Bringing a new puppy home is pretty high on the 'exhilarating life moments' list. But while you're giddy and elated about this furry bundle of cuteness, it can be easy to forget that it's a scary moment for a puppy. They've been abruptly snatched away from their mother, littermates and the only environment they've ever known. So before you get cracking on those training aims or create a 'Welcome Roger the pomeranian!' Facebook event, remember that what your puppy needs most during this time is safety, security and healthy bonding time with you.
So how can you make this vital first moment successful?
The journey home
Bring loads of blankets and towels for the car (or bus, train etc.) journey. It's common for puppies to get carsick. Your puppy is likely to be feeling a little freaked out, so having them on your lap for the journey can be reassuring for them. A safe option is to buy a puppy car harness in advance which clips into the seatbelt buckle. A soft bag or crate with lots of bedding can also be a good option (especially on public transport) as they'll be less disturbed by noise, crowds and lights. If the breeder can spare some bedding or toys from their home, it’s great to take these with you and put them in your puppy’s new bed as the familiar smells will be comforting. Some people swear by Adaptil collars and diffusers (which can be easily found online or in many vet practices).
Resist the puppy party
Keep things low key when you bring your puppy home. Puppies need lots of sleep and are likely to be tired. Around 18 hours of sleep is normal for a puppy. It can be tempting to invite friends and family over to meet your new furry family member, however it's wise to