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How to Make First Night with Puppy Easier

Posted on September 14 2021

The best owners are prepared for the first night with a pup by getting them a comfy bed and crate.

Let’s set the scene.

You’ve finally found the perfect pup for your family, you’ve bought all the toys they could ever need, and you're just about to bring them home for the first night in their new forever home.

You might think you already have all you could ever need to make your pooch feel comfortable and at home — but do you really know how to handle your very first night together without any stress, and even enjoy the process?

Your first night after bringing home a puppy can be fun and exciting just as much as it can be sleepless and messy. Your pup might cry all night long or even bark, trying to escape their brand new crate and get your attention.

Needless to mention, they could also have a few “accidents” along the way!

If you’re not really prepared for all the issues that might come up throughout the night, we’re here for the rescue. Keep reading to find out how to not only survive but hopefully enjoy your first night with a puppy!

So, What Do You Need for a New Puppy?

Before we dive into what to do once your pup is finally at home, let’s first go over the essential checklist of toys, beds, and blankets you should already have prepared for their arrival. 

With these on hand, getting everything you need well in advance will make the night a whole lot easier!

The Bare Necessities

The first item you should buy for a new puppy is, of course, their very first comfy bed so they can feel right at home and sleep like the king or queen they are.

Nowadays, there are plenty of doggie safe designer beds you can choose from to get your pup the well deserved rest they need, and you can find the perfect one for their size and your home’s decor with the click of a button.

We’re talking donuts, duvets, canopies, and a whole lot more!

Make sure to pay special attention to the bed’s material, however, as it’s usually the deciding factor when it comes to comfort, especially for the first night together.

Look for beds with a blend of firm and soft materials, as well as those that are waterproof and snuggly.

If you want to add another layer of feel-at-home comfort, you can also get your new pup a soft doggie blanket to burrow into. It’ll help ease anxiety and keep them warm while they’re still getting used to the new space!

At the same time, you’ll want to invest in a convenient dog crate, which you’ll put to good use from the very first night up until the third or fourth week together.

After choosing the perfect one, don’t forget to get a crate cover and mattress to provide some extra comfort and oomph to the decor.

While not necessarily essential, it might be wise to add a calming spray or fragrance to the checklist too, as you won’t know how stressed out and fearful your puppy might be until the night comes!

Finally, make sure you have a selection of toys at hand to start creating a bond and easing their nighttime anxieties, whether it’s a stimulating chew toy or a convenient calming aid toy they can play with to relax and unwind.

Fun Gifts For Puppy

Now, if you’re anything like us, getting just the bare necessities for your puppy’s big arrival won’t do — you’ll want to start spoiling them and pampering them straight away!

There’s nothing wrong with showering your new pup with fun gifts and accessories they can grow into, so make sure to leave space in your schedule to shop for a snazzy sweater, fashion-forward accessories, and some handy winter gear to prepare them for the colder days ahead.

On top of spoiling them with the latest toys, you can also start having fun with glamorous dog tags and charms, and (of course!) start stocking up on delicious treats to help the long training sessions go down smoother.

Remember that when it comes to bringing your puppy home for the first time, it’s always best to be over prepared than clueless and underprepared!

Bringing a Puppy Home: First Steps and First Rules

So, with the fun shopping checklist out of the way, let’s get to the tough part of the journey. 

How can you make sure your first day and evening with your new pooch goes as smoothly as possible?

You probably already know there’s going to be quite a lot of training involved, especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements, and that creating good habits as early as possible is going to really pay off in the long run.

There’s a lot that can go wrong on your first day together, but as a general rule of thumb, the quieter your environment and your schedule are, the better it will be for your puppy, their training, and their understanding of the rules of the house — so take a few days or a week off work to fully dedicate to your pup, if you can!

Let’s take a look at the first day's journey step by step.

The first night with your new puppy sets an important precedent for for the rest of your time together.

Getting Inside

The moment you walk through the front door and introduce your pup to their new home, they’re going to feel excited and understandably a little overwhelmed, so keeping things quiet is essential.

The first day is all about getting to know each other and getting used to the environment, so you should avoid having people over, no matter how ready they might be to shower your pup with pets and attention!

Your very first destination will be their toilet area, which they’re going to visit quite frequently during your first day together. Make sure to start toilet training straight away, showering your puppy with praise when they get it right.

