Wondering how you will survive the first night with a puppy? We’re sharing our favorite tips and tricks for getting Tiny Spot to settle in without wreaking too much havoc on the rest of your household! Bringing a new member into your family is always exciting, but it also has moments of uncertainty as you acclimate to each other. That first night may be a particular challenge, and knowing what to expect and what to do will help.
Like with a human baby, your puppy is looking for security. No matter how excited he seemed when you took him home, he is still bound to be scared. He’s in a new place with new people, and there are probably things all over he’s never seen before. If you have kids or other pets, that may be an additional source of anxiety for him. Here are some things to try to ease the transition and make it as painless as possible for both of you.
How to Survive the First Night with a New Puppy
- Get a crate for your puppy. As you crate train your puppy, it will be a place of safety and comfort for him. Start on the first night, especially since he is too young to be able to hold his bladder. If there are any accidents, they will be easier to address if he is confined.
- Tire her out before bed. Play with your puppy and run around with her before bedtime. Playing with her will create a positive bond with her right away so she will start to trust you, but it will also wear her out before she goes to sleep.
- Give him dinner and his last drink several hours before bed. If you feed him or give him water too close to bedtime, he is bound to have an accident (he probably will anyway, but this will help). Make sure to let him outside or take him for a final walk to do his business right before you plan to put him to bed.
- Your puppy will whine. You’re becoming a source of reassurance for her, and being separated from the one person or item that is familiar will be hard for her. Her instinct is to whine because it is what she did with her mother to keep her from wandering too far out of earshot. Some people think that putting their puppy in the basement so they cannot hear the whining is the right route to go, but that will probably only make it worse. Instead, put the crate in or near your bedroom so your new puppy knows you are nearby. Plus, if she does wake up and whine, you’ll hear her and can take her outside to go potty.
- Set your alarm to take your puppy out during the night. According to the Humane Society, your puppy can hold his bladder about one hour for each month of age. Just like waking up to feed a new baby, it’s a good idea to wake up to take your new puppy outside to go potty. Start with three or four-hour increments, but make sure to listen for those cries in case he needs to go sooner.
- If she’s having a hard time settling down, give her something that smells like you. Again, she’s starting to trust you, so giving her an article of your clothing (something you wouldn’t mind having chewed or peed on, of course) may help her settle down and go to sleep.
- Praise him in the morning. Regardless of whining or accidents, he made it through his first night at his new home! Celebrate that with lots of praise and snuggles (possibly after a bath depending upon the accident situation)!
Once you first night with a new puppy, each night will get progressively easier. Your new puppy will sleep for longer periods of time. You may choose to relocate the crate once your puppy seems to be comfortable in her new environment, but don’t put her too far (the basement still is not the best idea) – being far away from her family may cause her to regress, and all of your hard work will be for naught. She loves you and wants to please you, and before long, nighttime will be no big deal!