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6 Tips for Surviving Your First Night with a New Dog

6 Tips for Surviving Your First Night with a New Dog

Ah, the joys of bringing home a furry new friend! As exciting as it is, that first night with a new dog can also feel a bit daunting. After all, this pup has just had their whole world turned upside down. They’re in a strange place, surrounded by unfamiliar humans and perhaps even other pets. It’s no wonder they might feel a little anxious and unsure.

But fear not, my fellow dog parents! I’ve been there, and I’m here to share the lessons I learned to help make that inaugural overnight a breeze. So grab your chew toys, fill up the water bowl, and get ready for a crash course in canine companionship. These six tips will have you and your new pup snoozing soundly in no time.

Tip 1: Crate Training is Key

When it comes to those first few nights, crate training is an absolute lifesaver. Dogs naturally seek out cozy, den-like spaces when they’re feeling nervous, and a crate provides that perfect sense of security. Plus, it’s a crucial tool for housetraining. Just be sure to make the crate a positive experience, not a punishment. Fill it with comfy bedding, favorite toys, and even a worn t-shirt that smells like you. That way, your pup will see it as their own little haven, not a prison.

Tip 2: Establish a Feeding Schedule

Puppies under 14-18 weeks old need to be fed three times a day, with meals around breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once they hit that 18-week mark, you can transition to two feedings per day. Regardless of the schedule, make sure you’re consistent. This will not only help regulate their bowel movements (crucial for potty training), but it’ll also give them a sense of stability and routine in their new home.

Tip 3: Tire Them Out (But Not Too Much!)

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned play session when it comes to getting a puppy ready for bed. Whether it’s tug-of-war, a game of fetch, or some basic training, wearing them out mentally and physically will make for a much more restful night. Just be sure not to overdo it in the hours leading up to bedtime. You want them to be pleasantly tired, not overstimulated and raring to go.

Tip 4: Potty Breaks are Non-Negotiable

Even if you’ve been diligent about that pre-bed potty trip, chances are your new pup will need to go out a few times during the night. Puppies can typically hold it for 4-6 hours, so be prepared to lose a little sleep in those early weeks. Stick to a routine, take them out on a leash (no midnight playtime!), and be patient. With time and consistency, those nighttime interruptions will become less frequent.

Tip 5: Expect Some Whining (and Prepare for It)

Let’s be real – that first night is going to be tough on both of you. Your pup is likely feeling anxious, lonely, and overwhelmed. So if they start whining or crying in their crate, try not to stress. This is normal puppy behavior as they adjust to their new home. Place the crate near your bed, toss in a worn shirt, and try soothing them with your voice. With a little time and TLC, they’ll soon realize that this is their forever home.

Tip 6: Embrace the Adventure

At the end of the day, bringing home a new dog is a wild, wonderful journey. Sure, there will be bumps in the road, but that’s all part of the experience. Take a deep breath, stay positive, and remember – you and your pup are in this together. Before you know it, those restless nights will be a distant memory, replaced by the pitter-patter of little paws and the unconditional love that only a furry friend can provide.

And who knows, maybe you’ll even become an expert in canine sleep training. After all, I Have Dogs is here to guide you every step of the way. Happy tails, my friends!

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