Helping Your New Puppy Adjust To Their Forever Home

If you’re expecting your timid 8 weeks old puppy to come home for the first time, you will want to be prepared for some unexpected responsibilities. For the most part, a scared puppy’s first day home can be a very straightforward experience. If you know you don’t know anything about raising a puppy, you may want to continue reading.

Your puppy’s first day home can means he’s going to feel scared and nervous. The next few days 

In this article, you will learn what to expect when taking a new puppy home. To see the essential stuff you should have at home, read our new dog starter kit article as well. It will give you exactly what you need, and what you don’t need.

What To Do On The First Day

We recommend quite a few interesting activities. On the first day, you bring your puppy home and there are a lot of new experiences to be had for both of you. You should keep two things in mind when starting your journey. 

  • Be sure your puppy feels safe and comfortable
  • It’s never too early to start training
  • Try new things, this is the honeymoon period!

While keeping training in mind, you also need to keep their happiness in mind. Training a puppy, or any dog requires patience. Be sure to know when to walk away and start over at another time.

puppy first day home

Go for a walk and find a nice grassy patch or similar area your puppy can eliminate. Be sure to pick a location that is easily accessible to you. Your new puppy will want to revisit that location on future walks. This helps to build a feeling of home. Caring for a new puppy has some extra special rules, so be sure to read up if you are going to be caring for an 8 week old puppy.

Give your new pup plenty of playtime. Puppies, like children, have tons of extra energy to burn. Don’t be surprised if you can’t keep their attention for very long. They are very excited and want to move freely. Playtime is a fantastic way to ease into training. A tired puppy is an obedient puppy.

How Often Do New Puppies Poo And Pee?

Because of their small bladders and lack of house or potty training, your puppy will need to go very frequently. Since they haven’t had the proper training or may just be very timid, they will most likely just do it inside your home. You should have some cleaning supplies ready and keep a cool head. You may be doing laundry a little more often for the next couple of weeks.

At around 8 weeks old(which is the youngest a puppy should be adopted), you can expect them to want to go potty roughly every 30-60 minutes. As they become more familiar with their own body and environment, they will quickly be able to hold it for 60 or more minutes.

Puppy Leader Pro Tip:

For every month that your dog has been alive, that’s 1 hour they can hold it in. Get more tips for how to potty train a puppy.

• 1 month = 1 hour
• 4 months = 4 hours
• And so on…

Can You Leave A New Puppy Alone

Leaving your new puppy alone is something that can be put up for debate. There is one huge upside to having your puppy getting some alone time. This will teach your dog at a very early age that being apart from you is going to be a normal part of their life.

New pups are famous for developing separation anxiety. Leaving them alone sooner rather than later will help them break apart from this dependent behavior. Sooner or later, you will have to train them to accept the fact that you can’t always be side by side.

The other side of the argument is that your puppy should definitely be getting enough supervision. They are still infants and they don’t know what is happening or how to handle any situation. Since everything is new to them, they may want somebody to comfort them when getting settled in.

A puppy that’s been left alone can get into some serious trouble. They are notorious for chewing on things they shouldn’t be. Leaving your puppy alone could mean a lot of your belongings are going to get destroyed. Consider looking into puppy-proofing your home and looking into crate training.

It is important not to leave your new best friend alone too long or too often. This can cause be very stressful for them and may leave them with some trauma. Your new puppy will need to go to the bathroom every few hours, or less!

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Can My New Puppy Be Around Vaccinated Dogs

Dogs that are vaccinated will be protected from the most harmful diseases. Although the vaccinated dogs may not transmit a disease to your new puppy, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t carrying bacteria that can be harmful.

It’s a good idea to make sure the dogs your puppy is meeting are well known and can be questioned about their medical history(if they’ve been vaccinated). This isn’t meant to intimidate you, just to have a safe environment that your dog can play in until they are old enough to get their shots.

