I decided to create this article to help my own new puppy owners, but I hope it will be useful to all new puppy owners following My Dogs Life.
The time has come to collect your new puppy. You may have been waiting for this day for a while, but now the excitement and nerves are kicking in. All these feeling are completely natural whether it’s your first puppy or your third puppy, so please don’t worry, it just shows you actually care about this change in your life.
On collection day, you will arrive at your breeders premises/home and after lots of talk, puppy cuddles and going through your puppy pack, the time has come to take your puppy to your loving home, and for the next stage in your puppys life.
You may be concerned about the journey home, well don’t be, as puppies sleep a lot and more than likely your puppy will sleep most of journey home, a few little whimpers are also possible too, but just reassure your puppy at this time. You can either use a soft puppy travel carrier, a small crate or even a passenger can hold your puppy during the journey. It may be useful to have a soft blanket or towel, some kitchen roll and poo bags just in case. If you have a long journey it may be useful to have a puppy bowl and a bottle of water too, as you can offer your puppy a drink during the journey.
On arriving home you may like to take your puppy straight outside to your garden, your puppy will be experiencing lots of new scents and sniffing everything. If your puppy does a toilet outside don’t forget, lots of positive praise is needed.
Enjoy your first day with your puppy, let your puppy sniff and explore their new home, keep your puppy in the areas he/she will have access to. Letting your puppy have access to too much space and many new areas will be daunting for such a small puppy, therefore it is best to familiarise him/her to a small area of your home first and your puppy will soon feel secure.
You may have a sleeping/quiet area, puppy bed or crate already set up and I am sure lots of puppy toys too which your puppy will want to explore and play with. All this excitement will be tiring for a young puppy so don’t be surprised if your puppy needs a rest or sleep, and quite a lot of it at 8 weeks old.
Your puppy may not eat much for the first few days as the change in environment may be unsettling for him/her, but continue to offer food as normal and he/she will eat when they are ready. Please note that your puppy should be drinking water even if not eating much during the settling in period.
Puppies can have loose toilets due to the change and being a little unsettled, however make sure your puppy is drinking water and the loose toileting does not continue, plus any blood or mucus in toilets should be checked by your vet.
Puppies are inquisitive and will pick up and eat anything interesting looking, therefore if things are picked up and eaten in the garden this can cause upset tummies etc, so if in any doubt contact your vet, always better to check these things out.
Ok so the first night is looming, you may already have in your mind what you are going to do, i.e. have a crate set up with a toilet area for your puppy, have your puppy sleeping upstairs with you, you may decide to leave your puppy to sleep in the kitchen or utility room in a puppy bed. All I would say is try to echo what your breeder has done, provide warmth as your puppy will be used to snuggling up to mum and littermates for warmth and comfort, but most of all do what suits you and your family. Some new owners will go to a whining/barking puppy and others will leave them, I would only recommend leaving them if you know your puppy is safe and has access to a toilet area. It is hard to leave a whining puppy, you will need to be strong, however it does get better and you don’t want your puppy to think you will come to every whimper, whatever you decide it is your puppy and your rules.
I am often asked about crates as owners are not sure what to use for their new puppy during the night. Each puppy/dog is different so as an owner you have to do what suits your puppy and you. I do start to crate train all puppies in my care therefore your puppy will be used to a crate from a young age. Puppies like this secure place to sleep and rest, plus puppies are small and cute, but can chew and damage things quite quickly therefore crates can be useful for the puppy stage. A crate provides a safe place to put your puppy when he/she needs a rest, plus you can leave the door open and you may find your puppy just taking him/herself into the crate for a sleep. My dogs do like their crates as this is a special place to call their own, and I continue to use dog cushions and crates for my own dogs.
First night over and now for day 2, day 3 and many more to enjoy with your puppy.
I will mention that it is perfectly normal for some new puppy owners to feel ‘puppy blues’ after a few days or weeks, this is similar to when you have a baby. It happens when all the new puppy excitement calms down and as a new owner you are training and caring for your puppy, but still he/she continues to toilet on the carpet or chews your new shoes etc. Many new owners experience this as the reality of raising a puppy takes much care, commitment and consistency too. However if the thought “what have I done” springs to mind one day, it is natural and the best bit is these thoughts quickly pass when you look at your cute new puppy which you have wanted for so long. Puppies do develop quickly and before you know it your puppy will be a well trained 6 month old puppy who brings you so much love and enjoyment. I just think it is important to share these realist parts of puppy ownership with all new puppy owners.
Ok so looking into the future a little bit, your puppy is 6 months old and has been a part of your family for 4 month, you have sent a photo update to your breeder (if I am your breeder I will be waiting for this email lol). You see the joy and love your puppy has brought to your family home. Your puppy is loved by everyone including your children, possibly grandchildren and your friends too, this puppy is the centre of your world and you love him/her dearly. The daily walk is fun, you have met new dog owning friends possibly, you are going to a puppy training class, planning a dog friendly holiday, and your pet is fully toilet trained, well mannered and great fun to be around.
Life is good with a Dog and I am sure your dog thinks life is good with you too
A few articles which may be interesting and useful before and after your puppy comes home:
How to Puppy Proof Your Home gives ideas how to make your home and garden area safe for your puppy.
Essential Puppy Equipment for Your New Puppy which may give you ideas of things to buy before bringing your new puppy home.
Caring for Your New Puppy which includes information on daily routines, basic health care, vaccinating your puppy, worming, flea treatment, feeding and meal plans, toilet training and of course night time routines and suggestions.
I cannot reinforce enough that each puppy is different and as a pet owner you also need to make many decisions regarding the care and training of your puppy. There really are no rules for so many dog related topics, as it’s all about preferences and what you choose to do.
I am only an email away to support and offer you help in anyway I can, as this level of commitment is important from a breeder. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I am your breeder or not, I will help and offer support to anyone, as I am happy to help others and love talking about puppys and dogs.