It’s Your First Night With A New Puppy, What Should You Do?

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Getting a new puppy and bringing it home is the day every dog owner remembers. But that first night with a new puppy is the night most owners want to forget!

If you just brought a new puppy home, you’re in for a treat—and countless hours of lost sleep!

At this point you’re probably wondering how can this be right; there is no way that your tiny pup can keep you awake all night!

Well, that may only be the case if you have great earplugs or can sleep through a hailstorm without blinking an eye. 

The first night with my puppy was the night to remember!

He whined, barked, and howled all night long, and I was hoping my neighbors would come knocking so I could get an excuse to take my pup from the crate and cuddle him.

Well, that didn’t happen, but I survived the dreadful first night and so can you!

In this article, I’ll tell you exactly what to expect from a puppy’s first night, where your puppy should sleep, and how to get prepared. Arm yourself with patience, some earplugs, and keep on reading.

First night with black lab puppy. black lab puppy lying on the concrete floor.First night with black lab puppy. black lab puppy lying on the concrete floor.
This is literally hours before our Lab puppy, Elsa’s first night home.

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What To Expect From A Puppy’s First Night At Home?

The day has finally arrived and you have brought your new puppy home.

There’s nothing more exciting than watching a new puppy as it explores all nooks and crannies and gets familiar with his forever home.

But after a super exciting day, it’s time for your puppy to go to sleep and spend the first night at home. 

I don’t want to burst your bubble of excitement, but you should know that a puppy’s first night can be rather challenging.

In the best-case scenario, you’re looking at one sleepless night; in the worst-case scenario, you will be sleep deprived for several weeks/months. 

Bringing a puppy home the first night is a lot like bringing a newborn baby home for the first time.

DOGGY AND HUMAN DADDY EXPERIENCE: The first night home with a newborn baby was much easier than some of my puppies.

Your new puppy will need time to adapt to his new environment and get used to new faces, without the security of his mom and littermates. 

Like people, dogs form strong bonds with their family and prefer the company of their siblings and parents.

Once you bring a new puppy home, you are separating it from its family, so it is only natural for your pup to feel sad and anxious to some extent. 

The first day and night in a new home will be the toughest for your puppy, but separation discomfort is a normal part of every puppy’s life.

The best thing you can do is to be supportive and stay patient while your pup adapts to his new life and home.

All puppies have a natural instinct to whine, howl, and squeal when they are separated from their mother.

Therefore, you can expect that your puppy will be quite vocal and restless during the first night in a new home.

Some puppies may take separation harder than others and continue to whine and howl for the first few days or weeks.

When it comes to the first night with a new puppy, you should be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

At this point, you are probably wondering, what have I gotten myself into and how am I going to survive my puppy’s first night!

Rest assured, every dog owner goes through this, and while the first night can be challenging, everything will get better soon.

When I brought home my first puppy, Linus these were my exact thoughts. Our local shelter had a 14 day, no questions asked, full refund policy. I won’t lie I definitely considered this option.

Over 15 years later and I don’t regret for one minute keeping Linus as he became my best friend and changed my life.

Getting Prepared For The First Night With A New Puppy

Once your new puppy arrives home, you won’t want to do anything except play and watch as he explores.

Since the first day is rather exciting, it is best if you cover all the basics and get ready for your puppy’s first week at home.

Your puppy will need food and water bowls, a collar and a leash, puppy food, toys, a bed, and a puppy crate to start.

QUICK TIP: If you’re about to get a puppy you’ll want to check out this New Puppy Checklist to find everything you’ll need before bringing your puppy home.

Having all must-have puppy supplies already in your home will give you a chance to spend an entire day getting to know your new pup.

Furthermore, you will also have enough time to prepare everything for your puppy’s first night at home. 

Here are some tips that can help you get prepared for the puppy’s first night:

1. Get A Warm Bed

While getting a puppy bed might seem like a no-brainer, many owners forget about it due to all the excitement.

When choosing a bed, you should look for models that offer support, keep your puppy warm, and can accommodate various sleeping positions. 

Bear in mind, puppies like to chew, so the bed has to be durable and safe without any parts that can be a potential choking hazard if chewed and swallowed.

Furthermore, look for beds that don’t have any tall sides that can be too high for your pup to climb over.

And since dogs feel more secure in tight spaces, instead of something big, get a small and replaceable dog bed.

2. Tire Your Puppy Before Bedtime

While puppies are full of energy, they usually sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day.

However, rather than sleeping for 20 hours straight, your puppy will have several naps a day. This means that your puppy might be playing with a toy one minute and be fast asleep seconds later.

