Thinking of bringing home a puppy with you? Well, you made a good decision because having a puppy can bring in an entirely new chapter of your life as a dog parent who would eventually learn how to become more responsible. But, just like you would when you would bring home a new baby for the first time, there are plenty of things you need to consider. That’s why you need to know what to do during the first time with the puppy in the home.
The most important things to do are to puppy-proof your home for your dog’s safety and to make a purchase of the equipment you would need for the puppy before the day you bring it home for the first time. You also need to ready your knowledge when it comes to knowing what to do when the puppy is already there.
Puppies, at first, maybe quite demanding in terms of the things they need and the knowledge you need to equip yourself with. But, as long as you get through the first time you bring your puppy home with you and as long as you are able to prepare yourself well enough before you even bring the puppy home, you’re going to tell yourself that it was a great experience to have. Of course, you need to make sure that you yourself are also well-informed before anything else.
What you need to buy before you bring the puppy home
Before anything else, it’s important that you make sure you have the proper equipment ready for the day you bring the puppy home for the first time. It should always be imperative that you do this day or even weeks ahead of the day you bring the puppy home because you want to make sure that everything is ready and in order the moment your puppy first steps into your home.
Here are the important pieces of equipment you would need to get ready before you bring your puppy home:
Crate or cage
In the past, owners were not too high on keeping the puppy in a crate or cage because they believed that letting the dog roam around free to explore its surroundings was much more important. But now, experts would say that a crate or a cage is an important part of a puppy’s life especially when you are about to bring one home for the first time.
The reason why a crate or a cage is important is that you want to make your puppy feel safe and secure the first time you take it home. Your house and the immediate environment around the puppy are still foreign to it and it will not feel safe when you bring it home the first time. That is what a crate or a cage is there for.
A puppy’s crate or cage is its safe haven. It gives it a place where it could feel safe and secure while in an entirely new environment it has to adjust to once again. And, of course, the crate or cage will serve as its temporary room while it is still adjusting to your home.
Experts would also say that a crate or a cage will be important later on when you are crate training your puppy because it will be easier for you to make it understand its limits especially when it’s time to potty train it.
Your puppy will need to sleep on something when you take it home for the first time. Of course, you would want it to feel safe, warm, and comfortable to make the transition quicker. That’s why a bed or a type of bedding is important for you to purchase before you take the puppy home with you.
There are plenty of different types of dog beds you can get on the market but it really depends on your choice and on the size of your dog. We recommend that you get a bigger bed so that your puppy can grow into it. But if you want a bed that fits your puppy’s crate, choose one that doesn’t fill up the entire crate so that there would still be room for your dog to do its business.
If you weren’t able to buy a dog bed, you can use a soft and snuggly blanket that’s thick enough to keep your dog warm and comfortable while it sleeps. You can also place the blanket inside the puppy’s crate.
Your puppy will need to eat and drink out of something even on the first day you brought it home. That’s why bowls are essential and should be taken care of as early as possible and before you bring your puppy home for the first time.
It is a good idea to use bowls that are ceramic or metal because plastic bowls tend to hold more bacteria. Also, make sure to replace the puppy’s water frequently to reduce the risk of bacteria building up especially when your little friend is still far too vulnerable to illnesses at its age.
When choosing bowls, you need to make sure that you designated which one is for the food and which one is for the water so that your puppy won’t be confused. See to it that the bowls aren’t too big to the point that your puppy wouldn’t be able to properly drink or eat from them. You can use feeding mats for the bowls to keep them in place in case the puppy will try to topple them over.
Collar and leash
While a collar and a leash are not very important when you bring your puppy home for the first time, they still are quite useful later on once your puppy is ready to be leash trained. Moreover, having it wear a collar as early as possible will allow your pup to get used to wearing it. And if you have a nametag for the little fella, it makes identifying it easier in case it suddenly runs off on you.
When buying a collar, make sure that you use one that is adjustable and not too tight because puppies tend to grow rather quickly. Check on the tightness of the collar every single day to make sure that it isn’t too tight for your puppy. You may also opt to use harnesses instead because they don’t wrap around the dog’s neck.
A good leash to buy for a pup should be about four to six feet long depending on how big your puppy is. Go for a strong leash that will last longer and will not easily wear out in case your puppy chews on it later on.
A puppy will try to play a lot while it is still very young because that is what will keep it mentally and physically stimulated while it is still adjusting to its new environment. Also, chewing on stuff is one of its way to get to learn more about the world. That’s why you need to provide it with puppy-safe toys as early as possible so that you can keep it busy when you are not around to play with it and so that it will have something to chew on instead of chewing your personal belongings.
