There’s nothing quite like adopting a new puppy — a little, furry bundle of joy that will enrich your entire life. You’ll feel the fun and excitement as soon as you bring it home. However, for new, inexperienced puppy parents, the first night with your puppy can get a little stressful. But with the right preparation, you can master the experience, build the bond between you and your fuzzy new friend, and set your home up for success.
How to Have a Stress-Free First Night with Your Puppy
In this article
What to Do Before Bringing Your New Puppy Home
Before you bring your new puppy home, there are some tasks you need to do to be completely prepared for the night — and weeks — ahead. You’ll need to acquire some items and supplies for your new life raising a puppy, as well as prepare a safe, “puppy-proofed” space that will keep the young animal secure. You’ll also need to be ready to begin crate and potty training from the very beginning. You’ll have to be ready for any type of puppy behavior.
Things You’ll Need for Your Puppies First Night
- Dog crate
- Playpen/puppy gates
- Food and treats
- Dog waste bags
- Cleaning supplies
- Etc. (wherever you get your puppy from will likely give you a lot of this information)
Prepare a Safe Space for Your Puppy
Ahead of bringing your new puppy home, you’ll need to prepare a safe space for them. Make room for the pup’s crate, line it with pads and possibly a blanket, and leave some toys and other comfort items inside. Find an easy-to-access spot dedicated to the food and water dishes and keep some cleaning products and waste bags in an easy-to-reach spot. You might not think of everything, but this is a great place to start from.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
It’s also important to “puppy-proof” your home — to eliminate potential harm and ensure a completely safe area for your new addition. Much like babyproofing, this process protects your puppy from dangerous household obstacles and items, including hiding harmful chemicals and covering exposed electrical cords. Make sure any toxic houseplants are replaced out of your pup’s reach, stow away any expensive items like shoes, and cover any sharp edges and corners. Your puppy will appreciate having a peaceful space to get used to living in.
What to Do on the First Night with Your Puppy
As soon as you bring your puppy home, the adventure begins — and so does the stress. You shouldn’t expect to get too much sleep that first night, as your puppy is experiencing a new space for the first time in its life. Start potty-training your dog as soon as you get home, giving it a designated place outside where it can relieve itself. Bring the dog crate into your bedroom near your bed; this will provide a safe space for your puppy as they work out their anxiety and get used to their new home.
Where Your Puppy Should Sleep on the First Night
Effective puppy training starts from night one, and that includes giving your new dog a sleeping space where it feels safe — its very own dog crate. Make sure it is comfortable, lining the floor with pee-pads and covering them with a soft blanket (that you don’t mind getting soiled). Also, consider giving them a stuffed animal to snuggle with; dogs love their own furry friends to love and care for. To make their sleeping space even cozier, cover the crate with a blanket, providing more darkness and security.
Feeding Your Puppy for the First Time
When it’s time to give your puppy its first meal in its new home, you’re establishing a routine and feeding schedule that you can adhere to going forward. Your puppy will need to eat three times a day, with its dinner coming at around 5 p.m. to give it plenty of time to digest before bed. Hold the puppy by the collar as they approach their food bowl, settling them down before releasing them with a command, such as “Okay.” Maintain this training for the first week (or until the pup gets it down) and maintain the feeding schedule until it’s over 18 weeks old, then switch to feeding twice a day — morning and evening.
Start House-Training ASAP
As soon as you bring home your new puppy, potty training begins. Make sure there is an assigned space for it to do its business and be ready to take it out at the first sign of potty time. Take the furry fella out one last time right before bed but be prepared to need to wake up for a mid-slumber potty break. Your pup is bound to have an accident to two as you potty train, but your patience will be rewarded.
First Night with Puppy - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you still need some support with your puppy training, the experts at Pettable are always ready to answer. Let’s look at some of the most common questions from new puppy owners.
Can My Puppy Sleep with Me the First Night?
No. You want to establish good habits from day one, and that means ignoring your desire to bring your puppy to bed with you. If you want your dog to sleep in bed with you, introduce the practice later on so the dog is less likely to make it a full-time practice; it’s easier to teach it to sleep in its crate than it is to unlearn a bad habit.
Should I Let My Puppy Cry on the First Night?
Your puppy is bound to cry at various points through its first night (or first few), but you shouldn’t ignore it. When the crying starts, take your puppy outside on a leash and let it go potty, then bring them back into its crate without any treats or activity. You might lose some sleep getting started, but your new dog will adjust quickly and be sleeping peacefully soon enough.
Where Should My Puppy Sleep on the First Night?
From night one on, your puppy should sleep in its comfortable crate. For the first few weeks, get your pup adjusted to sleeping in what is essentially their personal bedroom. Once it knows that the crate is its safe space to sleep, it should go to bed easily and on its own. It’s only after your dog gets accustomed to sleeping in the crate that you reward them with an occasional spot in your bed.
Should I Crate My Puppy on the First Night?
It’s important to know how to crate train a puppy from the first night, so keep your puppy there throughout the night, taking it out for potty breaks as needed.
Puppy Kindergarten - Online Puppy Training Video Course
If you need some professional help as you train your new puppy, consider enrolling for Pettable Puppy Kindergarten — our series of online puppy training videos that will turn you into a pro. The experts at Pettable Academy can get your dog adjusted to its new life and establish skills and habits that benefit both canine and human alike. Contact us today to learn more!