Puppies First Night Home: What to Expect?

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting adventure filled with joy and happiness. But, amidst all the joy and happiness, a silent fear lingers in new puppy parents. “How will my new puppy spend their first night home?”

Puppies’ first night home is somewhat restless and uncertain. You should expect them to cry and whimper. In this post, we’ll share every tiny detail you should consider while your new furry friend is about to spend it’s first night with you.

We will explore how you can welcome your pup upon their arrival, how the first hour of your puppy at home will look, and all the tips that will help you have a happy time with your new pet.

Decide on the Places You’re Willing to Dedicate to Your Pup

Bringing a new puppy home demands a lot of commitment and dedication. Being willing to dedicate places in your home to fulfill your puppy’s needs is one of them.

Here are some of the important space-dedication decisions you must make before you bring your puppy home:

  • Get them a Personal Space to Snuggle: This is the area your puppy will own for napping or sleeping at night. You can set up your pet’s crate in the same place too.
  • Food/Water Area: Ideally, an eating or drinking space should be close to your pup’s sleeping area. Since they have small stomachs that get empty soon and need refilling multiple times with water and food, keeping the food bowl in the sleeping area is not a good idea because there’s a risk of spillage all the time.
  • Littering Space: This one is also of great importance. You must allocate a place your pet can go to eliminate at every potty break. 
  • Decide on Prohibited Areas for Your Pet: While you decide on the places that will now be your pet’s property, you must also decide on some rules for your pet or define areas where your pup will not be allowed. For example, you can make rules on if they are allowed in bed, sofas, or kitchen. And, is there any area of your home where your pet is not welcome?

Once you define these rules, the key is to stick with them. Also, everyone else interacting with your pup should abide by these rules.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Make sure your home is ready to embrace a puppy, or as they call it, is puppy-proofed.

Preparing your home for its new member includes removing everything that has choking hazards or can harm them.

Here’s a list of potentially harmful things that you can eliminate from your home for the safety and well-being of your pup:

List of Household Hazards:

  • Painkillers
  • Batteries
  • Mosquito/Insect or Mouse repellents
  • Ethanol
  • Dustbins

List of Electrical Hazards:

  • Electrical cords/wires or cables
  • Portable heaters
  • Electrical appliances of every kind whose wires can get chewed

Hazardous Plants:

  • Lily
  • Azalea
  • Philodendron
  • Daffodil
  • Yew
  • Conkers
  • Cherry Laurel

Installing baby gates is also a nice idea to keep your pet confined to a particular place you want them to explore. You can introduce them to your home’s new corners and spaces individually. These baby gates can also keep your pet away from the areas you don’t want to share with them or keep them safe from the potential risks of falling from stairs or getting in contact with electrical cords. 

Gathering All the Supplies You Might Need

Welcoming your puppy home is a delight. But shopping and gathering all the supplies you might need to help your puppy with their re-homing process and adjusting to the new place is another joyous experience.

So, if your puppy is about to sleep for their very first night with you, you must prep your home, get equipped with the right supplies, and be ready to sacrifice your sweet sleep for a few days.

Here’s a list of supplies that can be handy if you want to reduce the stress of the first night with your puppy at home:

  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Name tag
  • Dog crate
  • Puppy-friendly food
  • Treats
  • Anti-chew spray
  • Food and water bowls
  • Stain/Odor remover
  • Paper Towels
  • Waterproof Pet Pads
  • Poop Bags
  • Grooming Essentials (Comb, Shampoo, Nail clipper)

The Power Hour On Your Puppy’s First Night Home

Your new puppy’s first hour at home will be a crucial time. Hence, you must keep the ambiance as calm as possible on your way home. Avoid overwhelming the little soul with too many people welcoming them.

Since puppies are small and have tiny gallbladders, you should take your new puppy for a potty break after the meet and greet.

(You should have a planned spot where they will go to pee and poop!)

Once they have emptied their stomach, they’ll soon need to refill it. Feed them the puppy-friendly food your vet or breeder might have recommended. Next, they need restful sleep to wake up with an outburst of energy the next day. Avoid indulging them in playtime or any other activity that might keep them awake.

