Puppy and a new home
The day has finally arrived that your puppy will come home and meet his new family. This is a super exciting day for you and your family but be mindful to remember that for your puppy, this can be a very scary experience with lots of new smells and strange sights. It’s best to ease him or her into it by allowing some freedom and some time to adjust to it all. To avoid any last-minute chaos, it’s a great idea to make sure everything is ready, just as you would if you were bringing home a new baby.
Puppy and a new bed
First things first, you should consider where your puppy is going to sleep, taking into consideration that most puppies prefer an enclosed sleeping area to act as a refuge if things become too stressful. To this end, getting a crate to put over your puppy's bed or basket is a great idea as this will give your puppy a perfect little sanctuary to retreat to when life gets too hectic. Ensure the space you choose is warm, dry, comfortable and draught-free and provide a nice blanket or dog bed to keep your puppy cosy.
Lastly, it’s best to choose a spot outside of your bedroom as this will remove the temptation of having your puppy in the bed with you which can become a difficult habit to break going forward.
Puppy and night-time
It’s not uncommon for puppies to cry a little at night, especially during the first week in a strange new home. To help in this regard, try and ensure his or her bed is super cosy and warm. Additionally, you can try putting a hot water bottle in his or her bed, or a pet-safe cuddly toy.
Others in your home
If you have other pets in your home, it’s a good idea to allow your puppy to explore the new environment first without their presence. Only after should you introduce the other pets, again keeping a close watch on the proceedings to avoid any avoidable situations. Introducing your puppy to children should also be done gradually, not allowing them to get too over-excited or treat the puppy as a cuddly toy.
Puppy alone at home
Never leave a puppy, or any pet for that matter, alone at home for long periods. Dogs that are left alone for long periods can develop some form of separation anxiety.
To avoid this from happening it’s good to teach your puppy to tolerate short absences. This can be done by leaving your pup alone in a room for a few minutes and when you return, don't make a big fuss about it. After a few occasions of doing this, you could increase your away time a little but if your puppy does become distressed (barking, chewing, or scratching at the door) you should shorten the absence period.
Before leaving, you should walk or play with your puppy and provide a meal to encourage sleepiness. Additionally, you can leave something to chew like a pet-safe chew toy. Some growing puppies will be further comforted by familiar sounds, so you could try leaving the radio on, or even record several minutes of your family's conversation.
If your puppy continues to show signs of distress when left alone it’s best to consult your vet for further advice.