Surviving your puppy’s first night

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A puppy’s first night in your home can be a bit challenging if not prepared.  Remember, from your puppy’s point of view he or she has been removed from the comfort of his or her mother and siblings.  Whining, howling, and squealing are all normal puppy behaviors as they signaled to the mother not to forget about them when the mother would leave for long periods.  This behavior continues that very first night, except now cries for help are aimed at you.  

To ensure your puppy’s anxiety is reduced and remains safe throughout the night, I advise using an appropriately sized and comfortable crate as your puppy’s sleep den.  The ideal crate size should not be so big that he or she can potty in one corner and still able to lie down in another.  You can either put the crate in your bedroom or by the bedroom doorway so your new puppy knows you’re not too far away.  He or she will still cry initially but just ignore them (I know it’s hard) until they settle down and over time, your puppy will sleep more soundly.  

For more help with your new puppy, please consult with your veterinarian as he or she is your best source for accurate information.


Dr. Susan Bonilla is the owner of Passionate Paws Animal Hospital in Waxhaw, offering traditional and complementary treatment options as well as full-service grooming.  She is certified in acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy.  You can reach her at 704-256-7576 or e-mail at Hello@PassionatePaws.Vet

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