Wondering how to calm a puppy the first night? Imagine being a puppy: you have lived with your mom and litter mates from birth and now you are suddenly separated and put inside a cage and transported possibly for the very first time in a car.
Then once in the home, you are exposed to different sights, smells and noises and the people around you are unfamiliar. You look for your litter mates and cry for your mom but they no longer respond.
The first night in the new home you are therefore frightened and anxious and you have a hard time falling asleep without feeling the warmth of your mom and litter mates.
Life as a New Puppy
Bringing a new puppy home indeed can be quite a stressful situation if you put yourself in your new puppy's shoes.
It may be hard to understand when the family is all excited and the kids are eager to play with the puppy. However, fortunately this situation is short lived.
Your new puppy will adjust in no time and get used to his new surroundings. Just give your puppy a chance by trying your best to help him get accustomed to his new family and learn the new rules.
How to Calm Your Puppy The First Night
While normally, ignoring a puppy's whining is the best course of action, the first night you want to cater to your puppy's needs and provide comfort.
Your puppy needs to be reassured that he is not alone and that somebody is there with him.
You must also be available to take your new puppy out of the crate for a few potty trips through the night.
Hopefully, with all the excitement (and stress) going on, your puppy will doze right away, but he may wake up several times and cry once he realizes he's in an unfamiliar place.
Here are a few tips on how you can calm down your new puppy the first night.
Provide a Comfortable Crate
Your best bet the first night is to keep your puppy in a crate. Crate training will help your puppy develop good house training habits since puppies do not like to potty where they sleep.
Dogs are not really den animals as we previously thought, so you'll need some time to acclimate your puppy to the crate and allow him to enjoy spending time in there if you take time in making it a comfy place to be.
Do not force your puppy in the crate. Rather, leave the crate open and put some toy or treat in there so your puppy can explore it on his own terms. Do not close the door yet.
Let your puppy enjoy being in it the first couple of hours without feeling trapped. Close your puppy only when it is time to go to sleep.
Use a Toy or Blanket From Your Breeder
Hopefully, your breeder will have been thinking about the puppy's first night away and will have supplied you with a toy or blanket that smells like his previous home.
You can put this stuffed animal or blanket into the crate to make it more inviting. Your puppy may feel reassured in the night if he still can still smell the scent of his mother and litter mates.
Place the Crate in Your Bedroom
Your puppy needs to know you are there and that he is not alone. By putting your puppy in your bedroom, you can be there for your puppy and notice right away if he needs to be taken out for a quick potty trip.
You can say a few words to reassure your puppy that you are there or you can pet him through the crate.
Use These Alternatives
If you are not willing to keep your puppy near you at night, you can use some alternative strategies to soothe your puppy.
- Placing a ticking clock near the crate may somewhat resemble the mom's heart beat and may calm the puppy down.
- Some soft music playing or the radio on may also provide some comfort.
- Some new owners notice that a warm bottle wrapped in blankets may also have a calming effect considering that it may mimic the warmth of momma dog and siblings. A Snuggle Puppy Behavior Aid can help young puppies.
- DAP diffusers or Comfort Zone plug-ins may also be helpful.
The first night or two may be tough for the puppy and new puppy owners, but it does get better
. As your puppy gets used to his new family, you can start gradually moving the crate farther and farther away from your bedroom until it reaches the place you want him to sleep. Most pups given the choice want to sleep in the bedroom, either in a crate next to the bed or on a mat. Dogs want to feel part of the family.
Consider though that you may have to get up once of twice a night until your puppy is able to sleep through the night which generally happens only after the puppy is 5-6 months old.