How To Transport A New Puppy In Your Car

This really depends on the type of puppy you’re getting. For a smaller breed, you can get away with keeping your puppy on your lap while somebody else drives. It is highly recommended that you bring something like a blanket or even a towel.

Most puppies first car ride home always has a bit of an accident. It’s good to be prepared by wrapping your dog in a cozy blanket. Not only will this comfort them on the journey, but it can also help with keeping your car accident-proof.

If you don’t have somebody to help you out with driving and you’re going to have to go by yourself, you have a few options.

Buckle-Up Harness

You can get a buckle up harness that will hold your dog safely in place while driving. This harness from Amazon has different sizes that you can order.

Make sure to ask what your new puppy’s weight is before buying your buckle up harness.

RUFFWEAR Everyday No Pull Harness
  • MADE FOR EXTENDED WEAR: Lightweight, durable, and made for all-day outdoor adventures; Designed for easy on and off
  • 2 LEASH ATTACHMENT POINTS: Reinforced webbing at chest stands up to pulling and gives additional control (ideal for training, too); Aluminum V-ring centered on back
  • PADDED FOR COMFORT: Foam-padded strips across the chest and belly provide equal load distribution and comfort when running, walking, or resting

Folding Travel Crate

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate
  • Newly enhanced with added security features to keep your pet safe | Slide-bolt door latch now feature patented Paw Block and locking tips to create a safer, more secure home for your pet
  • iCrate single door dog crate measures 24L x 17 x 19 inches and is suitable for small dog breeds with an adult weight of 12 to 25 pounds. If your dog’s weight or measurements are on the higher side...
  • Dog crate includes a divider panel, durable & leak-proof plastic pan, protective rubber feet, carrying handle, and customer support team based in Indiana

A travel crate is a fantastic investment, and not just for getting around in a car. It doubles as a regular crate that you can use to give your dog it’s own personal room when you take it home.

Dogs respond very well to owning their own private space. Most dogs will put up a fight with being closed in at first, but they learn to love it.

Why Won’t My New Puppy Pee Or Poo

There is a good chance that they have no idea what they’re doing. They’re still so young that they haven’t learned what anything means yet. In the beginning, you should walk your new puppy as often as you can. Let them figure out all of their surroundings.

Dogs like to do their business in places they are familiar with. Some of them have even been scolded for doing their business in places they shouldn’t have. They are too young to understand what they did wrong and maybe associate peeing and pooping with punishment.

Show them that it is perfectly okay to do their business. When they finally do it, praise them like crazy! Give them a treat if you have to. Let them know that doing their business is a good thing.

My Puppy Will Not Eat Or Drink Water

Just like doing their business, a dog will eat and drink somewhere that it knows it can let its guard down. Dogs can become extremely food-driven, and seeing food can trigger a defense mechanism that tells them they need to fight for their food. Give them a calm and controlled environment, and they will take to the food and water sooner.

Puppy Leader Pro Tip:

Choose a spot that will be your puppy’s designated eating and drinking area. Let them watch you putting their bowls down in that area. When they don’t take it, pick it back up. After some time has passed, put their bowls there again. Your puppy will quickly learn that this is their feeding area.

When To Take My Puppy To The Vet

The first time you take your new puppy to the vet could really depend on your situation. Going to the veterinarian’s office very often can quickly become expensive. Realistically, you will only need to see your vet about getting shots done to prevent major diseases from affecting your dog.

It is a good idea to make at least 1 visit as soon as you can. This will let your dog become familiar with the environment, and your vet will get to know your dog. It is a good idea to get your name and your dog’s name into their system. That way, if you have any questions, they will be able to keep notes of everything your dog goes through.

Puppy Leader Pro Tip:

Your dog will need vaccination shots at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks. You will also need to take your dog in for a rabies shot, as well as some other optional shots that your vet may want to educate you on. Many of these shots can depend on where you live.

How To Stop A Puppy From Biting

You may find it shocking how sharp your new best friend’s teeth just are! That being said, you will definitely want to avoid getting bitten by the ferocious chompers. Puppies are extremely excitable, and they have a lot of pent up energy. One of the fastest ways to get your dog to stop biting is to give it lots and lots of exercises.