Let them explore the living area freely and sniff around, making sure to avoid introducing them to all the rooms of the house straight away: Designate a play area and sleeping quarters beforehand and let them get used to those spaces first instead!

First Feeding

Their first meal together is going to be just as important for establishing a sound routine as getting them used to their toilet, so prepare accordingly.

You’ll want to use the same food brand they’ve been eating for the few days before you got them home, and use a clean, calm area of the house to designate as their feeding station. You can start acclimating them to different foods later and even move to plant-based brands as they grow if you’re up to the challenge, but for the first two to three days, stick to a consistent diet. It’ll minimize stress or any stomach upset!

Training and Playing

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re creating a strong bond from the start, making your pup feel safe and cared for but ideally without giving them too much attention. It’s easy to feel excited and get your puppy overexcited in the process, so try to keep calm as much as you can.

Getting the balance just right is definitely no easy feat, but you should keep in mind that your pup is going to be napping for most hours of the day. As long as you’ve created a comfy puppy space and dedicate plenty of time to play with toys and teach them their name, you’re going to be just fine!

Where Should a Puppy Sleep?

If you’ve survived the day so far, you’re both finally ready to get to bed and get some well-served sleep ... but where should a puppy sleep on their very first night home?

It might be tempting to let them sleep in the bed with you to ease their stress and help them feel safer in the new surroundings, but getting them used to sleeping in your bed will become a problem once they grow larger! By the same token, keeping your pup outside in a large, private garden is also not recommended. They should be sleeping right where you can see them and right where they can hear you, without invading your personal space.

So, it only makes sense that the perfect place for puppies to sleep when they first get home is beside your bed surrounded by their special puppy crate.

Keeping them close to you will allow you to calm them down if they start crying or need a bathroom break (and trust us, they will) while putting enough space between you for optimal sleeping habits.

Crate training your new puppy may involve resisting the urge to let them sleep next to you that first night.

Crate Training: Puppy First Night By Your Side

And speaking of puppy crates, how can you make sure your pooch can spend a restful night by your side without too much stress and accidents?

Crate training is much like potty training when it comes to puppies, as you’ll want to establish a reliable routine and good habits straight away. You should never use the crate for punishment or use it too frequently as a play zone or nap zone, and instead only take it out for the night or for another consistent purpose to make your dog understand its purpose.

Once your pup is settled in their crate, make sure to praise them and reward them with treats so to help them associate the crate with positive things. Positive association is at the heart of all training, so giving your pup all their favorite things when they’re inside will help massively for making them feel happy and at ease.

When you’re first introducing them to the crate, make sure it’s in a spacious area of the house and that you’re not closing the door just yet. Let them explore, sniff around, and go in and out as they please for at least the first day.

When night time comes around, fill the crate with comfy blankets, toys, and calming aids to keep them entertained and excited by the space, so they’ll settle in a little more easily and not get bored before bedtime.

What To Do When Puppy Cries in Crate

Now, if you’ve gotten very lucky, your pup won’t mind their crate at all and will sleep soundly throughout the night while feeling little to no stress from the transition.

But if you’re part of the 99% of dog owners whose pups end up crying or barking in their crate, there are plenty of ways to help them feel calmer and safer throughout the night!

In addition to using calming aids and toys for preventing the whines from coming out in the first place, you’ll want to keep your distance unless your puppy needs a toilet break and not give in to their cries with too much attention.

Yes, they’re adorable and ignoring them is incredibly hard. But try your best to not give them the attention they’re asking for! Don’t pet your pup if they’re crying as it will only be read as a reward for their behavior, and just let them settle down on their own. 

Lastly, before you go to bed, make sure you’ve played and walked around the house with them enough, as you want them to be tired and ready for their nap. A tired pup is a quiet, happy one!

Easy Enough, Right?

Yes, you better believe it! It’s just as easy as you make it!

Of course, we’re not saying that surviving your first night with a puppy is definitely an easy feat, especially if this is the first time you’re taking a pup home and you don’t have a lot of experience with training — but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and simple!

Your first day and night together are incredibly important for creating a strong bond between pup and owner, so what you should focus on the most is making sure you’re establishing good habits and reliable routines with every new introduction.

And once you’ve got your training going, you can both sleep safe and sound knowing we’re here to take care of the rest from bed upgrades to the hottest grooming products!

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