Bringing home a new puppy is such an exciting time so it's very easy
to overlook certain important preparations during all that excitement! Learn how to prepare for a new puppy and discover practical tips and advice to help your pup settle into his new home quickly and easily.
My aim here is to help you settle your little Cocker Spaniel into his new home quickly and comfortably.
I will be covering the following on this page:
No matter how hard you try, there's always a couple of last minute things that get forgotten in the excitement before bringing home a new puppy.
I'm assuming you've already puppy-proofed your home and garden and that you have enough basic supplies to get you through at least the first couple of weeks. If not, go ahead and read the linked articles and then return to this page.
About a week before you're due to collect your pup, you might want to leave a tee-shirt (wear it in bed for a couple of nights, but don't wash it) with the breeder who can give it to your pup to sleep on.
This will help him get
used to your scent.
You could also leave a blanket and a soft toy with your breeder so that it can be placed in the whelping box.
By the time you're ready to collect him, both the blanket and toy will have his mother's and his litter-mates' scent on them, which will make your Cocker Spaniel puppy feel much more comfortable and secure in his new and strange human world.
You're bringing home a new puppy - it's so exciting - and now it's time to collect him!
When you go to collect him, I recommend you ask someone to drive you, this way, if your pup becomes restless or anxious you'll be able to take care of him without worrying about the driving.
However, if you're on your own, I suggest take along a dog crate, a pet carrier, or even a cardboard box, to make sure he's not loose in the car.
Layer the carrier with plenty of old newspaper because your puppy will almost certainly need to pee (and maybe even poop) on your way home, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you.
Also, take a roll of kitchen towel with you, a plastic bag and perhaps
some wet wipes, just in case he gets car-sick and you need to clean up.
If you're bringing home a new puppy on a hot day it would be wise to take a bottle of water and a small bowl with you so you can give him a drink if he gets thirsty.
If it's a sunny day, your car may become too hot for him so you may need to create some shade from the sun whilst he's in the car.
If it's a cold, wintry day, why not wrap him up in his new 'scented' blanket? It will certainly keep him warm and toasty and make him feel much more comfortable.
If you're bringing home your new puppy in the car, never be tempted to stop at the side of the road to let him out to pee. I've heard of puppies being killed in similar situations, after having darted into the middle of a busy road!
It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? But fatal accidents happen all too easily, and all too quickly! Personally, I'd keep him inside and wouldn't take any risks at all - let him pee on you if he has too - he's just too precious!
At last, you've arrived home with your cute little ball of fur and now all you want to do is cuddle, stroke, play and generally make a fuss of him.
There's nothing wrong with that, but there are a couple of things I recommend you do first!
If you don't want him to pee in the house as soon as you get through the door, take him into the garden (to the spot you've chosen for him to do his toilet) and let him wander around for a little while to see if he wants to pee, but don't leave him on his own.
After a few minutes, regardless of whether he's pee'd or not, take him inside, introduce him to his new family and then let him see his sleeping area and give him a few minutes to explore it. (I'm hoping you've chosen to use a crate for his bed - I heartily recommend it!).
Show him his food bowl (with a morsel of food) and his water bowl - he may be thirsty and need a drink after his journey, and if he eats or drinks, you may need to take him outside again.
If you have children, make sure you've read them the riot act and that they're aware of how to behave around their new puppy. For now, when the pup is around, they must remain calm and reasonably quiet, making no sudden moves that could frighten him.
Next, take your new pet into a room where you can sit down and relax with him.
He may be quite lively if he's slept during the journey, in which case let him explore but keep a watchful eye on him, especially if he didn't pee in the garden, because he won't yet be fully potty trained!
If he's tired, let him fall asleep, and then gently place him in his new crate and leave him.
As soon as he wakes, take him outside again to see if he wants to pee, then bring him inside and offer him some food.
Bringing home a new puppy may be exciting for you and your family, but it can be quite an upsetting time for a little pup, everything will be so strange to him. So don't be surprised if he doesn't eat, he may need some time to adjust to his new surroundings and his new family.
He'll also be missing the familiar smell and comfort of his mother and his brothers and sisters, but hopefully the scent from his blanket (the one you left in the whelping box) will help him feel a little easier.
If your pup fails to eat over the next couple of days, is sick,
or has prolonged diarrhea, or he seems generally unwell, don't hesitate
to contact your vet - the sooner the better. Your vet won't mind if it's a false alarm - it's better to be safe than sorry!
Your puppy will probably cry during his first night because he'll be missing the warmth and comfort of his mother and his litter-mates. This can be heartbreaking, especially if you don't know what to do for the best.
What follows is a suggested new puppy care routine to help get him through his first night in his new home without too much trauma.
If your puppy continues to cry for the next couple of nights and you know he's warm and comfortable, not ill, or in pain, you'll need to stand firm and leave him where he is, otherwise he'll learn that when he cries you'll always come to him.
Believe me, just like with babies, that's a recipe for disaster!
When you go to your puppy in the morning, don't be surprised if he's messed in his crate overnight, it's perfectly natural. Don't scold him for it and don't make a fuss, just clean it up and get on with the day.
If he's still asleep, or has just woken, take him straight outside before he has the opportunity to have any little 'accidents'.
I hope these tips about bringing home a new puppy will help to make you feel more confident
and help you to get him safely through his first night
in his strange new world.
But this is only just the beginning - the real work starts now!
Just like babies, puppies thrive on a routine, so before bringing home a new puppy, I strongly recommend that you consider exactly what that routine is going to be.
He's going to do a lot of sleeping, eating, drinking, ( and then peeing and pooping), exploring and playing.
He'll need to be toilet trained, groomed, exercised, obedience trained, and properly socialized so that he grows up happy and confident about his environment.
You'll find help with all this and more in my puppy care routine - I recommend you begin a routine for your puppy from day one and stick to it.
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