That’s where the real challenge starts.

Puppy’s First Meal

Prepare yourself for a special milestone in your new puppy’s life—their very first independent meal! As a caring puppy parent, it’s important to choose the right nourishment, try our raw food calculator, to support their growth. Once the meal is ready, it’s time to teach your adorable pup an essential lesson.

Gently grasp your puppy’s collar, ensuring a secure hold by sliding your thumb through it. With the meal placed approximately two feet away, ask your furry companion to sit patiently and wait for their food. Observe their adorable wiggles and movements, but remember to wait until they settle down.

When the moment arrives and your puppy stops wiggling, express your approval by saying the magic words, “Eat.” This is the cue to release your little bundle of joy, allowing them to happily dig into their meal.

Remember, repetition is key in the training process. So, make it a habit to follow these steps at every mealtime, guiding your puppy toward good manners and a healthy relationship with food.

Crate Training a Puppy First Night

You must shape your puppy’s habits from the first day (first night, in this case) you bring them home. Keeping a bedtime routine and a schedule of activities leading to a sleeping schedule will help them know it’s time to hit the hay.

These activities can be a short walk, quiet bonding time between you and your puppy, and a quick potty break to eliminate the possibility of nighttime accidents. After completing all the pre-bedtime rituals, it’s time to introduce your puppy to it’s crate.

The place where you’ll set up your puppy’s crate and potty spot should be decided earlier — even before bringing them home. Considering the perfect place for your puppy’s crate and the area for pottying are the things you should consider in the planning phase of bringing your new pup home.

Keeping your puppy’s crate in your bedroom or nearby is a great idea.

You must create a den-like crate. This will make your pet’s place warm and cozy and give them a sense of security.

Also, if you decide to keep your pet’s crate in your bedroom, we recommend keeping it in the same place for at least three days. Then you can gradually start changing the place.

Start Crate Training from the First Night

You’ve heard that habits are formed with consistency and patience. So why waste even a night when you can start house training them sooner rather than later. Hence, you must start crate training from the very first night.

Crates are great tools to help you with assisting your pup in feeling safe and for potty training. Why? Because puppies don’t like to pee or poop in the place they sleep. Therefore, you can leverage the potential of a crate coupled with positive reinforcement. But taking them out for toilet breaks is a must while you are house training them using a crate.

You can place some toys or treats there to associate a positive connection and allow your pet to explore it’s new place. In simple words, you can make the crate a special place where your puppy receives special treatment in the form of treats and gifts and the most comfortable place where they can sleep tight.

You can start crate training by crating your puppy for a shorter period. You can gradually increase the timespan after they get comfortable spending more time in the crate. However, providing ample physical and mental stimulation before crate time is necessary. Make sure they have had enough time to play around and the opportunity to empty their bladder.

Side Note: Don’t use the crate training as a punishment. Otherwise, you’ll create fear and anxiety in your dog, eventually hindering their progress with the crate training.

Use Heartbeat Toy, a Ticking Clock, or a Blanket with the Scent of Its Mom to Comfort, Your Dog

Your puppy’s first night at the new place (aka, it’s now home) will not be smooth. Multiple factors can add to the stress or anxiety of your puppy, i.e., the new place and separation from the littermates and its mother.

Here’s what you can do to help him in this situation.

The trick of keeping a ticking clock by the side of your puppy never gets old. Consider buying a heartbeat toy to mimic the sound of the heartbeat of the mom dog so that your pup feels at ease. This is comforting, especially for puppies who are used to hearing their mom’s heartbeat.

Your breeder might also give you something useful for you, such as a blanket with the scent of your pup’s mom or siblings might keep him feel safe. You can also get their family scent by rubbing a blanket with the back of their mother or keeping it for some time with the siblings so that the blanket infuses their scents in them.

While you use these comforting elements, don’t forget about your dog’s safety. Dogs tend to nibble on things. So choose items that are dog friendly and durable enough to withstand the occasional chewing or play.

In addition to these comforting items, you must provide your pup with plenty of support with physical touch by spending some quality time together and making them feel that they are not alone in every possible way you can.

