Becoming a carer to a new puppy is such an exciting time. However, it’s also mega intensive and more challenging than many realise: just like a real baby, puppies need lots of extra love and support. Don’t forget - from a pup’s perspective, this is the biggest change of their life. They’ve just been uprooted from their litter mates, the only home they have known.
Now, more than ever, they need to feel loved and supported. So what can you do to help?
Before night one, have a think about where your puppy will sleep. Ideally, they need draft-free bedding in a quiet place that feels secure. Low radio or a night light can help too, even the sounds from a clock.
If inside, having your pup nearby also means you can be more responsive to potty requests to help with toilet training too! Depending on where they are you may need to provide pee pads.
Be patient, remember to reward calm behaviour and try not to be frustrated with those middle-of-the-night wakings. They won’t last. Before you know it, you’ll have a happy pup that can sleep right through the night and hold their bladder until morning.
Some pups will get it within a few days, while others can take months. The key is to be patient and consistent. Start by following these tips:
It’s really natural for a young puppy to object to being left alone early on. Especially if they’ve been with mum and all their litter mates then suddenly they’re all alone.
It’s important to realise for a new puppy, if they are crying when left alone it is a sign of genuine distress and anxiety. If left, it can be detrimental to your pup’s mental health long-term.
They need your help to learn to be happy and relaxed when they are on their own. So if they need to have one paw touching you to fall asleep, let them. It’ll only be for a little while. The safer and more comfortable you can make them feel now, the more relaxed they’ll be as they grow up.