Adopting a new puppy is a wonderful adventure! But it’s critical to understand what to expect when you bring home that new bundle of fur!
If you missed our last blog, the “4 Needs to Address on the First Day with Your New Puppy,” you can read it here. In this blog, we address what to expect on the first night with your new puppy!
Your Puppy’s Safe Space
One of our tips in the last blog was to introduce your puppy to his personal, safe space. This is also the space you’ll use for him to sleep. It should be in a quiet place so they can rest without distractions. It should also allow him to see and smell you for comfort.
Before you bring home the new puppy, set up his safe, quiet place with the following:
- A crate. Not only is a dog crate a safe space for your puppy, but it’s also an invaluable training tool for housebreaking. For effective potty training, you must use the correct size. The crate should only be large enough for your puppy to sit or stand up and turn around. Their natural inclination is to not soil their sleeping area. If you want to use a crate your puppy can grow into, choose one that offers removable barriers to increase the size of the crate as your puppy grows but again, does not give too much space for your puppy to soil in.
- Include a comfortable bed or blanket in the crate. One with mom’s scent or that of his littermates can also create a sense of security for the new puppy.
- Puppy toys that are safe and age-appropriate and not too small for the puppy to accidentally swallow.
Keep Consistent Potty Breaks
Young puppies require consistent and frequent potty breaks. Not only are the muscles to hold the bladder still not fully developed, but:
- Anxiety or stress.
- Overall health; and
- Ingestion of water and/or meals
will all play a role in how often they need to use the bathroom.
A common potty break schedule for puppies is:
- When they first wake up in the morning.
- After meals and water. (Puppies need to pee within 10-30 minutes of drinking.)
- After naps.
- After playtime.
- Before bedtime.
Watch your puppy’s cues and behavior and create a schedule that works best for him to avoid accidents. Remember to be patient as your puppy learns how to control his bodily functions. Most puppies will learn to control their bladder around 4-6 months, although some may do it as early as 3 months or others could take up to 9 months.
A common rule of thumb: puppies should be able to hold their bladders for one hour for each month of age. For example, a two-month-old puppy can typically hold its bladder for 2 hours. But again, it’s important to work with your puppy’s cues and behavior and not impose arbitrary rules. Always give them plenty of opportunities to relieve themselves especially before going to bed and don’t punish them for accidents in the house. Also, especially early on, expect to take your puppy out for potty breaks during the night.
How to Comfort a Restless Puppy
Remember, your puppy has been with his mother and siblings before coming to your home. So, it is normal for him to whine, cry or bark as he realizes he is on his own. Check on him every so often to make sure he’s ok and does not need a potty break.
Here are some tips to help you get through your puppy’s adjustment.
- Create a bedtime routine to help your puppy calm down and get ready to go to sleep. Limit any water intake an hour or two before bedtime and make sure their bladder is empty before bed.
- Provide a plush toy for your puppy to snuggle up against as he did with his mom and litter.
- If possible, place a blanket, towel or toy with his mom’s scent on it inside the crate to help the puppy self-soothe and sleep.
We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with Tara Russ at the Dogs Dresser to make new tote bags for our 2023 litters of puppies!
These specialty bags will be part of our Puppy Welcome Kit for deposits placed on puppies before 8 weeks of age.