Bringing home a young puppy can be just as daunting for the new parents as it is for the pup. It can feel as though no amount of reading can completely prepare first-time pet owners for the realities of bringing home and raising a new puppy. Just as it is with children, we often give in to the anxious bedtime cries and big puppy dog eyes at the expense of establishing good sleeping habits for our puppy. Relieving our puppy’s anxiety can help reduce our own and a few household items may in fact do the trick.
One of the reasons a puppy may cry is from loneliness. For the first few weeks of a puppy’s life, its heartbeat becomes one with that of its mother and the other puppies in the litter. When the puppy is rehomed, often alone, the absence of its familiar surroundings can cause the puppy to become anxious. One way of replicating the puppy’s past environment is by wrapping a ticking clock in a towel and placing it under the puppy’s bedding for the first few nights upon the puppy’s arrival. The ticking of the clock resembles its mother’s heartbeat and can help calm the puppy.
Alongside sound, touch is another sense that puppies are sensitive to. In the case of bringing home a new puppy, the absence of its mother’s touch, more specifically her body heat, is another adjustment the puppy must get use to. Wrapping a hot water bottle in a towel and placing it in the puppy’s bedding can help soothe your puppy’s nerves. If you have a cheeky puppy that likes to chew, try placing the wrapped water bottle in the puppy’s bed next to a soft toy and take it out just before you head to bed. The heat from the water bottle will transfer onto the toy that your puppy can cuddle up to whilst you are not in the room.
Just as animals are sensitive to sound and touch, they are sensitive to smell as well. A great way to bring the familiar scent of your puppy’s mother and siblings’ home without bringing the entire canine clan is to ask the puppy’s previous owner for a piece of bedding from which the puppy’s mother has slept in or to simply rub a cloth against the mother before taking your puppy home. The familiar scent will help reduce your puppy’s anxiety.
Parenting a new puppy might be a new experience but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one with these simple and inexpensive additions to your puppy’s crate.