What To Expect – Your Puppy’s First Day Home

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Today’s the big day – you’re bringing your puppy home! You can already imagine the coming weeks full of sweet puppy kisses, adorable mischievousness and hundreds of photos you’ll be sharing on your social media networks. Before your puppy comes into your loving home, we wanted to make sure you know what to expect for your puppy’s first day home. Here is a list of things to keep in mind:

Mistakes will happen: Your puppy is excited and overwhelmed… he’s not concerned about being a thoughtful house guest. He may pee or poop, run all over the house, chase the cat and chew on some tasty-looking shoes. Keep a close eye on your pup. Clean up accidents as they happen and don’t scold. Instead, take him out every 30 minutes to avoid future messes. However, in the following days and weeks, make sure to correct housebreaking mistakes when they happen. You don’t want this habit to continue all of his life!

Family introductions: When you bring your puppy home, make sure that all family members are sitting down calmly. Your puppy can go and introduce himself on his own. If he goes to them on his own, make sure that he is praised (again, calmly). Children can be just as excitable as a puppy, and this excitement can scare the new guy. The best way to make friends is to be happy and calm.

Introduce him to his area: On your puppy’s first day home, you should have an area set up that’s just for him. This should include his toys and a bed. Wait to show him all the rooms in your home until he’s been there awhile and has a grasp on potty training. You don’t want him to mark every room. Close the doors and put up a baby gate to keep him from getting into forbidden areas.

Take a break: Puppies may be a bundle of energy, but that first day home will be a tiring one for him. He’ll need a break from the excitement or he’ll get overwhelmed. Take him somewhere quiet for a little nap and belly rub, where you can watch him as he rests. And don’t invite friends for introduction on your puppy’s first day home. Wait a few days, until he’s comfortable in his new surroundings.

Have a schedule ready: Puppies do best when they stick to a schedule. This means times for potty breaks, feeding, play and training time, and bedtime have to be set up ahead of time. When it comes to bathroom routines, this helps to prevent accidents and makes housetraining so much easier. Be sure to reward the behavior you want – that way, you’re setting your puppy up for success.

Prepare for a sleepless first night: You may get lucky and all the excitement may wear him. But chances are he’ll be scared and confused, wanting the warmth of his mom and littler mates. That means a long night of whining and crying. Don’t yet or get mad at him. Instead, keep his bed close to yours. You can wrap a wind-up alarm clock in a soft blanket and leave it with him. Or a product such as Snuggle Puppy may come in handy. This issue may take a few nights (or weeks) to sort itself out, so be patient and try to get in a few naps when possible.

By preparing yourself for your puppy’s first day home, you’re setting the stage for a happy transition and a wonderful bonding process. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share with the community? If so, please leave them in the comment section below.