Are you opening your heart and home to a new puppy? Congratulations!! This experience will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Nothing compares to watching your new best friend explore every square inch of their new home. The first day will be filled with tremendous energy and excitement! Sentimentally special as you share in puppy’s first funny moments with many more happy milestones to come!
A Safe Home Means a Safe Puppy
Puppy proof time! Successfully organize the safest environment possible. Prior to returning from the breeder, invest some time in creating a stress free, safe home. You are now their new guardian and biggest protector!
Safety Preparation Tips:
- Examine all floors for small objects
- Cover and contain all electrical cords
- Close all toilet lids
- Put away valuables
- Organize a safe sleeping area
- Store cleaning supplies behind secure doors
- Switch to garbage cans with lids
- Examine yard for hazardous areas
Will My New Puppy Even like me? Overcoming The Initial Fears.
Many new pet parents have insecurities about puppy acceptance. How will my new puppy react to me? Will they like their new home? Puppies will be leaving the only family they’ve ever known. They’ve grown accustomed to a cozy sleeping area. They most likely have a steady play buddy. The warmth of their mother’s love has filled them with total security. New pet parents have big shoes to fill! Your new puppy will look to you to fill all of those needs and many more! The first day might be the most challenging yet the most rewarding! A 24 hour emotional whirlwind is normal. Proper planning and organization will take you farther than you ever imagined. Visualize every step of the process. Have questions ready for your breeder as needed. Expand your heart and home, the rest will fall into place.
Where Will My Puppy Sleep?
Organize a comfortable bed in advance. A snuggly place where your puppy can lay their head. A soft warm bed with familiar toys is a welcome treat at the end of a long day. Keep a consistent schedule from day one.
Your puppy will need a place where they can be left alone, but still feel safe. Most widely used is a crate. It should be large enough for a puppy to stand up, turn around and lie back down. A crate for potty training is a popular method. Whether you are traveling to the vet or out of town, a crate can help reduce future stresses.
You may also want to consider an exercise pen or even a baby gate if you only need to close off one section of a room. The openness of exercise pens have puppies feeling more included. The additional space eliminates feelings of confinement and perhaps less barking. Puppies can run around, play and sleep. Space for all their toys to occupy their time. A puppy with full visual access is healthier and happier. Stimulations are crucial in the early months of life.
Puppy’s First Car Ride
Odds are your new puppy has never ridden in a car. It’s important to let them get familiar with their new environment on their own terms. The sounds, sights and smells can be frightening. Allow the puppy to roam the backseat of the car with the doors closed. It’s necessary to see how they will react to a new confined space. Sit with them for a few minutes. Set them up for a relaxed new adventure. This will enable your puppy to gain information about their new surroundings.
Their sense of smell creates a picture of the new family they will be meeting. Progressing slowly will equal a better adjusted puppy. Keep the car ride quiet and calm. Request an object that possesses the littermates or mother’s scent. A familiarity to family will soothe your puppy.
Most puppies will be comfortable in a travel carrier or crate in a car. If outfitted with pottypads and a collapsible food/water bowl, then puppy can do his or her business on the pottypad. Stack a few pads so you only have to roll one up and the next one is fresh. You can simulate the same on a car seat as well.
Your puppy will have had only their first puppy immunizations. We advise not allowing them to conduct their business in public places like parking lots, gas station areas, or dog parks until they are at least 16-weeks old and have had their third and final puppy immunizations.
Necessary Travel Accessories
- Wet Wipes/Clorox Wipes
- Water Dish
- Bottled Water
- Waste Bags
- Lining for Crate/Box
Finally, it’s time to begin the journey home with your adorable puppy. Wait!! Who is driving the car? It’s a good idea to have a second passenger to provide safety and comfort..
Your puppy has just left their mother. Everything they face in the coming days will be different. They will need reassuring love through affectionate petting and cuddles by the person assisting you. More than likely your puppy will fall asleep on the ride home. Bonding right away is always the very best scenario to a well-adjusted puppy.
Puppy’s First Airplane Ride
Traveling by plane with your new puppy may seem overwhelming. It is important they see you are cool, calm and collected. Even puppies can pick up on our frazzled gestures. Your emotions are contagious.
Maintain a nice smooth voice, even if chaos is building around you. A slow 5-second pet from head to tail will do wonders for your puppy. Consider a pet carrier with wheels. Maneuvering through a busy airport can be stressful. Wheels provide convenience with moderate speed.
The American Kennel Club states puppies must be at least 8 weeks old to travel by plane. Small breeds must weigh close to 1.5 pounds or be 10 weeks old. All commercial airlines most likely will require a health certificate. Depending on the airline some require additional forms submitted prior to departure. Airline policies vary considerably regarding size, breed and cargo orders. Contact your carrier for specific instructions. Age restrictions vary for puppies flying in cabin. Proper groundwork, preparation and planning will make the transfer much more comfortable.
Making Puppy Feel At Home
Puppies can feel high levels of anxiety, stress and depression upon arriving at their destination. Everything is changing around them. Their stability is a number one priority.
A well-balanced daily routine can reintroduce consistency back into their life. A structure, but not a strict schedule is recommended. Your new puppy will begin to build excitement upon understanding their playtime versus eating time. Puppies love to pick up on social cues. Their inner happiness soars when they successfully achieve positive reinforcement. Feedback and validation creates a trusting lifelong bond.
Pay close attention to your new puppy’s personality. It will be adapting and growing with each passing month. All puppies are different. They all have their own quirkiness. Some are attention seekers while others are loners. A puppy will provide the necessary feedback on whether they prefer cuddle time or play time. Some puppies tolerate petting, but not touching. Puppies will give you clear signals defining their boundaries.
The first few days and nights are challenging, but short lived. Puppies adapt very quickly. Love, loyalty and devotion will continually soothe their soul. The easy part is the ever growing part of your heart they will steal upon meeting. Once their adorable fuzzy paws brush against your face, the surge of affection will be unbreakable.
Prepare yourself! You now have a lifetime friend!
Guest Contributor: Sarah Ihrig