Surviving a Puppy’s First Night At Home

Surviving a puppy’s first night at home can be an exciting yet challenging experience for any new dog owner. As you welcome your new furry friend into your family, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition. Let’s dive into some helpful tips and tricks that will make your puppy’s first night a memorable and positive experience.

1. Starting Puppy Toilet Training

Before you even bring your puppy inside, take them to their designated toilet spot outside. This will help establish the appropriate place for them to relieve themselves from the start, avoiding potential messes in your home.

Be prepared to take your puppy outside frequently during the day (every 30- 60 minutes or so) to guide them to their toilet area. Just as a precaution, I would suggest putting a couple of the puppy training pads down near the door to the outside, accidents happen, so it’s best to be prepared. 

2. Exploring Their New Home

Let your puppy ease into their new home at their own pace. Start with showing them their sleeping area or crate, allowing them to adjust and feel secure. Gradually introduce other areas of your home, but be mindful not to overwhelm your new pup. Restricting them to one or two rooms initially will help them feel more comfortable and avoid stress. 

Using a stair gate or room divider can keep your puppy safe and prevent access to areas you want to keep off-limits for now. You can remove this in time, you are just setting out the area you want your new puppy to explore. Remember, if this is not near the door to the outside, you may experience occasional accidents. 

3. Puppy’s First Meal Time

Have an area where you will have your puppy’s food and water, if you are wondering what types of bowls to use, we use this one. Stick to a consistent diet, especially in the beginning, to avoid upsetting your puppy’s tummy. I would suggest that you to find out what the breeder has been feeding the puppy and use the same food until they are settled. 

Once they’re comfortable, you can gradually transition to a different food if this is needed.

Try hand-feeding your puppy if they seem reluctant to eat. This can help build trust and create a strong bond between you and your new companion.

4. Winding Down for Bedtime

Start winding down about an hour before bedtime and take your puppy outside for a final toilet break 10–15 minutes before you head to bed. When they’re ready for sleep, place your puppy in their crate or sleeping area and give them a chance to settle down.

A crate can provide your puppy with a sense of security. Think of it as a cosy den where they can feel safe and rest peacefully. There are many accessories available, such as beds, mats, and covers, to make your puppy’s area even more comfortable.

5. Snuggle Down: Puppy’s First Night

Your puppy may whimper or bark on their first night, but try to avoid responding too much, as this can reinforce attention-seeking behaviour. If you think they need the toilet, take them outside, but otherwise, let them self-soothe.

This will be one of the hardest nights of your life, take that from someone who went through a very tough time with their own puppy. 

A familiar-smelling toy, a gentle night light, or soft music can help your puppy feel more at ease. Consider a heartbeat toy that mimics a mother’s heartbeat, offering comfort and easing anxiety.

For additional peace of mind, a pet camera can allow you to check in on your puppy from your phone, ensuring they are settling well.

Helpful Pro Tip:

Some dog owners find it easier to keep the puppy’s crate in their bedroom for the first few nights. This can help the puppy feel safe and secure. If your puppy wakes up during the night, avoid picking them up or cuddling them—this helps them learn to sleep through the night.

No matter what method you choose, be prepared to wake up during the night and early in the morning to take your puppy out for their first-morning toilet break.

Remember, getting a puppy is a magical moment, it is hard work but very rewarding. Puppies are like children, they need lots of attention and guidance, so make sure you are in a position to be able to provide this.