Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro: Hi! I am Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro with AAHA. And today, we're talking about how to care for a puppy. We're going to discuss surviving your puppy's first night at home.
So think about it. The puppy is new and it's an unfamiliar environment, away from his litter mates, away from mom. And suddenly, you bring it home to a very unfamiliar surroundings. That puppy maybe very nervous, you maybe tempted to put that puppy in bed with you and try to cuddle with it. But that's probably the wrong thing to do.
Introduce your puppy to its own little safe environment, namely a crate. So in that crate, I would recommend that you have a small area with a pillow, maybe a blanket and some comforting toys. You may also want to have an area just large enough that if the puppy needs to urinate or defecate, it can get out of its own way. Typically, a crate should be only large enough for a puppy to stand up and then turn around, so you may have to buy crates for various ages of your puppy's life as your puppy grows.
Getting back to your puppy's first night. Typically, for a two-month old puppy, that puppy should be allowed to go outside for bathroom breaks every two hours. Set your alarm because you don't want the puppy to wake you up crying. If the puppy is crying, it maybe because it's nervous. Or more likely saying, mom or dad, I need to go outside to urinate. Set your alarm and be prepared to take scheduled bathroom breaks every couple of hours until your puppy grows older.
Be patient, that's one of the most important things, like a crying child, that just might be wanting to get your attention, it's important to allow that puppy to know that whenever it cries, you are not going to go to him or her. And so if you know that puppy just went outside, maybe they are just attention seeking. You might just have to tough it out. So soon after several sleepless nights, your puppy will learn that crate time is sleep time and that mom or dad will soon be down at a regular schedule to let them out.
With practice, both you and your puppy can have nice restful nights. Next, we are going to talk about puppy socialization.