First night with a puppy: what to expect?
#1. Expect to have expenses.
I am assuming you are reading this because you are about to bring home a new puppy. Many times you've been told that raising a puppy requires time, energy and money; it will also demand patience and some stamina in order to raise a healthy, fun, and emotionally stable dog.
Hopefully, you understand the cost of owning a dog, and have a vet and training classes lined up already. Before you pick up your pup, you will need to have:
- a crate;
- enzymes cleaner for potty accidents (i.e. Nature's Miracle);
- a leash and a colar;
- a few toys of different textures;
- dog dishes;
- a dog bed;
- dog food and treats.
#2. Expect your pup to need as much attention as a baby, because he is one.
Young puppies don't know right from wrong. They get scared and lonely when left unattended. They require a lot of compassion and patience. They will make mistakes, not because they are bad, but because they are young. You can't get upset if they break your things that should have been kept out of their reach. They will bite, because they are teething. They need to be taught manners. You have to be prepared to give them your full attention from the very second they walk into your life.
The very first night is likely to be rough. Think about it from the pup's point of view - she's just been taken away from the only life she's known. Her mom and siblings are no longer around. The smells are all new. The people that took care of her since she was born are no longer around. She was never expected to sleep alone before, and will very likely be sad and scared. It will help a little if you can have a toy left with the mom and siblings for a couple of daysbeforeyou are picking up your pup. That way, you can bring the toy back home with you on the day of puppy pick up, and it will be a source of familiar comforting smells for your puppy.
Do not feel like you are spoiling your pup by deciding to place a crate in your bedroom for the first new nights. It doesn't mean that you need to invite the ball of fur into your bed, but place the crate right next to you on the floor. Sometimes just lowering your hand next to the crate will be enough to remind your puppy she is not alone and will help stop crying. Other times, you might end up with a crying puppy that will not allow you to sleep for the first few nights. Be prepared with a cup of coffee for a few long nights.
If the puppy is refusing to get into the crate, don't force it. Go slow. It might even be worth it to wait until the puppy gets so tired that he is falling asleep, and then place them gently into the crate, and leave the door open for the first few times. Patience is the key.
#3. Expect the need for potty breaks at nighttime.
Young puppies can only "hold it" for the number of months they are + 1 hours. Which means, if you are bringing a 2 months old pup home, they will need potty breaks every 3 hours, including nighttime. Even the very first night is not too soon to begin potty training. It will keep their bladder healthy, and expectations for potty habits clear. Even if the pup is learning to go potty outside, and is trying to hold, remember that they must go out every so many hours, and will demand your attention at night for the few couple of months.
#4. Expect your lifestyle to change from the very first night.
You will be more tired. You will be more exhausted from playing with your pup and keeping her out of trouble (hopefully, you are not one of the people who believe that the crate is supposed to do all the work for you). Expect your finances to be affected. And of course, expect your heart to be stolen by your new family member. Your life will never be the same.
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