To help your new pup settle in for the first night, you should tire him out with active play, games, and walks a few hours before bedtime.

Avoid any activities or too much excitement one hour before the planned bedtime since puppies can’t fall asleep when fired up. Instead, give your pup time to slowly calm down just in time for bed. 

3. Start Crate Training From The First Day

While crate training is a subject of much controversy, it is a proven training method when used appropriately.

Whether you want to crate train your puppy or not is completely up to you, but crates give dogs a sense of security and comfort.

If you decide to give crate training a go, use positive reinforcement training techniques and treats to get your puppy to like his crate. 

A crate can also be a useful tool for house training your puppy, since no dog will urinate where he sleeps.

The goal of a crate is to serve as a safe and private space for your dog, and you should never use it as a form of punishment. 

Please note, puppies under six months old should not spend more than three to four hours being crated at a time.

Your puppy should spend the majority of his time interacting with you and your family and not locked in a crate for hours on end.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: Our favorite crate is the Midwest Lifestages Crate. We got one for our first puppy, Linus over 18 years ago and still use the same one anytime we get a new puppy.

4. Keep The Crate In A Draft-Free Area

Your puppy’s bed or crate should always feel warm, cozy, and inviting, thus you will need to find a draft-free area and keep the bed there.

The bed should stay in a quiet part of the room where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic and where your puppy will be able to sleep without disturbances. 

Keep in mind that puppies need sleep to grow and develop properly. So no matter how cute or funny your pup looks while he sleeps, don’t disturb him and tell your family members to do the same. 

5. Be Prepared For Accidents

Even if you got your puppy from a breeder who potty trains their dogs, accidents can happen, especially the first night in a new home.

Generally speaking, a puppy can control its bladder one hour for every month of age. So, if you have a two-month-old puppy, he will need to pee every two hours or so.

However, when your 2 month old puppy is awake she will have to potty much more frequently then every two hours.

We’ve noticed, when awake our 2 month old pup’s will pee every 5-10 mins. When they sleep they can usually hold it for about 2 hours.

To avoid any damage to your carpets or hardwood floors, you should put a waterproof pet pad or newspapers underneath your puppy’s crate.

But while accidents can happen, you should do your best to avoid them. So watch your puppy at all times and set up a potty schedule as soon as you bring him home.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: When cleaning up puppy pee use an enzymatic cleaner like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Remover. This will thoroughly remove any odor that your puppy might smell. If puppies can still smell the urine they will try to potty in the same spot.

Where Should A Puppy Sleep The First Night?

While everything is fun and games during the day, things get trickier when it comes to bedtime and your puppy’s first night away from mom.

As mentioned earlier, you should be fully prepared for disrupted sleep or several sleepless nights in a row. 

Consider this when bringing a new puppy home and plan accordingly. If possible, you should consider taking a few days off work or at least try to work from home for the first couple of days.

This way, you’ll get a chance to spend more time with your new puppy and help him adjust, and at the same time avoid the stress of working after a sleepless night.

When it comes to sleeping arrangements, your new puppy should sleep in your bedroom inside a crate for the first week or so.

Your close presence will reassure your pup and help him feel safer in the new environment. 

But even with you there, it’s highly likely that your puppy will whine, howl, or cry the first night.

After hearing these sad cries, your first instinct will be to take your puppy and comfort him, but you have to resist!

Cuddling your puppy now will only make things worse later because your pup will expect to be comforted every time he whines.

The only way you are ever going to establish a good sleeping routine is to ignore your pup while he is whining and let him calm down on his own with your presence nearby.

And once your pup quiets down, tell him what a good boy (or girl) he is and offer gentle praises. In case your pup doesn’t stop crying, you can try to calm him by saying “quiet” or “shhh,” but that’s it.

No matter how long the whining and crying goes on, or how annoying it is, don’t yell, punish, or lock your puppy in a basement!

Not only is this cruel, but it can also cause separation anxiety problems and attachment issues.

This won’t help your pup settle into his new home, but will create trust issues and teach your dog that you can and will leave him. 

There is no sugarcoating it: The first night with your puppy will be the hardest, but at least you will be prepared and know exactly what to expect.

The good news is, with patience and consistency you will be able to establish a normal sleeping routine and get your pup settled into his new home. 

Using A Crate

An indoor puppy crate can be an invaluable tool for your pup’s first night at home. You can easily set up the crate inside your bedroom close to you, so your puppy knows you are there.

As an alternative, you can place the crate just outside your bedroom, leaving the door open. 

You should place a dog bed inside the crate or line it with warm and comfortable bedding or blankets.