If they’re biting you because you’re roughhousing with them, it’s a good idea to turn these moments into training opportunities. You should teach your dog that this behavior is not acceptable. Have some treats ready and make corrections as you go. Teach them to take the treat gently, or they don’t get the treat at all. If your puppy is scared or nervous, he may show a common sign, which is when a dog’s hair is standing up on its spine.

Why Is My Puppy Shaking

This is a symptom that appears more often for rescue dogs. The process of being transported may not have been handled very well, or they’ve never had a chance to really let their guard down.

A lot of brand new experiences can leave them confused and scared. Your puppy is almost guaranteed to be shaking because it is extremely nervous. No matter how much you comfort them, they will need to take the time to let their new life sink in. In some cases, this feeling can last quite a while. It does pass, so just be there for your new best friend.

Another reason why your puppy may be shaking is that it is cold. Especially in breeds that don’t have thick fur. You can wrap your dog in a warm blanket, or even keep them close to you and share your body heat. This is a fantastic opportunity to bond with your dog, while also keeping them nice and warm.

What Is New Puppy Smell

The wonderful mystery that is new puppy smell can be described as delightful. Most people are attracted to puppies because they are soft and fresh and smell so good. This new puppy smell can last for months, and every minute of it should be savored.

When your dog comes into the world, they have a clean slate. Everything about their system is fresh and hasn’t had a chance to get any real exposure to the world. As your dog grows older, they will start to carry their own bacteria and odors. This is true for any creature.

Why Is My Puppy Throwing Up

There could be many reasons why your puppy is throwing up. For starters, it may be very nervous and scared. This can cause some dogs to get nauseous. Another reason could be that you overfed him or her. Puppies need to eat often, but their food supply should be limited. Too much food and they can get sick.

If you think these reasons are not why your puppy is throwing up, then it might be time to consider making a trip to your veterinarian.

Can A New Puppy Make You Sick

This is a pretty common concern for new dog owners. Your dog can, in fact, be the cause why you’ve been getting sick, but the cause isn’t necessarily the puppy’s fault. Many people like to take their puppy to their bedroom at night. This helps you keep an eye on them even in the late hours of the night.

If you’ve been letting your dog sleep in your bed with you, then you need to be conscious of where you’ve been taking your dog. You need to keep in mind that your dog is walking on the ground, and the ground is somewhere where a lot of bacteria like to hang out. Most bacteria are harmless, but too many different bacteria being introduced to your system can throw off your immune system.

Can My New Puppy Sleep Outside

Depending on your living situation, you may have a dog that you plan to keep outside. In most cities, there are lots of nocturnal animals that can be a serious health concern for your dog’s safety. It may be a good idea to keep an eye on your dog(even if that means letting it stay indoors at night). If that isn’t an option, then consider creating a safe environment for them.

You should be mindful of:

  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Owls
  • Snakes

Can’t Bond With My Puppy

One of the biggest reasons that you aren’t bonding with your puppy is because you don’t have their attention. Dogs can be hyper-active, especially as puppies. Don’t get discouraged by how little your dog pays attention to you. There are ways to correct this behavior.

Go on long walks together

Walking with your dog is the simplest and most basic bonding experience. The more time you walk with your dog, the closer your bond will be. This is especially true for taking your dog on longer walks.

Do training once a day

Nothing shows a dog more love than taking the time out of your day to stimulate their mind. Teaches your dog a new command will give him or her a huge boost in confidence. At the end of the day, that confidence came from your efforts. They will respect you more for doing this.

Enjoy playtime together

Not all dogs like to play fetch, but dogs are playful creatures nonetheless. Find what type of play your dog responds to best, and make sure to do it together. You can even double down on your efforts, and use playtime as a reward for good behavior.

