The First 48 Hours With Your New Puppy: What to Expect
Bringing a new puppy home can be a simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking experience. The joy of providing a forever home for an adorable puppy can also be met with a little hesitance - that you might do something wrong, or your property might be damaged by an untrained puppy on the loose.
The first 48 hours with your new puppy can be unpredictable and even restless, but making it through the first few days is the hardest part. After that, you will see your new friend settling into routines and adjusting to their unfamiliar environment.
If you’re serious about raising a puppy, don’t let the potential stresses of the first 48 hours discourage you from going forward with adopting or purchasing one. Remaining diligent and preparing yourself for some common obstacles that new dog owners face early on will give you the confidence to conquer the first 48 hours.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
Even before your puppy sets foot in your home, puppy-proofing your house is crucial in ensuring the safety of your dog as well as the protection of your property. By moving items that your dog could potentially harm himself with, or even destroy, you’re well on your way to safe-guarding your home.
This includes loose cables from phone and laptop chargers, important documents, children’s toys, and even food if it’s in a low enough spot for your puppy to find and possibly eat. A good rule of thumb should be: if your puppy can reach it and you don’t want it tampered with, then find a safe place to keep it while he is adjusting to his new surroundings.
Obtain Necessary Supplies
Before you can bring your puppy into your home, there are several essential items you need in order to provide the puppy with everything it needs to be happy, healthy, and safe.
Items on the top of your list should include:
- Dog food that is appropriate for the size and breed of your puppy
- Food and drink bowls
- A crate, pen, or doggy gate depending on how you decide to housetrain
- Collar and harness
- Chew toys
- Waste bags
- Potty pads
- Stain remover
- Nail clippers
Being prepared with all of the tools you need to train and raise your puppy is the first step in being a successful dog owner. Once you get home with your puppy and your supplies, it’s truly time to start raising your dog.
Prepare for Frequent Potty Breaks
There are two important things you need to know about puppies and how they go potty early on. First, their bladders are extremely small and can’t hold their bowel movements for more than an hour or two at the most. Second, they don’t understand that going to the bathroom in the house is bad. To them, if they have to go, they will try to find the best place to go, even if that’s in your living room.
That’s why it’s crucial that you take them outside every hour or so to give them a chance to go potty. This not only prevents them from having accidents in your home, but it also reinforces that the appropriate place to go potty is outside.
When your puppy inevitably has an accident in your home, the best way to respond is by not scolding or punishing them but by swiftly taking them to their chosen spot. Reprimanding your dog for having an accident will only make them go potty in more discrete places in the house, only worsening matters.
During the times when you do take them out, use a phrase like “go potty” and when after they finish going, give them plenty of praise so they form a positive association with going potty outside.
Keep Your Puppy Active
A puppy that is engaged in play and other activities that stimulate their brain is a puppy that will adapt well to being a part of your family. An active puppy will not find themselves getting into trouble because you are the one providing the entertainment, preventing them from finding other, more destructive means of entertaining themselves.
It’s also healthy for your dog to be running around, playing tug of war, and interacting playfully with their owners and especially other pups. They are forming strong bonds with their companions and getting the necessary exercise they need.
This is a great time to show them toys that are appropriate to chew on and play brain-stimulating games.
It’s up to you whether you want to crate train your new puppy. There are other ways to go about housetraining, but crate training is one of the most popular - and successful. It is an effective tool to use while you teach your dog about house rules while providing boundaries until they are allowed free-reign throughout the house.
The crate is not to be used as a punishment for misbehavior, but, if implemented correctly through this type of training, it will become a safe space that your puppy can go while it is becoming familiar with its new environment.
The First Night
You might have a hard time sleeping on your first night with your puppy. They will likely wake up several times throughout the night and engage in whining behavior because they find themselves alone.
It is completely normal and natural for a puppy to cry through the first few nights, and even after a few weeks. They are trying to fall asleep in a place they don’t feel totally safe yet, and they are adapting to a wholly new social dynamic.
Playing with your puppy in the last hour or so before bedtime is a good way to get them nice and tired so that they fall asleep much easier. You also want to take them outside and give them a chance to go potty before bed so their bladder is totally empty.
Introducing Other Pets
You might want to wait until later on in the first two days to give your new puppy an introduction to your other pet(s), but it is an important and necessary step in making your puppy feel safe in your home.
Keep the first several interactions brief and make sure you don’t leave them unattended. You can’t be certain how your other cat or dog will react to a new pet in the house so it’s a good idea to supervise them so you can intervene if things go south.
Ready to bring home your new puppy? Find one on Lancaster Puppies today!