Read time: 3 mins
09 Apr 2021
By Team Butternut Box
Patience and consistency are the watch words for your pups first week at home as starting off on the right foot is really important. Pups thrive on routine and knowing what to expect.
You’ll have already got all the essential ‘puppy kit’ organised, (see our new puppy shopping list blog). And make sure that you also have a week or so’s supply of the food that they were weaned onto by the breeder as well as your chosen follow-on food ready. You’ll be slowly transitioning your pup onto their new food over the first few weeks.
It’s a good idea to have your pup’s food and water station set up somewhere that they can eat in peace and won’t be distracted by the hurly burley of a busy kitchen. Maybe the hall or utility room? And get some newspaper ready by the back door or wherever you’re going to be taking your pup out for toilet training.
You’ll also need to book your pup in for their first vet check-up and vaccinations. They should already be microchipped when they leave the breeder (this is the law), so make sure that you transfer your pup’s ownership details as soon as you get home. Finally, check insurance providers and make sure that your pup’s cover begins as soon as you collect them.
Your pup will have been used to sleeping with his mum and siblings in a warm nest. You can try and simulate this by giving them a snug bed with familiar blankets that smell of their family - often the breeder will send them away with a toy or blanket with a familiar smell. For your pup’s first night with you it’s a nice idea to create some background sound, such as a ticking clock or a radio, as total silence will feel quite strange after sleeping with half a dozen other puppies all snoring away.
Try and stick to a daily routine with your pup in terms of feeding times and taking them out for loo breaks. Also stick to your own usual habits around the house and as regards work and going out for short periods. Your pup needs to adjust to whatever your normal routine is. Many pups struggle if their owner has taken two weeks off work to ‘settle them in’ and then everything changes on that third week, just as they’ve ‘settled in’. Start as you mean to go on!
Lastly, don’t forget to get your pup used to all the sights and sounds of their new home. Run the washing machine and the hoover, set off a few alarms – all the while not making any fuss and just carrying on life as normal. Your pup needs to know that these are just the everyday sounds of family life, and nothing to be scared of. You’ve got plenty more weeks (until around 16 weeks of age) for lots more ‘socialisation’ (see our separate blog) out and about, so this first week should be all about settling in and adjusting to the huge change of being in their new home.