What should I do with my puppy the first night?

So the big day is coming when you bring your puppy home for the first time. As with all conscientious dog owners I am sure you have done lots of research but with so much conflicting advice out here it is difficult to know what to do for the best. So I am going to give you my thoughts on this based on training I have been on, advising multiple new owners and also having had 4 puppies of my own within the last 8 years.

Ok, so first of all you will want to contact the breeder or rescue centre and ask the following:

  • to outline your pups routine with them, playtime, feed times, settle times
  • what are the pups being fed? Even if you plan to change the pups diet for the first few days you should feed the pup the food they have been having and using the same method ie Bowl or kong.
  • How often the puppy is eliminating outside and whether it is a free for all or do they take them out on a collar and lead to eliminate after eating.
  • ask them for a blanket or towel that will have the mothers scent from their pen so that the puppy can have similar smells around them when they come home. If the Breeder or rescue centre don’t have anything just ask if you can pop over with a blanket a few days before you collect the puppy.

What equipment will you need?

I love crates for pups – They help contain them and give them a safe place to sleep and rest when they get tired. Remember your puppy is growing rapidly and will need lots of sleep.

I must admit I prefer a metal crate with 2 doors so the pup has 2 ways of coming in and out but you can also get fabric and travel crates which work just as well. I dont necessarily think they are as robust. For example my puppy crate has survived 5 puppies now and is still going strong! – Buy a Crate

You will also need a blanket and I like a nice fluffy crate cushion that the pup can settle on. This is down to personal taste though. – Buy a Crate cushion

A little flat collar and lead is a good idea although you could also introduce a harness if you want to – Keep in mind how quickly the pup will be growing! Buy a Collar and Lead

A Food bowl and a water bowl – Buy Here

Some chews suitable for pups for night time – Airdried Beef chews are great – Buy Here

The food they have been eating up until now.

First Night Routine

Setup your pups crate where they are going to sleep – I recommend you having them in the same room as you for the first week so whether you sleep in a downstairs room with them or they sleep in your bedroom I will leave up to you.

All the excitement of having your puppy home on the first day and children have played with the pup in the garden you would think your pup will be exhausted but actually this is typically totally to the contrary.

Therefore you should feed the pup and take them out to eliminate straight after. Stay out with them until they have. You may need to have them on a lead so they remain calm but essentially you want them to eliminate and then allow them to potter for a couple more minutes before bringing them in.

Settle them in their crate and you may want to give them a chew to help them settle. Make sure they can see you and that you are in reaching distance so you can reach out and touch them if they become distressed.

If they wake up in the night, wait to see if they will resettle, if they do not after a few minutes then do not talk to them just put their lead on and take them out to eliminate. Once they have eliminated put them back in their crate with their chew and they should settle down again.

When you wake up in the morning, take them out to eliminate before you do anything else.

Congratulations on your successful First Night with your new pup in your home!

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