The first days home with your puppy

This will be the first time that your puppy has been away from home, mom, and its littermates.  With that being said, it can be a very scary experience for a little puppy.  Even though I know that you will want to show them off to the world, I suggest that you make the first few days or the first week as calm and quiet as possible for your little one.
The goal is to create a reassuring and nurturing environment for the puppy and for them to bond with you.  Everything will be new so I suggest that you stay at home if possible and limit the number of people that they meet in this first week.  

Some puppies will need lots of attention and holding during this time while others will not.  Be sure to place the blanket that smells like mom in their sleeping area and let them play with the toys that smell like their littermates to help make this transition go smoothly.  As simple as it sounds, these items can make a big difference.

Stress and puppies

Please remember that this will be a very stressful time for your puppy.  Just like people in new situations, it will take a few days to a week for your puppy to get to know you, and your home and fully settle in.  

Just like in humans, stress can lower the immune system of your puppy.  I have done my best to set your puppy up with a healthy immune system by feeding probiotics and vitamins.  I highly recommend that you continue feeding NuVet vitamins at least during the puppy phase of life and adding a spoonful of active culture yogurt or Fortiflora is a good idea as well.

Even though a stool sample has been analyzed and has been found to be free of parasites from the litter, stress can make puppies susceptible to parasites like coccidia and giardia. Just know that these parasites are very common and very easy to pick up when under stress but the good news is that they are easily treated.

Viruses like Parvo are a different story.  They are also easily picked up by puppies and are deadly and expensive to treat.  Since Parvo is transmitted from contact with infected animals or feces from infected animals, PLEASE do take your puppy anywhere that other dogs may have been or allow your puppy to meet other dogs if you can not verify that they are fully vaccinated.

I would highly recommend looking into an insurance policy on your puppy.  To help, I have partnered with 2 companies for you to get 30 days of FREE pet insurance.

AKC pet insurance – when you registered your microchip you should have received an email offering 30 days of FREE insurance.  Please sign up, you are under no obligation to keep the insurance but at least you will have some coverage for the first month.

Trupanion – I have also partnered with Trupanion to give you 30 days of free insurance.  You must activate this Go Home offer within 24 hours of picking up your puppy so please either activate it 24 hours before or after you pick up your puppy.  Simply register online or call to register and use the code BR1HC9121 (I also placed this information in your Go Home Bag).  You are not obligated to keep the insurance more than 30 days but if something happens you will be glad that you have it for the first month.  

Also, remember to get your little one to the vet within 3 days of pick up for a wellness check and their next set of shots.

Normal puppy behavior

When you get your puppy, it will be in the puppy stage which normally lasts until around 16 weeks of age.

At this age they are a lot like human toddlers – they sleep a lot, are very energetic, have a short attention span, and learn about their world through chewing on things.

At this stage, they are work but remember that it is just a phase and they will outgrow it.  Just like a toddler, you should be constantly  watching your puppy when they are out of their pen.!!!  If you have not set up a puppy pen yet, I would strongly suggest it.  The pen will be the safe area for your puppy and keep them out of trouble when you can not constantly watch them.

They learn VERY fast during this period. This is the time period that will determine who they become as adults so socialization is a must!

So what does normal puppy behavior look like?

  • Biting and Mouthing
  • Nipping
  • Whining
  • Jumping on people
  • Barking and growling
  • Chewing
  • Digging
  • Chasing anything that moves


One of the most annoying things that puppies do is chewing on everything.  This trait is totally normal as puppies explore the world using their mouth and chewing eases tooth pain during teething.

For future reference, adolescent dogs chew a lot because they are teenagers and adult dogs may find chewing fun and stimulating. Bored dogs may occupy themselves with chewing and thus develop a serious chewing habit.

As an owner, it is your job to develop good chewing habits in your dog. Good chewing habits mean that your dog knows what is acceptable to chew on and will make an effort to go and get the appropriate chew item, rather than grabbing the closest piece of furniture or clothing.

You should start educating your puppy now on what it can chew right from the beginning.  Puppies will continue chewing through the teething stage at three to seven months and into adulthood so this is going to be a long process and very frustrating if you do not start now.

Habits take a while to develop so be diligent and consistent.  Here are a few suggestions on surviving puppy chewing.

Crate & potty training

I know that I have presented information on crate and potty training before but please make sure that you have a plan.  Start from day one by showing your puppy where it should go to the bathroom. 

You will have accidents so get a bottle of an enzymatic cleaner that will neutralize the smell.  Without fully cleaning the area, your puppy will keep going back to the accident area to go.  

Start working on manners & recall

It is never too early to start working on manners and recall.  Here is a quick video to help you.

Remember that they are still babies

Remember that they are still babies and be patient.  They are going to have accidents and be annoying but the time that you put in now will pay off later so have some fun with your puppy and take lots of pictures!