Preparing for Puppy’s Arrival
The moment a puppy arrives at its forever home for the first time is unbelievably exciting, filled with joy and love for all involved. Yet, after coming down off of the natural high of puppy kisses and cuddles, it’s not uncommon to feel uncertain about what comes next. Not to worry; our friends at PuppySpot.com, a service that places healthy puppies into happy homes, has put together a guide to help you navigate through the early stages of your puppy’s transition home.
What to Expect
The first few days are a crucial learning period which will provide the foundation for your puppy’s rapid mental and physical development. Newly away from her biological mommy and litter siblings, your puppy is experiencing a high level of curiosity in her new environment. Anything within reach will be investigated, and likely chewed as a result of that curiosity. In fact, you’ll notice your puppy “mouthing” a lot, which is how she grows familiar with the world around her. Basic personality characteristics will begin to emerge, but a lot of your puppy’s traits will form based on how she is treated and cared for by her new family.
Your puppy is starting to take an active interest in human beings and will look to you for direction on how to behave. So, imagine your puppy as a sponge, ready to absorb all of the information you can provide. This is your opportunity to not only teach her new things, but also to set the tone and dynamics of the relationship. It’s important to socialize your dog with other people outside of the family as well as other vaccinated dogs. Basically, however you’d like your puppy to interact with the world, start introducing that routine now. So, if you plan to transport her regularly, start taking her for car rides. If you want her comfortable with loud noises, don’t be afraid to vacuum the house or run the blender.
You may have noticed your puppy is a bit rambunctious and messy, clumsily running around and emptying her bladder and bowels often. At this stage, you should be taking puppy out every two hours. Remember, frequent trips outside mean less accidents and clean up for you! As far as appearance goes, puppies are heart-melting for a reason – enjoy those big eyes, soft features and sleepiness; and snuggle/hold her often. If your puppy is meant to grow into a large dog, you won’t have that opportunity for much longer!
The First Night Home
You may be surprised to hear the welcome home party continue into the night. Shortly after putting puppy in her crate or bed, your little party animal may not want to go to sleep. Rather, she may decide to make her presence known with sounds of whining or even crying. While the noise can sound heartbreaking, don’t panic. Consistent whining, howling or crying throughout your puppy’s first few nights at home is extremely common and to be expected. Puppy is experiencing separation anxiety from her biological family, which is a completely normal part of adjusting to her new home.
Since night one in a brand new environment is a big adjustment for puppy (rest assured, she will get more and more comfortable in the coming days and weeks), it’s your job as her new parent to make her feel secure. Thus, do not put her in a room further away from you to drown out the noise – this could contribute further to the puppy’s anxiety and potentially cause behavioral problems at a later date. Instead, bring her crate or bed into your bedroom or just outside the door so she feels less isolated. You’ll also have the added benefit of being able to check on her regularly. Once you get through the night, pat yourself on the back….and then quickly take puppy outside for her much needed and well-deserved morning walk and bathroom break!
Your Responsibility as A New Puppy Parent
In this vulnerable puppy stage, keeping your pooch safe and healthy is key. The natural immunity passed on from mom is starting to wear off, and will soon be taken over by rounds of vaccinations. To avoid the risk of your puppy contracting illness such as Parvo, do not allow your puppy around other non-vaccinated dogs. This means: Stay away from dog parks, and even walking down the street if it’s a highly foot-trafficked area. About a week after the final vaccinations (around 17 weeks-old), you’ll be able to take your pup everywhere, so just be patient!
Just like with a new baby, you may be worried about your puppy’s health before the first vet visit. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for, which may require a phone call to your vet:
- Diarrhea – if it lasts more than a day, is extremely watery or discolored
- Vomiting – if it persists more than a day, or is extreme
- Unwillingness to Eat or Drink – if puppy is not interested in food or water
Remember, use your best instincts – if something seems off, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.
Finally, there is no better time to start training than now. The earlier your puppy begins basic housetraining, the faster she will learn. There are many different methods and philosophies to training your pup, but a steadfast rule for all is to remain calm, be patient and reward good behavior.
It’s important to embrace what can be a first few challenging days of your puppy’s arrival as it’s all part of the exciting new adventure of raising a new family member. Before you know it, your puppy will be grown and you’ll long for the days of puppyhood – sleepless nights and all! Good luck, and have fun with your new furry friend!
Based upon a fundamental belief that finding a puppy online does not have to come with so many x-factors, PuppySpot is a service committed to connecting responsible breeders with caring individuals and families. But, more than just a service, PuppySpot is a community of dog lovers, where dogs are celebrated and where trust, confidence and transparency are paramount. With a screened and vetted network of more than 5,000 responsible breeders, PuppySpot makes fetching your new best friend a simple, high quality, enjoyable experience.