Your puppy’s first night home might be the noisiest night with your new puppy but many designer breed puppies will settle down quite quickly into their new home and make the adjustment quite easily. It’s important to remember that your puppy is in a new, unfamiliar place, taken away from his siblings and probably suffering from a little separation anxiety. There are a few things that you can do though to make your new puppy feel a little more comfortable during this first night and hopefully let them and you sleep through the night much more soundly. Some of the tricks that apply to a newborn baby can be modified to helping a puppy sleep through the first night.
Tire your puppy out before bed time.
This is just like a toddler. If your puppy is tired before he goes to bed at night his first priority will be to get some rest and just like a toddler, when they need to sleep, they can sleep through just about anything! Keep your puppy active in the hour or so before bed and do not let him take little naps during the last hour either or he will re-energise right before bed. If your puppy is ready to sleep as soon as playtime is over, then she will not put up much of a fuss when you place her into her room or crate for bedtime and will likely settle in and sleep. If you only try one tip to get your puppy sleeping through her first night, then this is it.
Feed your puppy an hour before bedtime
If you feed your puppy an hour before bedtime, they will still have a full belly (always a good reason for a sleep, just think of yourself after Christmas lunch!) before going to bed but they will have had enough time to go toilet to empty their bowels. If you do allow them to eat right before bed they are more likely to get up during the night needing to go and once they are up they will realise they are in a foreign environment and begin to whine. Again just like a baby, a full belly and empty bowels is a great condition for a peaceful night!
What about a toy or cloth that smells like his littermates?
There are 2 schools of thought on this one. Some people believe that having an object with the familiar smell of their littermates will keep the puppy comfortable during the first night, while others believe that this can actually cause more anxiety for the puppy as he can smell his littermates but cannot find them. It’s up to you which one you would prefer to try but the whole idea is to make your puppy feel comfortable and secure in his new home.
Is a ticking clock or hot water bottle good to place in the puppy’s bed?
A ticking clock is used by some new owners and recommended by many breeders to simulate mum’s heartbeat and again some owners believe it works and some report that the dog ignored it. A hot water bottle is good for small breed puppies such as Cavoodles or Moodles to keep them warm but care must be taken to ensure that the puppy cannot chew the hot water bottle to release hot water that may burn the puppy. The same is true for the ticking clock if you choose to use it, but more from the point of small pieces being chewed off and swallowed.
How you choose to stop your puppy from crying during the night is up to you, but remember, some crying for the first few nights should be expected, but with consistency and patience, your puppy will settle into their new home.