Week One with A New Puppy: See What to Expect
Published Friday, November 25, 2022 by Elena R.
At a first glance, when you think about the first few days with a new puppy at home you imagine butterflies in your stomach from all the cuddles and bonding you get to do with your new canine family member. And it’s true, your heart will be filled with joy! But there will also be overwhelming situations when you’ll think “what was I thinking”.
Although the first week with a new puppy is the most exciting, it’s also the most difficult. From crying at night and having potty accidents everywhere to getting ready for cuddles and games, here is a day-by-day breakdown of week one with a new puppy at home.
Day one is a day of excitement and overwhelming, two aspects of having a new puppy in your arms for the first time. You will feel overwhelmed with joy, and you might even get a taste of puppy fever. This day will also be the most overwhelming day for your puppy. New people, places, sounds, and smells can be a difficult pill to swallow for your new pup. The first day is also when your puppy needs all your attention, so staying home and looking after him is ideal.
Potty accidents will happen. To limit these, it’s best to take your puppy to the potty pad after each meal and drink. You should also start planning a routine for when your puppy sleeps, eats, and exercises.
Another thing you can expect in the first few days is a lot of sleep. Puppies sleep on average 12 to 18 hours a day. Sleeping through the night, especially in the first few nights, is rare. Your puppy will seek comfort from his mom. So, you should be prepared to comfort him during the night. You can get a puppy crate that will act as your pup’s little sanctuary and sleeping place, or you can let your puppy sleep in your bed. Keep in mind that where you choose to have your puppy sleep is where he will always sleep.
When you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, chances are he will be socialized enough to be comfortable with first interactions. He might even know where to go potty.
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On day two, your puppy might be a bit more outgoing and more eager to be held. He will still use his little nose to seek out his mother’s scent but will be happy to be with you as well.
Day two is still a bit of a struggle for a new puppy in his new home. He isn’t yet completely comfortable with his new surroundings, but a bit more accepting. Some puppies might take the second day in their new home to play and inspect the house, while others may still be shy and not ready to come out of their shell. Your puppy’s personality and the way he was raised will determine how fast he gets accustomed to his new life.
Sleeping through the night is not something your new puppy will achieve in the first few days, but he will sleep a bit more comfortably on the second day compared to the first one. He will also start eating better and be more responsive to your voice. Crying at night can still happen on the second day.
The second day of your puppy’s arrival home is an ideal time to start building structure for routines. You can start by setting rules and reinforcing good behavior. You can also begin to create meal and nap times.
For the most part, your puppy’s second day home will be an eat-sleep-investigate routine.
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The third day is when your puppy starts getting more familiar and comfortable with you. He becomes more eager to discover his surroundings. To make this less overwhelming for your new puppy, you can limit small areas of your house for your puppy to discover. Curiosity starts to kick in by day three but getting familiar with the whole house at once may be too overwhelming.
Day three is when you can safely begin to reinforce some rules and begin teaching your puppy what he can and can’t do without the risk of overwhelming him.
This is also an ideal time to begin potty training your new fur baby.
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By day four, your new puppy will begin greeting you with excited tail wags. He will feel even more comfortable being around you than he was the day before. And this is an excellent time to start bonding. By day four your puppy will also be more relaxed and more eager to spend time with you. He will spend his energy playing and running around the house. He will also be more rested as his naps become more comfortable.
Sleeping better at night is also something that begins around day four. When your puppy starts accepting his new surroundings as his new home, his sleep will be more relaxed.
Day four is an excellent day to start cuddling and pampering your little puppy.
By day five, your puppy will be more energetic and more open toward you. He will have investigated his surroundings enough to become familiar with his new territory.
If you’ve owned a puppy before, you may have noticed when that puppy love started to kick in. Your puppy starts showing signs of affection, often not leaving your side. Day five is the day of realization for your new puppy. He begins seeing you as his new parent. He will constantly seek you out and will feel ready to take on the world with you.
The fifth day is when your puppy’s focus is mostly on you.
By day six, your puppy will have inspected every nook and cranny of the house. He knows where to sleep, eat, and go potty. And this is when he is most comfortable with his new living situation. As he gets more comfortable, your new puppy will start chewing everything in sight. If you’ve puppy-proofed your home, you have nothing to worry about, but if you haven't, this is a good time to do it. Day six is when your pup will be comfortable enough to pick out his favorite shoes to chew.
The sixth day is when you can safely begin to introduce your friends and other family members. You can also begin some easy training lessons by the end of the first week. Your puppy will be responsive to you and eager to make you happy.
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In most cases, by day seven, puppies will have bonded with their new owners. They start responding to their name and are eager to be with their new owners. You may even hear a little bark by day seven!
By the end of the first week, your new puppy will sleep comfortably through the night. He will spend the day happily bonding with you, playing, and getting to know his surroundings even better.
Day seven of your puppy’s arrival home is when a vet visit is ideal. Your puppy is now comfortable being with you and will not be overwhelmed by the trip to the vet as long as you are by his side.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are puppies supposed to sleep a lot? Yes. Puppies can sleep anywhere from 12 to 18 hours a day. This is both normal and healthy for puppies.
Should puppies sleep in crates? Not necessarily. It is up to you whether you want your puppy to sleep in a crate, in a dog bed, or beside you. Crates are often used to limit the puppy’s movement at night. It also works as a sanctuary where puppies and dogs can feel safe and comfortable while their owners are away from home.
When do puppies stop teething? Your puppy should stop teething by the time they reach 5 to 8 months old. Some dogs may take longer than others, but most should have their adult teeth by the time they turn one year old.
When do puppies stop biting? Puppies will generally stop biting by the time they reach 5 months of age. As their gums itch, their instinct is to bite anything in reach to relieve itching. Once the teething period ends, they will likely stop biting.
Why do puppies whine? Whining is a form of communication for puppies, even though we interpret it as a sign of sadness or fear. Puppies will whine to seek out attention, when they want something, or when they are anxious.