If you’re preparing for a puppy, chances are you know the initial period after bringing your new friend home will often be a whirlwind. The first 30 days with a new puppy are often the most intriguing and possibly stressful, as you show your new pet their new surroundings and get them familiar with the routine of a very different life.
At Innovative K9 Academy, we’re happy to help the owners of new puppies with a variety of needs in our puppy school and other dog training programs, which range from dog aggression training to group dog training and many others. We want to narrow things down even further for our readers who are in this position: What are some of the areas you should be expecting and prepared for within the first 24 hours of bringing your new puppy home? This two-part blog series will go over several.
First and foremost, you should be preparing in advance for this day. No one wants to be setting up a puppy’s bed and other details when they bring it home – they want to spend time with their new friend.
There are several areas you should consider here. Firstly, purchase an adjustable collar and leash, plus basic items like collar tags (with contact info), food and water bowls, puppy food, puppy bags and more. You should also already have purchased your puppy’s bed and set it up, often including a crate setup for many dogs. Finally, consider items like treats and toys – though we recommend starting small here until you learn your new puppy’s preferences in this area.
For those who work day jobs away from the home, we recommend taking a day or two off if possible when you’re bringing your puppy home. Being there as much as you can for your new pet will solidify the bond you have with it, helping the puppy learn to trust you while allowing you to help with any problems.
Almost immediately when they enter the home, guide your puppy to their area or “zone,” which will typically be the place where their bed and/or crate are located. Do your best to immediately make this a comfortable area for the pup – you can throw treats or kibble in it, for instance, or spend time with them there yourself. Developing this as a safe, designated area is a strong training recommendation.
It’s never too soon to begin potty training your new puppy. One of the first things you should do when they get home is take them to their potty location, which should be outside in a familiar place they’ll remember. When they go potty, praise them right away with positive words and a treat to help forming the pattern. From here, plan on potty breaks at least every two hours – puppies have to go a lot! And in instances where they accidentally go inside, give them firm, but not painful, discipline so they begin to learn this is a bad behavior.
For more on how to handle your new puppy in the first 24 hours, or to learn about any of our puppy training or dog boarding school services, speak to the staff at Innovative K9 Academy today.