While bringing your new puppy home is an exciting day for your family, it can be a nervous one for your new pet! In the blink of an eye, your puppy’s entire life changes and they have to adjust to a whole new environment and schedule. That being said, sometimes your puppy will have a sleepless night or two as they acclimate to their new surroundings. We have outlined some of our favorite methods for helping your puppy settle into his/her new home in this week’s blog!
Prepare for Potty Breaks
One of the cutest things about puppies is how small they are, but remember- small puppy= small bladder! Your furry friend is going to need to take a lot of bathroom breaks, some of which might be in the middle of the night. We advise removing food and water at least an hour prior to bedtime. Always take your puppy outside to go potty right before you head off to bed.
Most puppies will not want to soil their sleeping spot, but when they gotta go, they gotta go! If your puppy is normally quite in his/her crate but suddenly wakes you up crying, it is time for a late-night potty break! To keep this from becoming an exciting game for your four-legged friend you want to make nighttime potty breaks as boring as possible. Don’t cuddle or coo at your puppy in cute puppy voices. Don’t get them worked up by playing or rough housing with them. Take them straight to their potty spot, let them do their business, and go straight inside! Your puppy needs to understand that potty time is not playtime, otherwise they might start waking you up for play sessions rather than bathroom breaks!
Pick an Appropriate Sleeping Place
This can be especially difficult if you have a large family who wants to split time with the puppy! One of the most important things you can do for your new pooch is to establish a safe space where his/her kennel will remain. Your puppy should sleep and spend time crated in this space, especially their first few days, so they can adjust to the new home. We suggest that the puppy sleeps in the same room as a person who will be responsible enough to wake up with them throughout the night if they need to go out.
Your puppy should sleep in their kennel until they are fully crate/potty-trained. This will make for happier puppy moms and dads, plus it will help them familiarize their kennel as their special place.
Night Time Unwind
As the afternoon winds down, it is time to prepare your puppy for bedtime. Just like with a toddler, routines will work best for your puppy! As we mentioned earlier, remove food and water in ample time. Now is the time to unleash play time! If you can wear your puppy out right before bedtime, they will fall asleep quicker and easier.
Your puppy may cry when you first place him or her in the crate, and that is okay! Giving them attention or removing them from the crate to love on them will only teach them that crying equals positive rewards. Try to wait it out and let your puppy relax on their own. We send all of our puppies home with a blanket that smells like mom and we highly encourage you to place this in your puppy’s crate. This will help them feel safe and comfortable in their new space. As your new addition acclimates to the change, you will find that they fall asleep easily! Once your puppy has potty-trained completely, you can start allowing them to sleep outside of the kennel, if you desire.
New puppies are tons of fun, but also come with a little work! Lucky for you, all puppies from Midwest Bernedoodles have a great head start on crate training. This makes the adjustment period, especially at bedtime, that much smoother!