Bringing home a new puppy is such an exciting time, so it's very easy to overlook essential preparations during all that excitement!
You can take some steps to help your puppy settle into his new home quickly, comfortably and without fuss, making his life and yours much easier! Learn how to prepare for your new puppy's arrival and discover practical tips and advice to help your Cocker Spaniel feel at home.
Here are a few links to each section, with a brief explanation of what's covered. Enjoy!
If you've not yet brought your little bundle home, here are some things you can do in preparation for the big day!
Preparing for bringing your new puppy home is essential if you are to help your new puppy settle in and manage without his mother and littermates.
No matter how hard you try, a couple of last-minute things will always be forgotten in the excitement of bringing a new puppy home.
It's so exciting that you're bringing home a new puppy, and the day has finally arrived to collect him from the breeders!
You must consider how you will get him to his new home.
If you're driving, which is more likely, 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 controlling the car.
If you're on your own, take a dog crate, a pet carrier, or even a cardboard box with ventilation holes punched into the lid to ensure your new puppy isn't loose in the car.
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. Let him pee on you if he has to; he's just too precious!
I think you'll agree that this video from Syndia Art sums up the excitement of bringing home a new puppy, a golden Cocker Spaniel. He's absolutely beautiful, and I feel her excitement! I hope you enjoy it!
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 your new puppy to pee in the house as soon as you get him through the door, take him into the garden.
Take him 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 peed or not, take him inside, and introduce him to his new family.
Show him 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 recommend it!).
Next, take him to his feeding area and show him his food bowl (with a morsel of food) and his water bowl, filled to the brim with fresh cold water. He may be thirsty and need a drink after his journey.
If he eats anything or takes a drink, you may need to take him outside again. Yes, you'll be doing a lot of that until he's fully potty trained!
If you have children, make sure you've read them the riot act and that they know how to behave around their new puppy.
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 to a room where you can sit down, relax, and spend a few quiet minutes together; this is great bonding time.
Your puppy may be quite lively if he's slept during the journey, in which case, let him explore. Keep a watchful eye on him, especially if he didn't pee in the garden, because it's likely he still needs to be fully potty trained!
If he's tired, let him fall asleep, 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 a puppy home may be exciting for you and your family, but it can be quite an upsetting and anxious time for a tiny 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 family.
He'll also miss the familiar smell and comfort of his mother, brothers and sisters. Hopefully, the scent from his blanket (the one you left in the whelping box, now in his crate) will help him feel a little easier.
Important Note: If your pup fails to eat over the next few days, is sick, has prolonged diarrhoea, or generally seems 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 almost certainly cry during his first night because he'll miss the warmth and comfort of his mother and 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 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 minor '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 recommend that you consider precisely what that routine will 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 adequately socialized to grow up happy and confident about his environment.
You'll find help with all this and more in my puppy care guide, and I recommend you begin a routine for your puppy from day one and stick to it.
Photo Credits: Bringing Home a New Puppy
1. Willeecole at https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-cocker-spaniel-puppy-image16929421
2. Willeecole at https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-puppy-chasing-piece-dog-food-image7324311
3. Ken Moffat - https://www.flickr.com/photos/14438577@N06/1479395874/in/dateposted/
4. Jaskirat Singh Bawa at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jzsinr/3385526210/in/dateposted/
5. Cynoclub at https://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-10051067-cute-puppy.php
6. Herr Bert at Flickr.com