Hopefully your first day with your puppy has been full of precious moments. Their first night at home is usually very unpredictable, be as prepared as you can and have realistic expectations. Fingers crossed you all had a good night sleep the night before!
Many dog owners choose to use a crate for their pup’s young life (not everyone does). This is a valuable piece of equipment for both of you. The most important thing to know about the crate is that it is not a place of punishment, it is your new furry friend’s cosy den. Full of treats and toys.
It offers you the reassurance that you can leave them alone without any forbidden chewing, plus it’s ideal for enforced naps when young as well as encouraging toilet training.
Be sure to select a suitable size of crate for your puppy. Too big and it can encourage toilet accidents and reduce confidence during ‘alone time’. Too small and your pup could begin to feel anxious. As a general rule, your dog should be able to turn around inside and have room for their bowls and toys.
Your puppy’s bed also needs to fit in the crate. There are plenty of options available from fluffy matts to cosy raised beds. Pop into your local pet store for guidance on the best size crate and bed for your new arrival.
You’re able to leave pup unattended knowing they’re safe
Allows your pup to grow confident with alone time
Encourages toilet training
Beneficial when ‘crate rest’ is required after surgery
Think about where you want the crate to be in the house. Once decided it’s ideal for the crate to remain there, and not be moved around too much. Keeping the crate in one place will help your puppy to feel more comfortable and know where their safe place is. A good example is the kitchen or a corner in the living room, where your puppy will feel involved and not shut out.
These additions teamed with the mother’s scented blanket is hopefully a recipe for a successful night’s sleep once your puppy’s feeling settled.
Don’t forget to say sweet dreams to your puppy – they like it when you speak to them even if they do disobey at times!
TOP TIP: Allow 2 hours after feeding before bed time to avoid any accidents and always have fresh water available in their crate.
You are by no means in the dog house if you choose to sleep on the floor next to your pup. The likelihood is that your puppy will wake in the night and need some reassurance that they aren’t on their own. A little stroke from you should soothe them back to their dreams.
Once your puppy is comfortable after a few nights, move back to your room at the earliest opportunity – for your sake and so that puppy doesn’t become too reliant on having their ‘hooman’ mum/dad sleeping next to them every night ready to soothe them.
If your pup needs the toilet in the night keep your voice calm and avoid any additional interaction other than your instructions, praise and comfort. Keep it quick, quiet and dark if possible. The last thing you want is to play hide and seek at 2am!
TOP TIP: A pet cam is a great way of keeping an eye on your puppy whilst you aren’t in the room, many have two way talk and night vision.
You both made it to the morning. Praise your puppy for their first night and go outside for the toilet as soon as possible.
Check over their bed for any accidents and refresh their water as a general daily routine.
If you’re reading this with heavy eyes then we’ll end with some good news.
As your puppy grows they develop more bladder control (yay!) and will begin to sleep through the night. Every dog develops at their own rate, be sure to keep calm and not show any frustrations towards your pup during the night.