There are plenty of different chew toys that were designed to be completely safe for puppies. Just make sure that you choose the ones that are appropriate for your dog’s size and age. Make sure that the toys are as durable as possible so that you don’t have to buy a new one every single time your puppy chews through it.
Stockpile on plenty of toys because you would want to rotate your dog’s toys to make sure it doesn’t get bored with one. Also, your puppy will later undergo teething when its teeth will begin to grow out. It will start to chew on everything to try to take away the discomfort it feels. So, make sure to give it a lot of toys to chew on when that happens.
The moment you bring your puppy home for the first time, it needs to be able to eat food that is appropriate for its size and age. Just like how babies require different types of food compared to adults, puppies also need specific foods that were specifically formulated to meet their nutritional demands. As such, make sure that you have already bought puppy food before you even brought the little guy home.
When buying puppy food, ask the pet store which one is appropriate for your puppy depending on certain factors such as its age, size, and breed. Always go for the ones that are already complete in terms of nutritional needs so that you will end up having a happy and healthy puppy.
Keep in mind that adult dog foods aren’t fit for puppies because they might be too big and too hard for them to eat and because of how pups have a different nutritional requirement in comparison to adult dogs. Also, always remember that table scraps do not qualify as appropriate puppy food.
What do you do with a puppy on its first day home?
When you are about to bring the puppy home for its first day, here are the things you need to know and do to prepare yourself for its arrival and to make sure that everything goes smoothly when it has finally arrived and is there with you in its first day in its new house.
Have a family meeting
If you have other family members at home, it is important that you first meet together before taking the puppy home. Everyone should be committed to the task of making the transition easy for the puppy because everyone should treat it as a new member of the family. Of course, roles should also be given especially when several members of the family have to work during certain hours of the day.
It is important that you make sure that everything goes smoothly even before the puppy is brought home. That is what a family meeting is for as you can simply talk about the responsibilities and the dos and don’ts of taking care of the puppy. You should all be in this commitment together so that the puppy will find it easier to adjust to its new family.
Puppy proof the home
The most important part of making sure that your puppy gets to transition into its new home as safe and as easy as possible is to puppy proof your home before it even arrives. What this means is that you need to prepare the house so that it will be safe enough for the puppy to live in.
Keep anything dangerous away from the puppy’s reach and make sure that there aren’t a lot of breakables lying around to make sure that the puppy won’t injure itself when it gets too playful and curious during its first day.
See to it that you have already made the necessary preparations for keeping the puppy out of places it shouldn’t have access to yet. Use puppy gates or a playpen if you want to make this part easier. For example, you might want to put a puppy gate at the entrance of the stairs to prevent your puppy from accidentally injuring itself when it tries to climb up or down the stairs.
Also, keep your personal items away from the reach of the puppy because the little fella might try to chew on anything it sees if it gets too curious or if it tries to learn more about its surroundings. Place your shoes and sandals in a shoe rack and make sure that your clothes are all properly placed in a cabinet. You may also want to wrap your furniture if you don’t want your dog chewing on the upholstery.
Make the introductions pleasant and low-key
When you are now ready to take the puppy home and you had just brought it home for the first time in its life, everyone in your household would be excited to meet the new member of the family. But the important part to remember here is to make the introduction as pleasant and as low-key as possible.
The reason why you need to be a bit discreet when it comes to introducing the puppy to the family is that you have to consider how scared the little fella might be in its new environment. It is still trying to adjust to the new place and is still in shock.
You don’t want to make it feel more frightened than it already is. That’s why crowding it and being too excited to meet the new puppy might not be the best idea to do especially if you live in a household with several family members. Keep everything as discreet and as low-key as possible so that the puppy won’t be too shocked and frightened when people are introducing themselves to it.
Also, if you happen to live alone but with other pets, try to make the introduction as smooth as possible. Don’t try to shock the pup into getting to know its new brothers and sisters and make sure that your other pets don’t try to crowd the little fella because it might still be in shock.
Start introducing the dog to its crate
The moment you bring the dog home, make sure to introduce it to its crate or cage as early as possible because this is the best way for you to house train the little guy. In some cases, dogs will need a bit of time to try to adjust to their crates. That’s why you need to do this as soon as possible so that the puppy will begin to adjust to it as early as it can.
When you are introducing the puppy to its crate, make sure to give it a reason to be happy in it. One of the best ways for you to do so is by filling the crate with treats and by giving it a toy it can snuggle with inside the crate. Allow the puppy to try to investigate the crate once it smells the treats and makes sure that you do this as naturally as possible. And once the little fella is in the crate, slowly close the door while praising the pup so that it will understand that it did a good thing.