While your pet might go to sleep now since they have found a comfy place, you are still on duty to care for them throughout the night.

A puppy can hold their bladder for up to 2 hours on average.

So you can take this number as a guide and set the alarm every two hours to take your pup for nighttime potty breaks. 

Your pet will soon develop a habit of going away at regular intervals. This will help with reducing any bedtime accidents.

Crate Time By Age

It’s important to be mindful of the duration your dog spends in her crate. Younger dogs, especially puppies, have limited bladder control, so it’s crucial to consider their needs. For instance, an 8- to 10-week old puppy should ideally spend no more than 30–60 minutes in the crate at a time.

Understanding how dogs’ body systems function can help you provide the care they require. When dogs are asleep, their elimination and bodily processes slow down. This is why adult dogs can typically sleep through the night without needing to go outside.

To ensure your dog’s health and happiness, it’s helpful to follow the guidelines below for maximum crate time. If you need to crate your dog while you’re away at work, make sure to schedule specific times when your dog can be out of the crate, providing breaks throughout the day.

By being attentive to your dog’s needs and creating a balanced routine, you can promote their well-being and maintain a positive environment for them.

  • 8–10 weeks old: 30–60 minutes
  • 11–14 weeks old: 1–3 hours
  • 15–16 weeks old: 3–4 hours
  • 17+ weeks old: 4–5 hours

Get Yourself Mentally Prepared for Accidents

Although you have started crate training your puppy from the first night, you are ready to wake up every two hours to take it to its litter area. But your puppy is still new and stressed, so you should not expect it to hold its bladder for too long.

The chances of wet accidents are higher. You should spread waterproof pet pads under your puppy’s crate.

How Often Do Puppies Pee At Night

During the early stages of puppyhood, their tiny bladders require frequent bathroom breaks, typically every 2-4 hours. If you find yourself in the middle of the night with a restless puppy, listen closely to their cries, as they may be signaling their need to relieve themselves. If it has been a considerable amount of time since their last bathroom visit, it’s time to take action.

Handle this nighttime mission with a calm demeanor, aiming to minimize any unnecessary interaction or playfulness. Without causing much disturbance, escort your puppy outside. Remember, this outing is purely functional, not a joyous adventure. Once your puppy has successfully taken care of their business, quietly return indoors and peacefully resume your slumber.

Keep in mind that leaving the crate for bathroom purposes should be treated as a focused task, devoid of excitement or excessive stimulation. By adhering to this approach, you will establish a routine that helps your adorable pup develop good bathroom habits and maintain a restful atmosphere for everyone involved.

As new puppy parents, it’s important to be aware of your furry friend’s sleep patterns and bathroom needs. Generally, puppies aged 7-16 weeks can sleep for about 6-8 hours at a stretch. However, during this phase, they still require a nighttime potty break.

Dealing with Whining or Crying

Your pup has just left his family, and there’s a lot that they might be going through emotionally. So, it’s very normal if you hear your puppy crying or whining at some time in the night. The reasons behind this crying or whining can be anxiety or loneliness.

How To Make A Puppy Stop Crying?

Now here’s what you can do about it. You should not intervene or start petting your pup to help them stop crying. Leave them on their own. The chances are he/she will likely calm down after some time.

You might wonder why I can’t just step in and comfort my puppy right away… let us explain.

Comforting your puppy when it cries out of sadness or loneliness will definitely help, and it might stop crying. But this attention will give your pet the idea that whining or crying gets them what they want. They might get into the bad habit of seeking attention with their cries. And you might not always be available for them. So, let them comfort themselves on their own.

The only intervention you are allowed to make is to ask them to keep quiet by hushing them with the Shshshsh sound.

But, in the meantime, you should ensure that your pet is not hurt or sick earlier. Suppose you are not 100% sure. Please don’t ignore the cries and attend to them immediately.

Make Good Use of Calming Techniques to Calm Down Your Pup

You should try calming techniques if your pup is still uncomfortable and continuously showing signs of anxiety. Calming techniques are some valuable tips and tools that you can use to calm your puppy down, especially during their first night at home.

