The New Arrival
The day you bring home your new puppy will be one of the most exciting days in your relationship. That first day is the start of your life together; there’s so much fun and happiness ahead for you both. To make the first 24 hours smooth for you and your puppy, there are also some practical things you should take care of.
Here’s a look at what to do with your new puppy in the first 24 hours:
What You Should Have
It is important to do some planning ahead so you have all the things your puppy will need ready and waiting when she arrives. Your puppy will need:
– A collar and leash;
– Bowls or pans for food and water;
– The same dog food she’s been accustomed to eating (you can find this out from the pet store, shelter or breeder);
– A place to sleep such as a dog bed or crate; and
– A good brush and comb for grooming.
Don’t forget the toys! It is also a good idea to have some safe things for your puppy to chew on so she won’t be tempted to chew on your shoes or the furniture.
You will probably also want to get some papers or a house training patch to get your puppy started on potty training.
Taking Your Puppy Home
Whether you’re picking your puppy up from a shelter, pet store or breeder, it’s usually a good idea to bring your puppy home in a crate in your vehicle. A crate provides some protection for your puppy in case of an accident. They also prevent your puppy from wandering all over the vehicle or interfering with you while you drive, which could cause an accident. A crate usually makes a puppy feel more secure, too. It can also be used later as a place for your puppy to rest and sleep in your home.
What to Do As Soon As You Arrive Home
When you arrive home the first thing you should do is take your puppy for a walk in your yard, if possible. Allowing your puppy to explore the yard gives her a chance to relieve herself so she won’t have an accident as soon as she enters the house. It also lets her see the yard where you will probably want her to potty. Your yard is also probably more relaxing to your puppy than your house, especially if you have family members waiting to meet your new puppy.
Meeting the Family
Once you take your puppy indoors you can let people meet her, but try not to overwhelm your puppy with too much attention all at once. It is a good idea if you limit her to just one or two rooms at first, until she learns the house rules.
Making Puppy Comfortable
Offer her water; she may be thirsty after her first trip.
Remember to take her outside to potty frequently. If you have put down papers or a house training patch for her, make sure you lead her to the area so she knows where it is, especially if you want your puppy to potty in the house instead of going outside.
Keep in mind that your puppy is having a very exciting – and stressful – day. Allow her some time to take a nap if she shows signs of being sleepy. Puppies play hard but they also rest frequently.
Your puppy will need to eat two or three times a day at first, depending on her age. If she is a small or toy breed then she may need to eat three or four small meals per day. Be sure to take her outside or to her potty patch/papers right after she eats so he will start getting the hang of house training.
An Appointment with a Veterinarian
Before the day is over you should make an appointment for your puppy to get her next set of vaccinations from the veterinarian. It is usually a good idea for a vet to see your new puppy within a day or two of bringing her home in order to make sure that your puppy is healthy and not harboring any diseases, infections or worms.
By bedtime your puppy will probably have stolen your heart completely. You can decide where you want your puppy to sleep. Some people like for their puppy to sleep on a dog bed. Others like their puppy to sleep in their crate. And others like to have their puppy sleep on the bed with them. This is a personal decision and it’s up to you.
Your puppy may or may not sleep quietly all the way through the night. Some puppies will cry and whimper. If your puppy cries you can give her a toy or stuffed animal and this usually helps to soothe them. Always make sure your puppy doesn’t need to go outside to relieve herself. Young puppies may need to go outside at least once during the night because they have a small bladder.
The Next Morning
Most people are already bonded to a new puppy within the first 24 hours. By the time you wake up the next morning (or your puppy wakes you up!), your puppy will probably be feeling very energetic and ready to play. Be prepared to wake up early and play with your puppy before you do anything else.
Enjoy Your Puppy
Your first 24 hours with your new puppy is very exciting. The time usually flies by as you get to know each other – one day you’ll notice your puppy has become a dog and you’ll wonder where the time went! For an enjoyable and safe puppyhood, plan ahead and everything should go very smoothly.
Mia Montagliani is the owner of two Manchester Terriers, Frodo and Ziggy. Mia is passionate about the welfare of animals and dogs. Mia is also committed to improving the relationship between owners and their dogs and helping dog owners train their dogs humanely, effectively and stress free.