Your Cart is Empty

March 05, 2024 7 min read


Ah, the unparalleled joy of bringing a new puppy into your home! Those tiny paws, floppy ears, and the unmistakable puppy smell can fill your house—and heart—with an excitement like no other. Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or adding another furry member to your family, there's a sense of wonder that comes with a new puppy.

But let's not kid ourselves; it's not all cuddles and cute Instagram photos. Welcoming a new puppy is a significant commitment and can be quite challenging, especially during that crucial first week. This period is not just an adjustment for you; it's a whole new world for your little furball as well. The first week sets the foundation for your relationship with your new pet, making it essential to get it right.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through what to expect during your first week with your new pup. From the exciting journey home to those restless first nights, from basic training to your pup’s first vet visit—we've got you covered. We'll also address common challenges you may face and provide you with expert advice and practical examples to make your first week as smooth as possible. So, buckle up; it's going to be an adorable roller coaster of a week!

Preparing for Arrival

Before your new bundle of joy paws its way into your home, there are several things you'll need to arrange. A little preparation can go a long way in making your puppy's first week a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Shopping List

First things first, let's talk about essentials. The last thing you want is to run to the pet store in the middle of the night because you forgot to buy puppy food! Here's a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Puppy Food: Consult your vet for brand recommendations that are age and breed-appropriate.
  • Collar and Leash: Adjustable ones are great as your puppy will grow quickly.
  • Dog Bed: Consider a bed that's easy to clean and fits well in your designated puppy area.
  • Bowls: One for food and another for water.
  • Toys: Soft toys, chew toys, and squeaky toys can help keep your puppy engaged.
  • Puppy Pads or Crate: For house training.
  • Grooming Supplies: Puppy-friendly shampoo, brushes, and nail clippers.
  • ID Tag: With your contact information, just in case your pup decides to go on an adventure.

Creating a Safe Space

Your home is a treasure trove of interesting smells, shiny objects, and curious nooks and crannies. While it's a paradise for exploration, it may not always be the safest place for a curious pup.

  • Puppy-Proofing: Secure electrical cords, remove small objects that could be swallowed, and install baby gates if necessary.
  • Designated Area: Choose an area in your home where your puppy will spend most of its time, especially in the beginning. This area should be easy to clean and close to the outdoors for potty breaks.

By ticking off these preparation boxes, you're not only setting the stage for your puppy's arrival but also alleviating some of the stress that can come with it. The more prepared you are, the smoother the transition will be for everyone involved.

Day 1: The Arrival

The day you've been eagerly waiting for has finally arrived! As you bring your new puppy home, remember, this is a significant change for both of you. Here's how to make Day 1 a positive experience.

Initial Meeting

The journey from the breeder, shelter, or previous home can be quite stressful for a puppy. Keep the car ride as smooth as possible and bring a familiar blanket or toy if you can.

  • Introduction to Family and Pets: Make introductions gradual and calm. Overwhelming your puppy with too many people or pets can be stressful.
  • Exploring the House: Let your puppy explore its new surroundings but limit access to the entire house at first. The designated area you prepared will serve as their safe space.

First Feeding

Your puppy’s diet plays a pivotal role in their overall health. Make sure to consult with the breeder or shelter about what your puppy has been eating. Abrupt changes in diet can cause stomach upset.

  • Recommended Puppy Foods: Stick to high-quality, age-appropriate food.
  • Feeding Schedule: Young puppies often require multiple small meals a day. Work on establishing a regular feeding time.

First Night

The first night can be a bit tricky; both you and your pup might not get much sleep.

  • Sleeping Area: Use the dog bed or crate you've prepared in the designated area. Some pups find comfort in a warm water bottle or ticking clock that mimics a heartbeat.
  • Crying Puppy: It’s natural for puppies to cry on their first night away from their littermates. Resist the urge to bring them into your bed. Consistency is key for setting expectations.

The excitement of Day 1 will eventually give way to a more regular routine, but how you manage this initial period can set the tone for your future relationship with your furry friend.

Days 2-3: Acclimatisation

The initial excitement of bringing your new pup home has started to settle, and now it's time to focus on laying the groundwork for a harmonious life together. These early days are perfect for instilling good habits, setting a routine, and beginning your puppy's socialisation.

House Training

House training is often one of the most challenging aspects of puppy parenting, but starting early can ease the process.

