk to him in a soft cheerful tone. It doesn’t matter want you say, it just matters how you say it. If he still won’t settle after a couple of minutes I would sit next to the crate and talk to him. Once he settles and falls asleep I quietly move away. If your puppy wakes up and starts crying I would again see if he settles if he doesn’t I would pick him up and take him outside to the toilet without saying anything. Once he has toileted, and been praised, it is back to bed after a quick cuddle and Bedtime Pup Pup. I would repeat this routine as necessary throughout the night as required but I have never had a puppy cry for more than a few minutes using this technique.
In the morning the first thing I do is wake up and put the puppy out.
Things to remember
Don’t feed too close to bed time. A minimum of 2 hours before.
Toilet your puppy right before bedtime.
Don’t withhold water at bedtime.
It is a distressing time for your puppy so don’t let them continuously cry all night.
Slowly does it. Don’t push him.
Don’t expect miracles but be happy if they occur.