Don’t leave the puppy too long in the crate after it enters it. Maybe 20 seconds will do the trick. Open the crate and take the treats away so that the pup will have a reason to leave. After a few minutes, repeat the entire process all over again so that the puppy will understand that the crate is a safe haven where it can feel happy and secure.
Show the puppy its own zone
After crate training the dog, it is also a good thing to give it its own zone at home. Ideally, it should be a place where it can feel safe such as a small corner in a room in the house. Introduce the puppy to that zone and give it a reason to love that place by putting a blanket it can snuggle with and by filling it with toys, food, water, and a bed.
When you are trying to make a puppy zone, it might be a good idea to use a puppy pen that will create a small area where your puppy is kept safe from the rest of the room. The pen will also allow the puppy to feel a sense of security while it is still is adjusting to its puppy zone.
Keep things quiet during the first day
Similar to how you want to make the introductions discreet, you should also make sure to keep things quiet during the first day. Remember the fact that the puppy is still adjusting to its new environment and may not be in the best mental and emotional state to handle some noise.
That’s why you might want to allow it to rest and feel safe by keeping things quiet the first day. Dogs have senses that are much keener than ours. Even the tiniest noise can mean a lot to them especially when they are still feeling too frightened and stressed out.
In your puppy’s case, try to make sure that you don’t make a lot of noise and that you are not doing things that could startle and frighten the little fella. After all, it’s going to be a bad idea to make its first day with you a memorable one in the worst way possible.
Where should a puppy sleep the first night?
When you bring a puppy home for the first time, one of the things you need to prepare beforehand is a place where it can sleep soundly and comfortably. Ideally, the first night should be the most important part of introducing your puppy to its new home because you want it to feel comfortable and safe during the first time it sleeps in your home.
As such, the best place for the puppy to sleep during its first night is somewhere by your side as long as you are close to it. If you are keeping it in its crate, place the crate beside your bed so that the puppy will know that you are there by its side in case it wants to feel safe. Keeping it by your bed will also alert you to whatever is happening to the puppy while it is still adjusting to its new environment.
In addition to that, be ready for a restless night because of how the puppy is still trying to understand its new situation and might not be able to sleep yet. It might make a few noises here and there and will even cry.
And speaking of crying…
Should you leave a puppy to cry at night?
Puppies crying during their first night in your home is quite common. Simply try to understand the fact that it is the first time in their lives that they are away from their mother and siblings and that they are in a place that is entirely new and foreign to them. As such, don’t worry too much if your puppy starts crying at night during its first day in your new home.
In a lot of cases, puppies might not cry a lot if they feel like they are safe with you around. This is the importance of keeping its crate or bed near your bed whenever it’s time to sleep. Having someone around may make it feel at ease, and your puppy might minimize the crying during the first night in its new home.
But if your puppy is still crying even after a few days, it might be a sign of distress such as when it needs to pee or because it is suffering from diarrhea, which is quite normal for puppies. Still, the key here is to keep the puppy close to you so that you would hear it crying and you would be able to respond to it accordingly.
Should you bathe a puppy when you bring it home?
When you bring your puppy home for the first time, it actually is a good idea to give it a bath at home because you would want to make it feel fresh and clean while it is still adjusting to its new environment. However, not a lot of people know the proper way of bathing a new pup when it is still fresh from the breeder or the pet store.
- Use a table when bathing your pup instead of putting it straight in the tub. A tub might be too shocking for its first bath at your home and it might leave it with a bad memory. Use a towel that would absorb any excess water.
- Gently brush the puppy’s fur to calm the little fella down and to remove any excess hair. Make sure to use gentle strokes that are comfortable for the puppy.
- Turn the hairdryer on without using it on the puppy first so that it would already have a few minutes to adjust to the noise. The key here is to make sure it won’t be afraid of the sound of the hairdryer.
- Use a decent-sized container to serve as the doggy bath so that the dog won’t feel overwhelmed by the volume of water surrounding it.
- Gently massage the dog while applying the shampoo as you are spreading it evenly throughout its fur. Keep the shampoo away from its eyes to make sure that your puppy won’t get to hate bath time.
- Rinse the puppy with water and make sure to wash off all of the shampoo away from its fur. Dry it using the hairdryer and make sure to wipe off any excess moisture on its fur with a towel. Do so as gently as possible in a way that feels like a massage for your little friend.
- Brush the puppy’s hair in a gentle manner once again and make sure to give it a treat after the entire ordeal so that it would understand that there is a reward waiting for it at the end of a bath.