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The day has arrived: your puppy is ready to leave her mum, and come to her new family! Excited, eager, and just a little edgy?
Read on for The Upward Dog’s advice on bringing a puppy home.
Don’t Go it Alone
Take your family or a friend with you to collect your puppy, so that someone can sit with and reassure the pup on the journey home. It’s also helpful to have a second set of ears, as the breeder or rehoming centre will likely give you lots of information and pointers to remember over the coming weeks.
Take it Slowly
Spend fifteen minutes or so (re)introducing yourself to the puppy, and playing with her, so that she feels comfortable about going with you when it’s time to leave.
Driving Miss Puppy
If you are getting a pedigree puppy…
Before you go to collect your puppy, make sure that the breeder has familiarised her with short journeys in the car: this is especially important, if you live a long way from your breeder.
If you are getting a rehome or rescue puppy…
It’s unlikely they will have been in a car very much, if at all, so try to keep the first journey as short as possible, and give lots of reassurance.
Try to collect your puppy early in the day, before she’s eaten, to lessen the likelihood of car sickness, but have plenty of kitchen towel ready – just in case!
The easiest way to transport her is to use a car crate, or plastic carrier: this is not only safer than being on someone’s lap, it’s also more relaxed for her and she will likely curl up and sleep. Ask to have a blanket from her bedding, which will smell of the rest of her litter, to put inside her carrier: this will help to reassure her.
If your puppy shows any signs of not wanting to enter the crate, don’t force her: you will need to introduce the crate gradually, if she’s not been acclimatised to one at her first home.
When you get home, take the puppy out to the garden or other place where you want her to eliminate, as she may need to toilet after a car journey.
On arrival in the home, take her and show her the crate or bed you have chosen for her to relax in. Place the blanket you got from her previous home into the crate, so that she can acclimatise slowly, with the smells of her littermates around her.
Keep any other pets away from her for the time being.
Let the puppy dictate what happens next – she may be exhausted by the journey home and meeting your family, and just want to sleep. You might also want to try feeding her at this point.
First Night Nerves
The puppy has probably never slept alone before, so this will be a big deal for her. Make sure that she has toileted before she goes into her crate, or the room she will be confined to for the night.
She may whine – try giving her a few minutes to see if she settles on her own. If she’s not able to soothe herself, go to her and offer some verbal reassurance, before leaving her again. She will soon get the idea and fall asleep.
Don’t forget to set your alarm for toileting visits during the night: help her to stay clean by getting up regularly!
Bringing a Puppy Home Help!
Bringing a puppy home can be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve not had a dog before, or the pup is a rescue who has likely not been in a domestic home before. We can help with our First Day Fido package!
Have fun with your new companion, letting her gradually acclimatise to her new home!