How Can You Handle Your Puppy On The First Night?

Practically, your puppy’s first 24 hours at home is a real challenge, apart from his desire to explore the place and get to know his new family. Your new puppy will have mixed emotions between crying because he left his family and being happy because he is with his new owner. We want to help you with what to do with a puppy on the first night in his new home?

  • Give him frequent chances to relieve himself in a designated area
  • Give him time to explore his new home
  • Setup an exclusive zone for your puppy where he can feel comfortable
  • Keep the puppy close to you as much as you can
  • When they want to sleep, just let them, this is part of their growing process
  • Establish a sleeping place for the puppy

What not to do with a puppy on the first night in his new home?

  • Avoid having visitors to see the puppy on the first day

Your puppy’s first night with you will typically be full of crying, playing, and love. Typically, you will need to play with your new puppy a lot to make him tired so he will sleep the whole night without problems. Planning the boundaries is a good practice to follow that will help you in the future to have a good-behaving puppy. Always bear in mind that your puppy is scared and doesn’t know you or your family.

Puppies and human babies have a lot in common regarding their need for activity, companionship, and lots of interaction. They tend to cry a lot and, of course, have few accidents while learning how to be in the new world. And that’s why you have to be careful on your first night.

How To Handle The First Few Hours?

The first few hours are definitely exciting, bearing in mind that your puppy has been with his mother and siblings in a peaceful environment. Accordingly, try to maintain a quiet environment, giving him a chance to explore and meet his new family.

To start with, make sure to give him a chance to relieve himself in a designated area for this purpose. If he doesn’t relieve himself after ten or fifteen minutes, try again after ten minutes.

Don’t miss giving your puppy lots of praise if he relieves himself in the proper area. This will shorten the way for Potty training and remember, that he used to pee everywhere when he was with his mother.

Don’t miss watching over him closely while allowing him to explore the house. Keep talking to your puppy during this process to make him feel at home, but don’t let him out of your sight (Just to keep your furniture safe…)

I always take this opportunity to teach my puppy lots of new things:

  • Start by saying the puppy’s name cheerfully and pleasantly, don’t say anything else other than his name.
  • Probably he will look at you just to see what’s going on. Reward him immediately; this will encourage him to look at you every time he hears the name to be rewarded.
  • Wait for the puppy’s attention to wander, and then say his name again. The puppy will eventually associate the name with the treat and the words of praise. This process should be repeated around ten times in one session, then give the puppy a break.
  • Don’t overdo it; otherwise, the puppy will get bored and will lose interest, which will make it harder for you in the future.

Now, let’s get to the important part.

Establishing Boundaries For Your Puppy

While helping your puppy to get used to his new home, it’s essential to create limitations on the first day. Begin by setting up an exclusive zone for your puppy.

You can throw some kibble or treats in this particular zone so that he would enter it at his own free will. Make this zone as fun as possible, and this will make him settle- in quietly.

Bearing in mind that he went through a scary car ride and he finds himself in a brand new place with people he doesn’t know. Avoid having plenty of visitors to see the puppy on the first day.

Just let him settle quietly in his new area and his new family.

How To Stop Your Puppy From Crying?

Your job here is to make the puppy get rid of the fear screaming that he might experience for the first few nights away from his mother.

Keep the puppy close to you as much as you can. It would be a great start if he wants to lay on your lap; this shows the beginning of trust in you. Allowing him to sleep in your room for the first few nights or using music helps to calm him down.

Mama’s scent:

A variety of new smells will surround your puppy on the first night, and since smell is the puppy’s most robust sense, you can help him feel at home by placing a t-shirt or a towel with his mama’s scent in his crate.

You can wipe a towel or an old t-shirt on the mama dog when you go to pick the puppy up. Or the breeder might help you by giving you some of the dog’s mama bedding.

Another soothing trick is to put a ticking clock under the puppy’s bedding. The steady tick-tock is a reminder of his mama’s heartbeat.

How To Help Your New Puppy To Sleep Through His First Night At Home?

As mentioned before, puppies are just like human babies. They tend to wake up a few times during the night. They sleep 15-20 hours a day, and they need almost hourly bathroom needs.

If the puppy is 8-12 weeks old, he will take lots of short naps during the day and need to go outside once he wakes up. However, establishing a bedtime routine on the first day, and trying to stick to it will help the puppy to understand what is expected of him at bedtime.

Puppies fall asleep in a second; they seem to have an on/off switch. When they’re awake, they explore everything in their new world. But when they’re off, they are fast asleep, they may fall asleep in the middle of their meal, or as they chew a toy.

When they want to sleep, just let them, this is part of their growing process.

To pass through the first night, and for the following few weeks, it’s essential to establish a sleeping place for the puppy to help him get the routine. Set up a dog crate for the puppy next to your bed.

You can make a cozy dog crate by lining the base with blankets and another blanket on top to help him feel more secure. Don’t forget to put a stuffed toy in the crate with his mama’s scent or his littermates’ scent to soothe him. Make it warm and inviting as much as possible.

Tips to help the puppy sleep longer through the first night:

  • Tire him out, allow him to exercise all afternoon. Don’t give him a chance to take a cozy nap before bedtime
  • Cut the puppy off from water and food about an hour before bedtime
  • Keep him calm around bedtime
  • Let the puppy relieve himself before bedtime
  • Keep the dog’s crate near your bed during the night

What Is The Important Checklist To Be Prepared?

Before picking up your puppy, some essential items should be prepared beforehand:

  • Dog crate: as mentioned, it is vital to have a cozy resting place to contain your puppy.
  • Play and chew toys: Although they sleep a lot, yet puppies are intelligent and curious. Provide your puppy with various kinds of texture, sounds, and shapes that would help the puppy in his stimulating mental process. Additionally, dog chew will redirect the unwanted destructive behavior of the puppy until he sheds his puppy teeth.
  • Leash and collar: it is recommended that you choose a leash and a collar that is appropriate to the age and the breed of your new puppy. The best choice would be an adjustable dog collar, as the puppy will be growing quickly.
  • Don’t forget to check the collar regularly: you should be able to slip two fingers under the collar. Take care not to keep it loose that it might slip over the puppy’s head.
  • As for the leash: a rope lead is comfortable and strong on your hands, while chain leads are suitable for puppies that like to chew and carry the lead in their mouth. However, the leather leads have to be oiled and soaped to be kept clean and in good condition.
  • Puppy food: puppies should be left to eat until they’re satisfied. For an eight week old puppy, you can soak the food in warm water for 10 minutes before giving it to the puppy.
  • Water and food bowls: choose simple stainless steel water and food bowls.
  • Dog treats: it’s important to have treats for your puppy even if you’re not planning to train him yourself.
  • ID tags: being an indoor dog doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t get lost by accident. ID tags help a quick reunion with your puppy. So, a simple, easy-to-read tag with the puppy’s name, your family name, and contact information is a must.

Last but not least, Zak George has an amazing video about spending the first day with your puppy:

Zak George first 36 hours with new puppy!


Your new puppy will need a little time to settle in, he has just come out of his shell, he needs to get used to the new environment, and most of all get used to you.

So, being close to your new puppy from the very first night will help a lot in his future training.

Remember, you’re starting a new life with your future best friend.

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

Recent Posts