Puppy's First Night at Home
by Stacey Morris
Your puppy's first night at home is one of the most exciting times of his life. As you start off your friendship together, puppy's first night at home will be full of discoveries and adventure.
Such was the case when Joan Lentini first set eyes on a black Australian Shepherd Mix and made arrangements for the big first day.
When the Lake Luzerne, New York, resident finally escorted her new little pal, Gable-Remo, through the front door of their home, she knew the first order of business would be for her 6-month-old puppy to get familiar with his surroundings.
"I knew the minute I saw him that Gable-Remo was meant for me," recalls Joan, a freelance photographer who lives in a mountaintop log cabin. "He was a little tired from the car ride but also very intent on exploring the cabin."
Getting ready for your puppy
Before you bring home your new puppy, here are a few considerations:
- Puppy proof your place. For puppy-proofing tips and ideas, click here.
- Shop for toys, food, dog treats, and other essential supplies in advance.
- Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a check-up.
Helping your puppy feel at home
Simple things will help your puppy feel at home. Joan had fun as Gabe-Remo explored every nook of the two-story cabin, and soon discovered his favorite spot.
"I placed a little rug with food and water bowls on it in the kitchen," Joan says. "He gravitated to it right away and now that's his 'spot,' where he sits all the time."
To make her new buddy's first night at home even cozier, she gave him a special blanket.
"I keep his blue quilt on the side of my bed," Joan says. "When he sees me winding down at night he goes right for it. It's our night-time ritual. Gable-Remo was a little nervous that first night, but once he burrowed into his quilt, he slept like a log."
Since not all puppies are housebroken when they come home, you might want to provide your puppy with a crate until he's ready to sleep through the night on his own. Not only is it a great way to help with potty training, but a crate will also provide a safe place for him when you can't supervise him. You'll be surprised how quickly he makes the crate his own "den."
Once Joan had made Gable-Remo welcome, there was one final touch she provided for her new pal.
"I had to take a photo of us together next to the fireplace," she says with a laugh. "Now it's framed and on the night table next to the bed. Gable-Remo loves it here… and I'm thrilled to have him."