Puppy Leader Playtime Suggestions:

• Fetch
• Tug-of-war
• Chase
• Laser

Can’t Cope With My New Puppy

Looking after a new puppy can be a handful, we get it. The important thing to remember is that many of these frustrations go away sooner than you think. If you find yourself becoming very stressed with your new puppy, there are some things you can try.

Take a break

Looking after another living being isn’t always a “round-the-clock” situation. There are moments where you can sneak away to take a breath. Use this time to calm yourself down and approach the situation with fresh eyes. Puppies can sense when you are upset or angry. This will only slow down the process of getting past the frustrating stages.

Hire a dog walker

Dog walkers are professionals at handling dogs at any stage of their life. They have seen dogs worse than yours, and you can rest easy knowing that they will help with taking some of the pressure off your hands. Don’t be afraid to ask them for some advice (or see our tips for leash training a puppy)once they’ve gotten to know your dog.

Take a course for new dog owners

Most new dog owners have looked for instructions in one way or another. The fact that you’re reading this right now is proof that there is a lot of fantastic information out there. You can find local professionals who are willing to coach you with training or dog, or you can find videos on YouTube.

You can also pay for online courses that go over every little detail. Many of these online courses serve as an incredible resource that you can consult for almost any issue you have with your dog.

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Introducing Your Puppy To Their New Surroundings

The first thing you’ll want to do when you bring your new puppy home is introduced them to their new surroundings. Show them around the house and yard, and let them explore a bit on their own. This will help them feel more comfortable in their new environment and start to get used to all the new sights and smells.

You’ll also want to make sure that your puppy feels safe and secure in their new home. Provide them with a cozy bed or crate that they can retreat to when they’re feeling scared or overwhelmed. And be sure to spend plenty of time cuddling and playing with your pup – they’ll need lots of love and reassurance during this big transition.

If your puppy is acting extra shy or scared, there are a few things you can do to help them feel more comfortable. Try playing some soft, calming music or using a pheromone diffuser to help them relax. And be patient – it may take a little time for your puppy to adjust to their new home, but eventually they’ll settle in and start feeling like part of the family.

Establishing A Routine For Your Puppy

One of the best things you can do for your new puppy is to establish a routine. Dogs are creatures of habit and they feel more comfortable when they know what to expect each day. So start by creating a schedule for feedings, potty breaks, walks, and playtime.

And be sure to stick to that schedule as much as possible – even on weekends or holidays. Of course, there will be times when things come up and you have to deviate from the plan. But try to keep disruptions to a minimum so that your puppy can stay on track with their routine.

A regular routine will also help with potty training. Puppies need to go outside frequently – usually about every two hours – so it’s important to take them out on a regular basis. If you have a set schedule for potty breaks, it will be much easier to keep your pup on track with their training.

Finally, remember that puppies need plenty of sleep – usually about 18 hours per day. So make sure they have a quiet, comfortable place to rest and establish a bedtime routine that will help them wind down at the end of the day. With a little patience and consistency, you can help your puppy adjust to their new home and start living their best life.

Training Your Puppy Properly

The first few months with your new puppy are the perfect time to start training them on basic obedience commands. Dogs of all ages can benefit from some basic training, but puppies are especially receptive to learning during this phase.

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when training your puppy. First, be sure to use positive reinforcement – praise them, give them treats, and make it fun! Puppies learn best when they’re having fun, so try to make training sessions into a game.

Second, be patient and consistent with your puppy. They’re still learning and it will take time for them to get the hang of things. So don’t get frustrated if they make mistakes – just keep working with them and eventually they’ll get it.

And finally, be sure to give your puppy plenty of breaks. Training sessions should be short – about 10 minutes at a time – so that your pup doesn’t get too overwhelmed or tired. If you break things up into small, manageable chunks, your puppy will be more likely to retain what they’ve learned.

Photo of author

Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the owner and editor for Puppy Leader. He has two dogs and loves to train them daily. Every day, Peter takes his dogs to the park and lets them run around and play together. He also trains them each day with different commands and tricks.