Bringing your puppy home is a hugely exciting time, you’ve likely had to wait after meeting them and you’re so excited to have them home for your future together.
It’s important to help our puppy settle in properly, it’s been a huge overhaul for them. All they’ve ever known is their Mum and siblings so a brand new place, no Mum and no familiarity is terrifying for a young pup.
Here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts from Rosie at Paw Skills Dog Training to help you and your puppy have a smooth home transition.
Pick up your puppy in the morning
The dark can be quite scary for young pups and as they are settling into a new home it’s best to get in as many daylight hours as possible so they can have a good investigate in the light.
Ask your breeder not to feed them on the day
Travel sickness is common in young pups and they often will be sick on the way home as they may have never experienced a car journey before. By asking your breeder to not feed them on the morning of collection it will help reduce the risk of travel sickness. Remember to take lots of towels with you so you can swap them over if travel sickness occurs.
Have a safe travel space
We want to smother our new puppy in love, it’s only natural! But we also need to be safe. If you were in an accident and your pup was sat on your lap that’s a very high risk of injury for your new addition. If you’re collecting alone then set up a crate on the passenger seat so you can still comfort your pup or have the crate set up next to someone in the back.
Give them some time to settle
There’s going to be a lot to take in for your new pup. Grab yourself a cuppa and sit quietly on the sofa, leave all doors throughout the house and into the garden (not your front door and make sure your garden is secure!) open so that your pup can investigate on their terms.
Force them to cuddle you
You’re a complete stranger to your puppy and they need to build up trust. If they come to you offer a cuddle but allow them to move away when they want to. Try and refrain from picking them up for a cuddle
Take them for a walk straight away
Let your puppy settle for a few days before taking them out into the big wide world! They will have plenty of things to explore in your house and garden.
Let them cry it out
There’s a debunked theory that we should let dogs cry out when we put them to bed so they ‘get used to it’. This not only distresses our pups but also can cause them to lose trust in us. Reassure your pup, sleep next to them and help them understand they’re safe.
Push them to eat & drink
Puppies tummies are really small, so often they don’t eat much right away. They also might not want much for the first few days while they are settling in so offer their portioned meals and don’t panic if they don’t eat it all. They’ve also got to get used to eating at our routine times so they may not be hungry when you offer food. A good thing to do is check the times when the breeder was feeding to give you an idea.
Worry if their poo is runny
When we have anxiety or a big change often our tums can get affected and it’s the same with pups. It’s really common and usually rectifies itself within a few days.
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