Bringing My Puppy Home

Written by: Jodie Lindop

Let the fun begin! You’ve been to the breeders, you’ve chosen your new best friend and now it’s time to take them home. In this post we’ll talk through some of the things you may want to plan for and consider when introducing a new puppy into your life.

Before you bring your puppy home

It is important to prepare for your puppy’s arrival before the excitement of the homecoming takes over. This will help make the transition process as smooth as possible.

‘Puppy proofing’ your home

• Pick a selection of rooms that the puppy can interact with you safely. The kitchen is always a good start as there will be lots of activity in here and it’s fairly easy to clean if your pup has any accidents.

• Hide any visible cables and wires and remove anything reachable that your pup could potentially chew on, such as decorative cushions/tassels.

• Put away any fragile decoration such as glasses vases to prevent any accidental breakage while your pup explores their new surroundings.

Creating a safe space for your puppy

• If possible, acquire a piece of old bedding/towel from the breeder so they have a familiar, comforting scent of their mother/littermates to help them settle.

• Prepare your puppy’s bed. A crate is suggested; place a blanket over top and sides to make it feel more like a cosy den.

• Get a dog gate to close off any doorways.

The car journey home

• Pick up your puppy early in the day, so that they have time to settle into their new surroundings before night time.

• Get someone else to drive so you can hold the puppy and start bonding straight away.

• Bring kitchen roll/wipes in case there’s an accident.

• Bring old blankets/towels to cover the seats or to place on your lap.

What to do when you get home

• Give your pup a small amount of water (approximately one cup) if they don’t throw that up after fifteen or twenty minutes (from the excitement and car travel), you can leave water down for them.

• Give them a small bowl of food at their normal feeding time. Be sure to check with the breeder what brand of food they have been accustomed to eating. If this is different to what you plan on buying, you can mix in small amounts of your preferred dog food with this and slowly introduce the new food by decreasing the amount of their regular food in their portions. If required, you can also adjust the pup’s feeding schedule to fit in with your lifestyle over the next few days.

• Keep things low key. Do not invite the entire neighbourhood over to meet your puppy. Allow them plenty of time to settle in and explore their surroundings. Too much excitement in the household at this time can be very stressful for your puppy.

The first night

• Sit on the floor and let them explore the space you’ve set aside for them. Allow them to meet the members of your household at their own pace. When he/she makes their way over to you, use a calm and friendly voice to greet them.

• When interacting with your puppy, give them a gentle scratch or stroke on the chest or back (don’t reach right for their head).

• A couple of hours before you plan on going to bed, tire them out with lots of playtime, followed by about an hour of chill out time. Generally a tired puppy is much more relaxed.

• Your puppy will probably cry several times during the night. This is completely normal, they just feel vulnerable. It is important that you do not verbally try to soothe them. If you say, “good boy/girl, that’s okay,” you are encouraging the crying. Do not raise your voice either, this will only make the puppy more anxious.

• Take the puppy out to wee if they whine or cry, but avoid any playing. When they’re finished, praise the weeing, but put them straight back into bed. The puppy must go out to wee first thing in the morning, even before you. You have far more bladder control at this point.

The first week

Take some time off work

If possible, take a few days off work to bond with your puppy. Your time spent together at the beginning will help you learn about his or her temperament. This doesn’t mean you can’t go out, but in the early days you should try and spend as much time at home as possible. Your presence will make them feel secure and help them settle easier.

Come and go without a fuss

To make life easier for both of you, you should treat your departures and returns as no big deal. The less fuss you make, the easier your dog will accept this. You may find it helpful to use a catch phrase for your dog to recognise such as “see you later.” Make your first departure a brief few minutes, then return. Give your pup a small pat on returning. When you next leave, use the same “see you later” phrase and stay out for longer this time.

Take lots of pictures

Puppies grow up very quickly. Be sure to capture those adorable moments of sleeping and playtime during their early days with you. You’ll be glad to have recorded those memories in a year’s time.

Set the boundaries

If you don’t want the puppy climbing on the sofas, then make sure this is enforced from the very start. As long they understand what the ground rules are and their needs are met, a dog can fit into whatever life you lead.

Start to learn your puppy’s “Language.”

Barking, whining and crying are all types of puppy communication. Over time you will be able to determine whether he/she needs to go outside, wants to be let out of his/her crate (if they’re in one) or are just being playful.

Remember that bringing a puppy into your home is a huge change for both you and them. It will take time and patience, but it won’t be long until your puppy will be a thriving member of the family. You’ll wake up one day and wonder how you ever lived life before without them. Enjoy every moment. They grow up so fast!

About Jodie: Jodie starting working for Orvis UK in August 2016. As Digital Marketing Executive, she has the opportunity to be involved with a wide range of opportunities in the business. Her main responsibilities include managing the Orvis UK social media channels and blog, as well as providing support to the wider Marketing team. She has previously worked in a number of creative roles and has enjoyed writing from a young age, so is a regular contributor to the Orvis UK blog.

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