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You’ve been waiting to bring a new pup home for months. The excitement and anticipation are nearly palpable.
However, as you bring home your adorable furry bundle of joy, the first night can end up being quite daunting.
It’s understandable that both you and your little pup will be nervous and anxious.
You might find yourself bombarded with thoughts like ‘where should your puppy sleep?’ and ‘what if your new addition cries all night?’
Here are some tips, tricks, and practical advice to help you and your pup survive the first night.
Preparing for the First Night
Before bringing your puppy home, you should prepare their space in advance.
Have all the essentials on hand, such as food and water bowls, puppy food, a collar and leash, toys, and a comfortable bed.
There are some great puppy shopping checklists you can follow to make sure you have everything you need before bringing home your new family member.
You should also decide where your puppy will sleep during the night.
Some people prefer to have their puppy in a crate, while others let them sleep in bed with them.
It’s important to establish good sleeping habits from the start, as puppies need a lot of sleep to grow and develop properly.
Can I sleep with my new puppy on the first night?
Many new pet owners wonder whether or not they should let their dog sleep with them or not.
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that you need to make with regard to your living situation, individual temperament, and the size/breed of the animal.
Some people may like sharing their bed with their pup while others find it difficult to sleep while sharing the bed. Either option has pro’s and con’s.
If you choose to let your puppy sleep in bed with you, make sure they have their own space, such as a designated area at the end of the bed.
While it’s tempting to let them snuggle in bed with you, it’s important to establish boundaries from the beginning.
This helps prevent future behavior problems, such as separation anxiety or aggression.
This also ensures their safety, as puppies can easily fall off the bed or get trapped under the covers.
Where should a puppy sleep the first night?
As stated previously, it is up to you to decide where you should have your puppy sleep at night.
We recommend crating your puppy at night.
Crating your dog provides them with a safe and secure space that minimizes accidents and prevents dangerous situations from developing.
First Night Crate Training.
Crate training your puppy on the first night can be an excellent way to help your puppy settle in.
Puppies are den animals and like to have a small, enclosed space to retreat to. Make sure the crate is big enough for your puppy to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably.
You can place a comfortable bed and some toys inside, and cover the crate with a blanket to create a cozy den-like environment.
As a start, you should introduce your puppy to the crate during the day, giving them treats or praise for going inside.
This positive association will help them feel more comfortable when it’s time to go to bed.
In general, your crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand and turn around — but not much larger than that.
Since your puppy will be growing quickly, we recommend getting a crate large enough for your adult pup that has an adjustable divider.
How To Settle A Puppy At Night.
When it’s time for bed, take your puppy outside or to their designated area for a potty break and some exercise to tire them out.
You should also ensure that your pup has enough exercise and playtime during the day.
This will help to calm their nerves, providing them with the opportunity to burn off their excess energy.
You can also try to engage your new pup in mentally stimulating activities such as playing with toys and taking walks.
Once tired, bring them to their designated sleeping area, whether it’s a crate or a bed.
You can provide a comforting chew toy or some calming music to help them feel relaxed.
If your puppy cries or whines during the night, resist the urge to pick them up and comfort them.
This will only reinforce their behavior and make it harder for them to settle in the following nights.
Instead, provide them with a calm and quiet space and allow them to settle on their own.
If they are proving especially resistant to their crate, try covering the crate with a light towel or blanket.
Consistency is Key
One of the most important things to remember when settling in your new puppy is to be consistent.
First and foremost, consistency will help you as a new puppy owner stay sane and fend off the puppy blues.
You should stick to a routine, including regular feeding times, potty breaks, and bedtime.
This also provides structure for your puppy and helps them feel secure in their new environment.
Consistency can help with training too, as it establishes clear expectations and reinforces good behavior.
Remember to be patient and understanding during this process, as your new puppy is still adjusting to their new home and family.
If you are ever in doubt or just beed some extra help, you can always contact a certified, fear free dog trainer to help guide you through the training process.
Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful, especially during the first night.
With a little preparation, patience, and consistency, you can help your new furry family member settle in and sleep soundly.
Crate training, establishing good sleeping habits, and providing a comfortable and safe sleeping area are all essential components to a successful first night.
Remember to be kind and gentle with your new puppy, and enjoy the journey of building a lifelong bond with your new best friend.