Calming techniques are invaluable tools in helping your puppy relax and alleviate anxiety, especially during their first night at home. Creating a soothing environment can promote security and comfort for your furry friend.

One effective method to induce calmness is to play soft, soothing music or use a white noise machine in the background. These gentle sounds can help drown out any unfamiliar or potentially unsettling noises from the surroundings, providing a consistent and calming auditory experience for your puppy. The rhythmic and steady tones can mimic the comforting sounds they were accustomed to while with their littermates, helping them feel more at ease in their new environment.

Another approach to consider is using pheromone sprays or diffusers specifically designed for dogs. These products contain synthetic versions of natural pheromones that mimic the scent of a mother dog. Pheromones are chemical signals that can trigger feelings of safety and relaxation in dogs, as they associate the smell with their mother’s presence and nurturing. Using these sprays or diffusers in your puppy’s sleeping area can create an environment that emits a calming and familiar scent, helping them feel secure and content.

It’s important to note that while these calming techniques can be beneficial, they may not work equally for all puppies.

Each dog has unique preferences and sensitivities, so observing and adjusting is essential. Pay attention to your puppy’s reactions and behaviors, and if you find that a particular technique isn’t effective, try alternative methods or consult a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for additional guidance.

Along with calming techniques, providing your puppy with plenty of physical touch and quality bonding time can help them relax. Gentle stroking, cuddling, and soothing massages can create a sense of security and strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. This physical connection can release endorphins, which promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.

Opt for Gradual Transitioning Approach

A gradual transitioning approach will help your puppy adjust to the new environment with little to no stress. You can use this approach for introducing your new pup to their environment step-by-step.

Since it’s nighttime and your new puppy is more likely to sleep. So, we can take the gradual transitioning process to help the pet get into their sleep schedule. You can follow the exact rule while introducing them to food.

The same goes for when it comes to introducing your new pup to the family members (either human family members or other pets).

You must closely monitor your pup’s comfort level throughout the transitioning process. If they seem confident, keep going. On the other hand, if they feel unhappy or anxious. You can slow down the transition process.

Remember, each pup is unique. Some might need more time than others to adjust. The goal of the gradual transitioning approach is to slowly and comfortably help your puppy adjust to the new environment. Allowing your pet to adapt to new surroundings sets a foundation for a stronger relationship and raises a happy and confident pet.

Seek Professional Help!

If your puppy’s first night at your place is rough, you should seek a professional’s help. A professional dog behaviorist or vet can help you navigate all the challenges seamlessly.

Upon consulting a professional, you’ll get a tailor-made recommendation as they’ll take their pet’s behavior, environment, and any other issues they encounter.

Whether you’re dealing with excessive crying, restlessness, or anxiety issues, a professional can help you detect the underlying reason and will provide you with the appropriate strategies to overcome the situation.

Moreover, professionals can also offer insights into the main triggers causing distress among pets. They can also advise you on modifying the environment to suit your pet’s needs well, which will put your anxious pet at ease.

Investing in a professional’s help for your pup’s first night at your home is the best possible way to stay at peace and walk through the challenges you might have to face otherwise.


In conclusion, while the puppies’ first night home may come with a lot of turmoil and restlessness in your life, it’s just the beginning of the unconditional bond you are about to share.

Remember, your puppy’s first night home will set the stage for a harmonious relationship that will last a lifetime. Yes, bringing a new pet home can be overwhelming, and your nights will not remain restful for a few weeks. But, believe us, their unconditional love and the bond you’ll enjoy afterward is worth sleepless nights helping the new furry adjust in your home.

The discomfort of the first few days is just a temporary phase you’ll cherish later. Embrace the journey, enjoy the moments with your pup, and know that the rewards of this companionship will outweigh the temporary hardships you’ll face right now.

June 13, 2023

Sade Amor

Sade Amor is the Marketing Director of Frenchie FAQ. She is a huge dog lover and owner of a French Bulldog herself. Sade has many years of writing experience and first hand experience raising & training French Bulldogs!

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