your checklist for bringing a puppy home
Adding a little fur to your family
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your puppy’s first time in their new home is going to be exciting for everyone. Here are a few tips to help your pup’s transition go as smoothly as possible.
The big day — introducing your puppy to their new home
Here are some tips to help make sure your puppy’s first day in their new home is a success.
- Do not invite friends and neighbors over to meet your puppy on the first day.
- Introduce your puppy to their new family members one person at a time, giving your pup a chance to meet each person quietly and comfortably.
- Limit your puppy’s introduction to a designated area to avoid confusion. Then introduce them to the rest of the house, one room at a time.
- Your puppy needs to learn the house rules from the very first day they arrive at the home. Praise good behavior and stick to your predetermined rules.
- Take your puppy to the area where you want them to poop and pee. Then use a command that you’ll stick to, like “go potty,” and reward them with a special treat and praise when they do the deed.
- When introducing your puppy to any other family pets, try placing your new pup in a small room, then removing them. Then let your other dogs in the room to sniff around and become familiar with the new scent.
- Be mindful of how your other pets behave around your puppy. If your other pets become agitated, separate or redirect them.
- Your puppy should not interact with dogs outside your home until your vet says they're ready, usually after your puppy gets their full series of vaccinations.
- It’s very important to make a trip to your vet for a checkup during the first few days after the puppy has settled into their new home.
Young puppies need you to start a routine and stick to it
Start your routine on the very first official night with your new puppy. It’s important to remember that every puppy is different; some puppies will sleep through the night right away, some may cry for a few nights, and some may have an accident because they’re not able to hold their pee for more than a few hours at a time.
- Your pup will feel more secure if you put their crate in the bedroom with you. See more about crate training
- Set a time that your puppy will be going to bed every night and stick to it. Take them to their crate and help them settle down for the night. Give them a small treat when they go in willingly.
- If you anticipate your puppy will have some extra energy in the evening, it’s a good idea to give them some exercise with a little playtime. Give them a chance to take a potty break before bed.
- If your puppy is not yet able to make it through the night, take them outside for a quick potty break if they are whining or scratching. Afterward, immediately put them back in their crate.
- Even though it may be tempting, do not put your puppy in your bed (unless that is where you want them to sleep). One option is to put their crate right next to your bed, so you can put your hand inside and reassure them that you’re there.
Bring your puppy the love to help bondingIt may take some time, but patiently establishing a bond with your puppy will set the precedent for their new life with your family. Your puppy will quickly find their place amongst the “pack” if you give lots of love and affection, stick to your routines, and reward your little one for good behavior. See more about training your puppy
How Banfield can help
We wish your pup a happy and healthy life. If you run into any special circumstances, suspect a health issue, or need any more information on bringing a new puppy home, reach out to your local Banfield veterinary team.