  • Crate Training vs. Potty Pads: Both methods have their pros and cons. Crate training can be effective but requires a strict schedule. Potty pads offer more flexibility but might extend the overall training time.
  • Setting a Schedule: Frequent trips outside and positive reinforcement can make the process easier. Consistency is key here.

Basic Commands

It's never too early to start with basic obedience training. Simple commands like 'Sit,' 'Stay,' and 'Come' can be life-saving and make day-to-day life more manageable.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats or praise to encourage desired behaviour.
  • Consistency: Make sure all family members are using the same commands and rewards to avoid confusing the pup.


These early days are crucial for socialisation. Positive experiences with various people, animals, and environments can help your puppy grow into a well-rounded dog.

  • Importance: Poor socialisation can lead to behavioural issues down the line.
  • Tips: Start with small, controlled situations. Gradually expose your puppy to different people, pets, and experiences, always ensuring that the interactions are positive.

The acclimatisation phase is your first real opportunity to shape your puppy's behaviour and attitudes. While it might feel overwhelming, remember, you're setting the stage for a lifetime of companionship and mutual respect.

Days 4-7: Routine and Exploration

Congratulations on making it through the initial days of puppy parenthood! As you move into the tail end of your first week, focus shifts to establishing a consistent routine and encouraging your puppy to explore within safe boundaries.

Exercise and Play

Physical activity is crucial for your puppy's physical and mental health. However, you'll need to find a balance that suits their growing body.

  • Age-Appropriate Activities: Short walks and indoor play are often best for young puppies.
  • Toy Recommendations: Puzzle toys can help stimulate your puppy's mind, while soft plush toys offer comfort. Make sure all toys are safe and size-appropriate.

Vet Visit

By now, you should be thinking about your puppy’s first vet appointment, if you haven’t scheduled it already.

  • Importance of Early Health Checks: Early vaccinations and health screenings can prevent various complications down the line.
  • What to Expect: The vet will likely conduct a general examination, discuss diet and vaccinations, and provide a schedule for future visits.

Setting a Routine

A stable routine can make life easier for both you and your puppy.

  • Consistency: Try to feed, walk, and put your puppy to sleep at the same times each day.
  • Setting Expectations: A routine can help with training, as your puppy will know what to expect and when.

Life with a new puppy is full of surprises, but establishing a stable routine and encouraging safe exploration can set the stage for a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship.

Dealing with Challenges

While the first week with your new puppy is filled with joy and excitement, it's also a time where you're both adjusting and learning. Despite best-laid plans, you may encounter some challenges. Here's how to deal with them effectively.

Separation Anxiety

It's common for puppies to experience separation anxiety, especially if it's their first time away from their littermates.

  • Solutions: Short periods of separation, coupled with positive reinforcement, can help alleviate anxiety over time.
  • Comfort Items: Providing a piece of clothing that smells like you can also offer comfort to a distressed puppy.

Feeding Issues

Switching foods or adapting to a new feeding schedule can lead to digestive issues.

  • Solutions: If you notice symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea, consult your vet for advice.
  • Prevention: Stick to the recommended feeding guidelines and ensure fresh water is always available.

Behavioural Concerns

Nipping, excessive barking, and other undesirable behaviours can emerge during the first week.

  • Solutions: Positive reinforcement for good behaviour and gentle, consistent correction for undesired actions work best.
  • Consult a Professional: If behavioural issues persist, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer.

Facing challenges is a normal part of the process, but it's essential to address them early on to prevent them from becoming long-term issues. With patience, love, and consistency, you and your new puppy will soon establish a harmonious life together.


The first week with your new puppy is undoubtedly a whirlwind of emotions and experiences, both for you and your furry companion. From the joyous moments of your first meeting to the restless nights and minor challenges, each day brings something new. While it can feel overwhelming at times, remember, these initial steps lay the foundation for a lifelong friendship filled with love, loyalty, and countless wagging tails.

Our guide aimed to equip you with the essential knowledge and practical tips for navigating this crucial first week successfully. From pre-arrival preparations to understanding the importance of establishing a routine and overcoming common challenges, we've tried to cover all the bases.

So, take a deep breath and enjoy this special time. Before you know it, those tiny paws will be confidently trotting beside you, ready to face whatever adventures lie ahead. Welcome to the rewarding world of puppy parenthood!