Puppy's first night home: How to stop your puppy from crying

Friday, April 20, 2012

 

 

So, things aren't going quite as you planned on your puppy's first night home. How to stop your puppy from crying has become your top priority - it's almost like having a newborn. Your puppy is in a new, unfamiliar place, and if he was taken from his mother and siblings, he is probably suffering from separation anxiety. The only way he can communicate his loneliness and fear is by squalling. So what do you do?

Tire him out

Don't let your puppy take a cozy nap at your feet right before bed. Keep him up and active, romping with him to help him get worn out. If he is ready to keel over asleep the minute you put him in his bed or crate, your puppy will be too tired to put up a fuss. This alone is one of the best ways to stop your puppy from crying.

Limit food and water before bed

Cut your puppy off from food and water about an hour before bedtime. If he goes to bed with a full stomach and bladder, you'll be getting up more than once during the night to let him out. If you are early to bed and late to rise, you'll probably have to make at least one midnight trip to keep him from going to the bathroom in the house, but you can minimize these trips by limiting the number of after-dinner snacks and sips.

Keep him close

If possible, let the puppy sleep in your room with you. Animal experts say that this lets your puppy feel as though he is part of your pack. Do not, however, let him sleep in your bed. As pack leader, you get the best place to sleep. The puppy should be on the floor on a soft dog bed or in a crate if you are crate-training.

Use music to calm

Playing soft music can provide calm and comfort on your puppy's first night home. Sue Raimond, who pioneered harp enrichment/therapy for pets and spoke at Tufts University's International Veterinary Symposium on Hospice Care for Animals, maintains that music can relieve your puppy's stress levels and cause him to relax or even fall asleep.

When crying continues

If the worst happens and pitiful yelps, whimpers and wails begin to emit from your new bundle of joy, do a quick rundown of possible distresses he could be signaling. A puppy can "hold it" about an hour longer than his age in months. This means a four-month-old puppy can make it only five hours before urgently needing a bathroom break.

If your puppy has already relieved himself in the right place, perhaps he just needs a quick soothe (a pat and a gentle word should suffice). If he continues to whine, a gentle shake by the scruff and a firm "hush" could be in order. Some trainers suggest filling a metal can with marbles and shaking it each time your puppy howls, with an accompanying "hush" as a way to stop your puppy from crying.

You can make it through your puppy's first night home. How to stop your puppy from crying is up to you, but remember, just as with a child, consistency is key. Decide on a plan of action and a specific method of discipline and stick with it.

 

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