PRO TIP: We like to give our puppies a blanket and/or bedding designed for the crate. However, keep a close eye on these things because some puppies will chew and swallow blankets and pet beds.

To help your pup settle in, you should also include something that came from the breeder, like a blanket or a toy that smells like his mom and siblings.

This will help your pup to feel more secure and hopefully make him fall asleep faster. 

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: Our favorite toy to help our puppy sleep is the Calmeroos Puppy with Heartbeat and Heat Packs. We take our Calmeroos puppy with us and rub it all over littermates and momma if they are available.

And since your puppy isn’t used to sleeping in a crate, his crate training starts on the very first night at a new home.

Your pup will most likely whine and cry when you first place him in; however, he will settle in after some time and go to sleep. 

Since young puppies can’t control their bladders the entire night, your pup will probably start to whine again at some point in the night.

Using a crate and placing it within your bedroom is extremely helpful in this case. It gives you a chance to hear your pup’s vocalization and take him outside so he can relieve himself. 

Keep in mind that puppies tend to eliminate a few times before they are actually done. And once your pup is finished, praise him, give him a treat, and get him inside the crate again. 

FAQ’s About Puppy’s First Night At Home

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep The First Night?

On the first night, your puppy should sleep in a crate inside your bedroom, having your reassuring presence nearby.

Ideally, you should leave the crate in the same place for three weeks at least, and only then start to gradually move it to another area.

Should I Sleep With My Puppy First Night?

No matter how unsettling your puppy’s whining is, under no circumstances let the puppy sleep in the bed with you.

By doing this you are teaching your pup that he will get into the bed every time he cries. The best thing you can do is to leave your puppy inside the crate until he calms down and falls asleep.

As an added deterrent, one of our friends allowed her puppy to sleep in the bed with her. The next morning her puppy was happily wagging her tail licking her face. She found a few tootsie rolls smashed between the sheets and stuck to her pajamas.

By the way, they weren’t tootsie rolls…

Should I Let My Puppy On The Furniture?

This is a follow up to the previous question. I’ve often been asked if new puppies should be allowed on furniture.

My answer is an adamant, no.

Why? There are a few reasons: My #1 reason is potty training. You don’t want your puppy to have potty accidents on your furniture. We’ve heard multiple times of puppies peeing (or pooping) on the couch and bed.

How Do You Get Through The First Night With A New Puppy?

The best way to get through the first night with a new puppy is to prepare in advance and have realistic expectations.

If you can, take a day off from work, set up a puppy crate inside your bedroom, add a cozy bed, and include a blanket from a breeder that smells like your pup’s mom.

And even if it seems unlikely, your puppy will quiet down at some point and fall asleep.

Should I Ignore Puppy Crying At Night?

As hard as it may be, you should ignore your puppy’s cries and whimpers at night.

If you acknowledge this behavior, your puppy will learn that it is acceptable to whine for attention and will continue to do so every night.

How Long Should I Leave Puppy To Cry At Night?

Almost all puppies cry at night, especially on the first night in a new home. While it is hard to hear a crying puppy, you should ignore this behavior until your pup stops crying on his own.

By not caving in, you are teaching your pup that crying will not get him anywhere, and eventually he will completely stop vocalizing at night.

Our most recent puppy, Elsa woke up 4 times her first night home. I did not sleep more than 2 consecutive hours that first night. However, by the fourth night she was sleeping solid 8 straight hours.

Final Thoughts

The day you bring a new puppy home will be one of the most exciting days of your life, but the first night with a new puppy can be challenging.

Almost all puppies whine, cry, and howl the first night at a new home, and you should be prepared for a sleepless night (or a few)!

However, there are some things you can do to help your puppy adjust to his new home:

  • Set up a dog crate inside your bedroom
  • Ignore your puppy’s crying no matter how unsettling it gets
  • Remind your pup of his mom by placing a blanket from a breeder inside the crate

In the end, no matter how hard the first night with your puppy gets, you got it!

Countless dog owners survived to tell the tale of the dreadful first night and so will you.

Have you raised a puppy recently?

How was our first night with your new puppy?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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It's Your First Night With A New Puppy, What Should You Do? - black lab puppy lying on the concrete floor sleeping.It's Your First Night With A New Puppy, What Should You Do? - black lab puppy lying on the concrete floor sleeping.
Puppy’s First Night At Home

Top Picks For Our Dogs

    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs – Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Bones & Chews Bully Sticks – All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train Me Treats – One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer’s Dog – A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer’s Dog.

For a list of all the supplies we get for our new service dog puppies check out our New Puppy Checklist on the blog.

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