Puppies share so many characteristics of human babies. Their big round eyes, large heads often invoke cute responses.
They genuinely grab your attention and trigger compassion and empathy. This is why so many people want to bring a new puppy home.
While it’s an exciting time, the same can trigger some scary experiences as well. After all, you take the munchkin away from its mother and siblings and put it into a new environment. No wonder that it will feel nervous during the first few days.
This guide will help you navigate all the challenges during the first week at home. So, let’s get started! But before that, you must have a list of essentials ready to avoid any rushed trips at the last hour.
- Leash and collar
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- Puppy chew toy
- Dog bed and crate
- Safety gate
- Puppy food
Now before bringing the puppy home, make sure to do this:
Puppy Proof Your Home
This step begins before you go to pick up the newest member of your family. You must keep away loose articles like shoes, clothes, or kids’ toys. You must also remove all the floor plants that your pup might chew or knock over. Also, secure all the things hanging low such as table cloth or tea towels. Besides that, you must block all the access to dangerous places where your pup can squirm.
Once you do that, you can bring your pup home.
Bringing a pup home- What to do in the first week?
The first week is mostly about letting your pup settle in. First of all, you must keep it low-key. Of course, everyone is excited. But as we mentioned, this is a significant change. So, you must not overwhelm your puppy. You must focus on creating positive first impressions.
So, make sure to call a family meeting and establish some ground rules. For instance, where will the dog sleep at night, will you allow it on the couch, or are there any off-limits spaces.
Once you are through with your planning part, use the following guidelines to make your puppy comfortable.
Leave them alone:
First of all, when you bring your puppy home, you must walk away from your furry friend. Of course, this might be the last thing on your mind. But you need to do this if you want to have a happy future together.
But that doesn’t mean you have to leave them for hours alone. That might be scary for them. Leave them for shorter periods of time. You can give them a toy packed with yummy treats when leaving them alone. Try starting with five minutes, and then move on to 10, 20 minutes, and so on.
Make them comfortable to touch:
The first few weeks or months will have a lot of vet visits. So, you must train them to have poked in sensitive areas. You can do it by placing treats on the sides of your pup and start touching their ears, mouths, paws, and other things. That way, you can make the experience less stressful.
Every time you touch one area, tell them “yes” and reward them. If there are any signs of discomfort, do it more slowly.
Start socialization with your puppy:
Even if they can’t walk around the first few days, you can show them the world by carrying them in your arms, bag, or stroller. Reward them if they let the stranger go by without feeling fearful. The aim must be to create positive associations.
However, make sure to avoid greeting other dogs if they are under-vaccinated. You can start this by giving them rides in the car, making them familiar with noise, darkness, rain, and children.
Make them comfortable with a harness/leash:
While following these suggestions, make sure you make them comfortable to harness and a leash. During their initial days, they might be a little restrictive. You can make them comfortable by rewarding them when they start looking at the harness and allow you to slip it over their head. Repeat the positive reinforcement strategy to sensitize them towards a harness.
Create a schedule:
While making them comfortable, create a schedule to make your puppy thrive. Remember, they are creatures of habit. So, after they settle in, take care of their potty breaks, bedtime, and wake up, and prepare a puppy feeding chart to avoid any last-minute hassles. Only then can you prevent any accidents.
Train them basics:
You can always start the learning process, irrespective of their age. For instance, you can begin with cues like sit, down, stay, or go to bed. Of course, they won’t start understanding the very first day or week. But, you have to start somewhere.
So, while taking care of their everyday needs, think about house training as well. You need to praise them for their excellent behavior right from the start of training so that they associate it with positive experiences. This goes without saying that the first few nights will be scary. Hence, you must focus on keeping sanity intact.
The first few days will be a little overwhelming. So, you need to proceed with its pace. Don’t worry. Your pup will come around eventually. Just give it some days, and it will start feeling enthusiastic around you and your family.
Also, whether you are taking out your pup the first few days, make sure they get their identification right from day one. So, get an ID tag for your pup that contains information like your dog’s name, your address, phone number, and email address. You can also include their vet’s number.
Undoubtedly, there is a lot to do when you bring a new puppy home. Besides loving them, you must also focus on keeping them safe and training them. Honestly, it’s a big commitment. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. If you follow the steps, you won’t face any major challenges during your stay.
So, are you ready to bring your pup home?